After Tim Burton and Michael Keaton left the Batman franchise following 1992s Batman Returns, director Joel Schumacher was brought in. Whether things would have been better or not is pure speculation, Schumacher was brought in and did the best job he could do.
Batman Forever is an underrated movie and shouldn’t be so closely linked with Batman & Robin. Schumacher directed both movies. Batman Forever had a lighter tone and the acting was strong. Things didn’t go completely off the rails until 1997s Batman & Robin. Regardless, Schumacher’s Batman was starkly different to Burton’s and featured some unique qualities.
10 Bruce Yells Loudly That He’s Batman In Front Of A Large Circus Crowd
During the chaotic circus scene in Batman Forever, Two-Face hijacks the event and demands Batman reveal himself or he will detonate a bomb. Things get crazy when the Grayson family tries to get rid of the bomb. Although Dick Grayson does it, the rest of the family is shot down by Two-Face. While everything is going awry, Two-Face asks who Batman is and Bruce Wayne confesses. Even with all the noise, how did the people sitting next to Bruce not hear him confessing he’s the Dark Knight?
9 Bruce Seems Like An Intelligent Businessman Who’s Hands-On At Wayne Enterprises
In both Batman Forever and Batman & Robin, Bruce appears as an intelligent guy who’s invested in his own company. Both Nolan and Burton’s Bruce Wayne were great, but they were more obsessed with being Batman and didn’t seem to care what Wayne Enterprises was up to.
Batman Forever shows Bruce visiting Wayne Enterprises and interacting with the employees, including the crazed Edward Nygma. Batman & Robin show Bruce’s interest in the city’s new satellite made by Wayne Enterprises,. He also knows the lab where Poison Ivy worked and took the time to talk to her about mother nature.
8 Batman Seems To Use More Vehicles Than Normal
Batman has always been known for his great gadgets and accessories, including the many vehicles he’s used over the years. Schumacher’s movies were filled with a lot of awesome Bat-vehicles, including two stylish Batmobiles and Robin’s Redbird motorcycle. Batman and Robin also use both the Batwing and the Batboat in Batman Forever, plus the duo and Batgirl use some cool ice Bat-vehicles to combat Mr. Freeze in Batman & Robin.
7 He Has A Secret Passageway Under Wayne Enterprises That Goes To The Batcave
The Batcave is a staple of Batman in any media and the Batman Forever Batcave may be one of the coolest iterations of all time. The Batcave seemed bigger than Burton’s version and had been updated with a lot of computers and a giant room for all Batman’s suits and gadgets. Bruce also had a secret tunnel under Wayne Enterprises that shuttled him under most of Gotham and brought him directly to the Batcave. If a giant cave with lots of secret stuff wasn’t outlandish enough, Bruce somehow built a secret passage tunnel that ran for several miles without anyone finding out.
6 The Movies Were So Poorly Received That Batman Wasn’t Rebooted Until 2005’s Batman Begins
Unfortunately, Joel Schumacher’s Batman movies were not well received and came off too cartoon-ish. Batman Forever isn’t as bad as some fans think, but Batman & Robin came off as a comedy and wasn’t taken seriously. This left the Batman franchise dormant for 8 years. Thankfully, up-and-coming director Christopher Nolan rebooted the Caped Crusader in the mega-successful Batman Begins.
Batman Begins was successful with both critics and fans, leading to two more Batman movies – including the greatest Batman film of all time, The Dark Knight.
5 His Gotham City Is Unbelievable Gaudy & Outlandish
Tim Burton’s Gotham City was dark and dreary, which is how Gotham was always depicted in the comics. Joel Schumacher went a completely different route. He ditched the dark for gaudy statues and futuristic-looking buildings. While it did add some flare to the city and was quite unique, it seemed more like a video game city than that of Batman’s home. Schumacher was clearly going for something different but unfortunately missed the mark in nailing the ominous tone Gotham should have.
4 Schumacher’s Batman Villains Are Hilariously Outrageous
The villains of Schumacher’s Batmans are outrageous. Jim Carrey was very entertaining as the Riddler, but appeared over-the-top in the latter parts of Batman Forever. Tommy Lee Jones is a tremendous actor, but was clearly phoning in the role as Harvey Two-Face, coming off as a poor man’s Jack Nicholson Joker.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is incredibly talented, but he was miscast as Mr. Freeze and relied on too many ridiculous puns. Bane was a total joke and wasn’t done justice until 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises. Uma Thurman’s talents were wasted and her Poison Ivy relied on weak jokes as well.
3 A Different Bat Suit
These Batman suits aren’t necessarily bad – but definitely are different. Schumacher was told by the studio to make his Batman movies look “toyetic.” Schumacher compared Batman and Robin to Greek Gods that were sexualized in statues and art. However, Schumacher missed the mark and instead of making Batman appear intimidating, the Bat suits revealed a part of Batman’s body that’s normally unseen.
2 Robin & Batgirl Are Finally Brought To The Big Screen And Are Wasted
Chris O’Donnell did a solid job as Dick Grayson, aka Robin, in Batman Forever and his costume looked really cool. O’Donnell’s Robin and Val Kilmer’s Batman shake hands and agree to be partners at the end of Batman Forever, which is an underrated moment in the Batman franchise. However, Batman & Robin took the jokes too far and ruined Robin’s character, portraying him as a whiny child that never got his way. They also shoehorned in the talented Alicia Silverstone as Batgirl, but like every other part of Batman & Robin, it just didn’t work.
1 Batman/Bruce Wayne Is Played By Two Actors In Two Movies
Val Kilmer and George Clooney are two of the most successful and talented actors of the past 40 years. Although, having two different actors play the same character in a two-year span felt strange. Michael Keaton was the main man in Burton’s movies. Christian Bale played Batman for Nolan’s trilogy. Ben Affleck suited up for the DCEU. Kevin Conroy has been the voice of Batman for 30 years. While Kilmer and Clooney both brought some great qualities to Bruce Wayne, their Batman’s seemed wooden, and neither were taken seriously.
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About The Author
Kevin DelSignore (83 Articles Published)
Kevin DelSignore is a writer and wannabe artist. He is a graduate of Worcester State University in Worcester, Ma where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Communications. Kevin was born and raised in Boston, Ma, and still resides there today. He has also worked for the local YMCA for several years and provided safe and fun environments for kids all over the city. Kevin enjoys Marvel, DC, Star Wars, Collectibles, Pro Wrestling, and TV/Film study in general. Please join Kevin on Twitter @KevDelSignore