Batman Forever – 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

Batman Forever - 4K Blu-ray Cover

Batman Forever marked the first Batman film in the post-Tim Burton era. With it came the film’s return to the campy side of Batman that most fans wanted to forget. That doesn’t mean that the film is awful, but it does mean that you have to suspend disbelief for all the crazy and zany things that happen in the film. If you’ve never seen the film since its release in 1995, trust me when I say it gets really zany. That’s what happens when you bring in Jim Carrey play one of Batman’s villains.

But not only is the film wacky but the storyline is convoluted too. Schumacher isn’t capable enough to balance all these storylines, so the film ends up as a jumbled mess. To its credit, Batman Forever takes a look at the psychological trauma that Bruce Wayne went through as a child and why that trauma defines him as Batman. It’s an interesting storyline that hasn’t really been covered fully in Burton’s films.

On the other hand, an idiotic storyline is also a big part of the film too. That idiotic storyline comes from the villain’s dastardly plot to get Batman. It’s a complicated yet dumb plot where The Riddler gets confidential information and sucks up people’s IQ using his brainwave device. As I said before, this film is zany so you’re going to have to suspend disbelief in order to enjoy this film.

Then there’s Robin’s storyline which coincides with Two-Face’s story. Robin’s story is easily the best one of them all primarily because of its close resemblance to Dick Grayson’s origin story in the comics. Yet it’s not good enough to completely save this film.

Overall, Batman Forever is a mediocre yet entertaining film in the post-Burton era. But the film reeks of the old Adam West campy Batman days. While those Adam West days were fun, they were at least a sign of the times. Batman Forever is not. Batman comics were dark in the 90s with “Knightfall” and “The Long Halloween” coming out during that time. But at least we got to see Robin in a movie for the first time right?

Movie Rating: 2.5/5 atoms

Batman Forever - Val Kilmer and Nicole Kidman

Batman Forever hits Ultra HD Blu-ray (see it on Amazon) with an HDR transfer and a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Much like Batman Returns, the video transfer for Batman Forever is stellar. The brightness is really vibrant without any sort of bloom in these areas. In addition, the black levels are an inky deep black without any sort of shadow details lost. Also, the colors are something that just pops from the screen. The HDR is able to showcase the ultra wide color palette that Joel Schumacher brought to this film. Not to mention, there’s a lot of small details that look so crisp and well-defined. Even the edge details are sharp and well-defined too. Overall, this is an amazing, amazing video transfer.

Video Rating: 5/5 atoms

Batman Forever - Tommy Lee Jones and Jim Carrey

Batman Forever hits Ultra HD Blu-ray with a Dolby Atmos and a core 7.1 Dolby TrueHD Master Audio track. This review will reflect Batman Forever‘s Dolby Atmos track. From the opening credits, you can hear the playful use of the Atmos format. The audio mix comes at you from all sides. The sound effects dynamically pan through the sound stage with authority and completely immerses you within the scene. There’s just so much activity that you can distinctly hear the effects within your sound stage. Unlike the other Batman releases, there’s a lot of overhead effects in this mix. When things quiet down, you can audibly hear the score and minor environmental effects across the sound stage. In addition, the dialogue comes through distinctly and the subwoofer adds some weight to the action scenes too. Overall, this is a playful and immersive audio mix.

Audio Rating: 5/5 atoms

Special Features
Batman Forever - Chris O'Donnell

Batman Forever has Joel Schumacher’s audio commentary on the 4K Blu-ray disc. However, you can find the following special features on the regular Blu-ray disc:

  • Riddle Me This: Why is Batman Forever?
  • Shadows of the Bat: The Cinematic Saga of the Dark Knight Pt. 5 – Reinventing a Hero
  • Batman Forever: The Heroes
    • Batman
    • Robin
    • Dr. Chase Meridian
  • Batman Forever: The Villains
    • The Riddler
    • Two-Face
  • Beyond Batman
    • Out of the Shadows: The Production Design of Batman Forever
    • The Many Faces of Gotham City
    • Knight Moves: The Stunts of Batman Forever
    • Imagining Forever: The Visual Effects of Batman Forever
    • Scoring Forever: The Music of Batman Forever
  • Deleted Scenes
    • Escape From Arkham
    • Two-Face’s Hate
    • Beauty and the Batman
    • Dick’s Pain
    • Bruce’s Dilemma
    • The Secret of the Batcave
    • Does It Ever End?
  • Music Video “Kiss From a Rose” by Seal
  • Theatrical Trailer

The special features on the Blu-ray may have nothing but vintage featurettes but the featurettes are all very informative. You just have to get past the fact that you’re watching these featurettes in a 4:3 format.

“Riddle Me This” is another classic television behind-the-scenes show which cheesily showcases the making of the film. It’s very 90s in its execution. Much like the other Batman releases, the “Shadows of the Bat” mini-documentary is an insightful featurette where every story told by everyone involved in the film is simply engaging to listen to. Once again, we get a lot of honest interviews in this piece.

Much like in the other Batman release, “Heroes” and “Villains” breaks down the heroes and villains in Batman Forever. Once again, “Beyond Batman” is another lengthy inside and informative look at every aspect of production. Since Joel Schumacher’s style is out there, learning about a specific aspect of the production process is engaging to watch. With the “Deleted Scenes”, they’re raw unedited footage where these scenes wouldn’t impact the overall film if they were ever re-edited into the film.

Special Features Rating: 4/5 atoms

Overall, Batman Forever is a campy and entertaining return for Batman after the super dark Batman Returns. It’s the kind of film where you can simply turn your brain off and just look at all of the crazy visuals. Both the video and audio presentations are stellar and despite the lack of new special features, the classic featurettes are still very informative and engaging.

Overall Rating: 4/5 atoms

This Blu-ray was reviewed using a retail/advance copy/unit provided by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

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Mark Pacis
Mark Pacis 1575 posts

Self-proclaimed "Human IMDb" and comic book geek. Biggest Iron Man fan you'll probably ever meet.