1995 was a strong yet troubled year for the blockbuster industry. As Cai Ross pointed in out in our ’95 retrospective, the summer of ’94 vastly overshadowed the rest of the decade, leaving each remaining year of the decade looking a little flat in comparison*.
But the summer season of ’95 did offer up a new take on one of the biggest Hollywood success stories of recent times: Batman. Jettisoning Tim Burton and Michael Keaton for director Joel Schumacher and lead Val Kilmer, Warner Bros. were clearly keen to brighten up Gotham, and welcome in a legion of new fans to the series. It was not to be.
Essentially eschewing Anton Furst for Adam West, Batman Forever took the camp and colour of the beloved ’60s TV show, added in a dash of Dutch tilts and parental angst and hoped for the best. The best, Bat-fans, did not occur.
Not even the white-hot superstar ascent of Jim Carrey could improve things. His buffonery in this film has not been sanctioned by history, and yet it remains an oddity. Often unfairly tarred and feathered with Schumacher’s infamous follow up Batman & Robin, in the furious cultural concentration on comic book movies Batman Forever seems to have been forgotten.
The film turns 25 years old in June, and Jim Carrey uberfan Scott Davis and I sat down to talk about our memories of seeing the film the first time around, how its legacy has been felt in the whirlwind resurgence of comic book movies, and is it really as bad as it seems…
* Until 1999 would arrive like the prodigal son and dazzle cinema goers with a bevy of stone cold classics.