Superhero Movie Post
The Death of Superhero Movies
After Batman Returns (1992)apparently a lot of people (mostly parents) complained that the movie was too dark and too violent for children. I think that was a misconception that Batman was for young children and that they had to protect their children from him and his villains. (Because when I think of a children’s movie/story, I think about a kid who watched his parents get shot to death in cold blood in front of him and he eventually grows up to be a crime fighting vigilante in a very violent and crime-infested city of Gotham.) Totally for younger viewers. Then again, there was the popular animated series that was really cool. (still is). So, Batman is for kids and adults alike. Not for every kid however.
The studio listened to these complaints and decided to get rid of the brilliantly (then) twisted director Tim Burton and replaced him with Joel Schumacher. Schumacher and company would go out to make Batman Forever (1995).
Batman Forever (1995)
In this movie they would throw out pretty much everything set up in previous films. Michael Keaton was out, they brought in Val Kilmer. They even completely erased Michelle Pfeiffer and Catwoman from the film. (In hot water from the start).
As for villains, they decided on Harvey Dent (Two Face) and Edward Nigma (The Riddler). These are two iconic villains with tons of potential. The cast Jim Carrey as The Riddler (comic relief anyone) and Tommy Lee Jones as Two Face (with better direction, he could have worked).
I went to see this film in theaters and overall I enjoyed it. It wasn’t until later I realized that the movie wasn’t very good. (To be fair, Batman Forever is a bad film, but there are much worse films in this franchise alone. This film is watchable.)
The Riddler became this flamboyant nutcase more interested in acting like Ace Ventura that an iconic villian (he was just annoying).
Then there was Two-Face who has a complex and tortured back story, instead they turned him into a one dimensional sociopath with little to no real personality other than psychotic jerk with horrible fashion sense. (I would have loved to have seen how Tim Burton would have made this movie.)
You almost think this movie is going to work for a while, but at every chance to be good or commit to an interesting idea it fades into another hokey punch line. (Look at what The Riddler is wearing. What is that? That’s creepy and uncomfortable to look at.) I would hope for something remotely like this
Instead we get
The first two movies had the comic book humor at times, but it held it down with serious tones and eccentric characters with more depth to them. All the characters have motivations and interesting social or political ideas that work them beneath the surface. In Batman Forever, to ensure parents and children wouldn’t be so “traumatized” they removed a lot of the violence, and nearly all the serious nature of the first films. Yes, they still had some deaths and murders, and some neat capers that almost could have worked if developed further, but it falls apart. Poor writing and poor character development often make bad movies.
While fairly accurate to his story, having Chris O’Donnell play Robin is kind of stupid. Much too old to play Robin (he was old enough to play Nightwing). Did Bruce Wayne adopt a 25 year old man?
. Talking about this movie is starting to give me a headache. So let me wrap it up.
Batman Forever- completely changes the feel of the Batman franchise from a twisted, but still very much comic book like feel to total goofiness. The cast decisions in this movie are overall awful, the writing is even worse. The outfits are heinous at times.
In all, you could crawl through Batman Forever and not hate life and everything in it, but you probably wouldn’t be pumped for another one.
Maybe the next one will be better.
Oh no, I was wrong!
Batman and Robin-(1997)
Sweet merciful crap was this movie bad. This ruined comic book movies of all kinds. DC Comics had a great edge on Marvel at this time and they’d watch it crumble. Arnold Schwarzenegger played Mr. Freeze (My favorite villain ever. What did they do to you?) They kept some of the ideas that made Mr. Freeze cool like his ice gun and his back story about his semi-dead wife, but they never really went into detail about that. Arnold was one of the worst options I could ever think of for that character. Sure, he was/is an imposing figure, but the character is Dr. Victor Fries and not one point in that movie did I think the character had such intelligence.
Uma Thurman was Poison Ivy and she teamed up with the guy who was a complete contrast of her desires. It was very obvious that this partnership in no such way would work. Bane was this roided up meathead (came directly from the MLB in the 1990‘s.) Here I thought they butchered Mr. Freeze! This movie is so awful, it doesn’t deserve the time I gave it to write about it here.
This movie was meant to sell toys. Everything glowed blue. The villains were even worse than in Batman Forever. George Clooney makes a great Bruce Wayne, but a terrible Batman. BATNIPPLES! Shame!
Robin and Batgirl- totally not needed at all. The puns, the humor, the cheese is all too much. Poor jokes with worse timing. You also need to do more than run from joke to joke. Set up story and characters! The editing sucks, the visuals are lacking and the acting oh my goodness the acting was atrocious. Yet they all got paid (a crime in itself). Then again, if you made me wear a batsuit with nipples, I’d want you to pay me too.
I tried to watch this film and find redeeming qualities about it, but there aren’t any. This movie ruined Batman for me in the 1990’s it stole a few years of my childhood.
By the end of this film, I sounded like Charlton Heston’s character in Planet of the Apes (1968), “You Maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!”
In conclusion-the once proud DC Comics who ruled the superhero movie landscape from 1978-1995 roughly were knocked down and out. Batman, the most popular superhero in history, was tarnished. Thank goodness they never made Batman Triumphant (1999). It could have been better, but considering how much of a trainwreck Batman & Robin was, who would want to dare see it play out?
Anyways, with good reason it would be several years before anyone dared release a major comic book related movie.