Sunday, January 10, 2010

An Homage: Batman Forever

Batman and Robin, their two names are synonymous. Like peanut butter and jelly, Scooby Doo and Shaggy, or Peter Pan and his Lost Boys, it is almost impossible to imagine one without the other; their dichotomy, is in many cases, what makes their characters work. While there are a great many Batman fans that tend to prefer the stories involving a solo, Robin-less Batman, I've always elevated to the stories deeply involving the Dynamic Duo. For me, Robin was the reason I actually got into Batman as a child. The concept of a teen, not much older than myself, being a superhero, fighting crime alongside the World's Greatest Detective. That is entrancing to any young boy, and nothing helped strengthen that resolve like the film, Batman Forever.

Batman Forever was the third film in the Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher franchise of the late 80s and 90s. The film, directed by Joel Schumacher (who seems, for some odd reason, to be obsessed with statues of naked men and neon, lots of neon), is in actuality, to this day, my favorite in this series of Batman films, and the answer as to why is simple. No, it is not because of Val Kilmer and his lisp in Batman's costume, or Chris O'Donnell's over-the-top 'tude as Robin, it's not even got anything to do with Jim Carrey's hilarious performance as the Riddler, or the eye candy that is mid-90s Nicole Kidman.

I was four-years-old when the film came out. Batman: The Animated Series had already been a staple of the Saturday morning cartoon circuit for two years by that point, so I was no stranger to the character of Batman, but what really brought me into the character was when the show transitioned into The Adventures of Batman and Robin. It was at that time, that Batman Forever was gearing up to be released in theaters.

I fondly remember seeing the film in theaters. The night after I first saw it, I remember returning home and going to bed, dreaming about the movie. In my dreams, I prolonged the film, created new scenes in my mind. One in particular still sticks out of Dick discovering Bruce's awesome underground roller coaster ride that takes him into the Batcave's armory. I remember getting all the toys for Christmas of that year, the Batman and Robin action figure two-pack, the Batcave playset, it was all there, not to mention an awesome remote control car race set between the Batmobile and Two-Face's car.

This film just created so many great memories in-and-of itself, whenever I watched it, played with any of the toys, or just ran around the house pretending to be Robin, I just was overcome with that nostalgic sense of being home, which is how I feel watching this film to this very day. Whether the memories be of playing with my toys, or my older brother dressing up like Batman alongside my Robin to make my day, Batman Forever is a real treat for any fan of the Dynamic Duo. Faithful to the Duo's original adventures in the 1940s, this is one that comic book fans tend to give a bad wrap that it does not deserve. Regardless, come back home with me and watch Seal's music video for the film.

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