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Batman — From the comic to the chthonic

Wayne's World
By NICK JOHNSTON  |  July 20, 2012

BATMAN FOREVER (1995)

Director: Joel Schumacher.

Real World Events: Oklahoma City. NATO bombs Bosnia. The Unabomber's manifesto. The gloves didn't fit O.J. The Federal Government shuts down. The last Calvin and Hobbes.

Gotham City Style: Still vaguely the Gotham of the Burton movies, but with a lot more primary colors. Very present day.

Under The Cowl: Val Kilmer, a terrible Bruce Wayne, but delivers as Batman.

Sidekick/Love Interest: Robin (Chris O'Donnell), a rebellious young man, angered by the death of his parents. Sound familiar? His relationship with Batman is not as homoerotic as you might think, but he gets little romantic competition from Nicole Kidman as Dr. Chase Meridian.

Bat-Gadgets: All new Batmobile and Batwing. Plus a Batboat! It's a bullish economy under Clinton, so Wayne Enterprises can afford the toys.

Villains: Jim Carrey's hammy The Riddler; Tommy Lee Jones's stone-faced Two Face. They harness everyone's brainwaves, learn Batman's secret identity, and steal Wayne's memory. A precursor of Facebook?

Bad/bat line: "Caffeine will kill ya!"

Cowl rating/Phoenix Crix Pix: Two cowls. "When the biggest cheer of the night comes as Chris O'Donnell hangs up his laundry, you know the narrative lacks punch."

Cowl rating/Nick's Pix: Two cowls. The film has a distinctive personality, but there are some bright spots. Or maybe they're just weird spots.

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