Recalling my Anticipation for Batman Forever

Well, The Dark Knight Rises is on the verge of being released.  Tonight at midnight, a bunch of sleep-deprived fanboys will head off to theatres to watch the conclusion of Christopher Nolan’s trilogy of Batman films.  I myself will be seeing the film tomorrow evening.

I have always been a big fan of Batman since I was a kid, so I am most definitely looking forward to seeing this film.  This anticipation has resulted in my thinking back 17 years to the release of Batman Forever in 1995.

Today, the Joel Schumacher-directed Batman films are frowned upon greatly.  The gothic darkness in Tim Burton’s films were replaced with a comic campiness that did not really rub off well with people.

I had just turned 13 in 1995 and I was looking forward to this film with glee.  As a teenager, I was now at a right age to properly enjoy the Batman films.  When Tim Burton’s Batman came out in 1989, I was only 7 years old and, quite frankly, the darkness of the film scared me.  I was also quite scared of Batman Returns, which was the first Batman film I saw in theatres at the age of 10.

I rediscovered Tim Burton’s original film (which I should add was the first VHS tape my family bought) in the weeks leading up to the release of Batman Forever and I found that, despite being very scared of the film as a young kid, I now quite enjoyed the film.  I enjoyed the film so much that I rewatched it pretty much every single week leading to the release of Batman Forever.  I was definitely Batman obsessed.

I have to admit that one of the major selling points of Batman Forever for me was the casting of Jim Carrey as The Riddler.  Jim Carrey was at the time the biggest comedic star and the world and I was quite looking forward to seeing him in the film.  I’m sure the rest of the people seeing the film, seemed to think the same way, since his name got the biggest cheers on the opening credits.

I saw Batman Forever opening weekend at the, now closed, Runnymede Theatre, which was located just a few blocks my house.  It was the first movie that I went to without parental accompaniment, though I was joined by my sister and best friend.  Seeing the film was definitely a euphoric experience.  I actually remember that this was one of the only films that I saw, in which I wanted to actually rewatch it while it was still in theatres (though I never did).

I wouldn’t really wise up to the fact that Batman Forever was a much lower-quality film than Burton’s until I rewatched the film a few times on home video.  I still consider it a better film than Batman & Robin, which I didn’t even bother to get on home video, and I would happily watch Batman Forever today and still be somewhat entertained.

And so, as we anticipate the release of the, second, third Batman movie, please remember the excitement of a 13 year old boy in 1995.

Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).