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Batman Forever is a 1995 American superhero film directed by Joel Schumacher and produced by Tim Burton, based on the DC Comics character Batman. It is the third installment of the initial Batman film series, with Michael Keaton reprising his role as Bruce Wayne/Batman. The film also stars Marlon Wayans, Robin Williams, and Billy Dee Williams. The plot focuses on the Riddler (Williams), who forms an alliance with Salvatore Maroni (Ray Liotta) in their villainous scheme to have power over Gotham while working with Catwoman (Michelle Peffeir), Commissioner Eddie Bullock (Pat Corley), and a young, orphaned circus acrobat named Dick Grayson (Wayans), who becomes his sidekick Robin.

Plot

In Gotham City, Batman investigates a new designer drug on the streets called "Fever", which is having negative effects on many of the city's teens and preteens to fits of homicidal rage. When Batman sees a group of juvenile Fever addicts kill an old policeman named James Gordon (Pat Hingle) in cold blood when Gordon tries to stop them from setting a cat on fire, he takes a personal interest in stopping the drug's manufacturer. He manages to stop the teenagers from doing further harm but is forced to leave with the police arrives since Batman is still blamed for the Ice Princess' unfortunate demise on Christmas Eve. Unknown to Batman, Edward Nygma is watching him and starts speaking in riddles as he is experimenting with his pet rat similar to B.F Skinner's experiment where the rat is being electric shocked as it is trying to obtain food. Through trial and error, the rat was able to learn how to obtain food which is positive reinforcement, however, the rat eventually learned to helpless when Nygma started making it have electric shocks which are negative reinforcement. Nygma is speaking in riddles during that time and then leaves to meet with Maroni while donning a particular suit and cane that is shaped like a question mark.

District Attorney Harvey Dent is having a nightmare of his early childhood when he was being abused by his father Christopher Dent, an alcoholic who suffered from mental illness, leading him into a violent and physically abusive relationship with his son, whom he otherwise loved very much. Christopher would beat him through the decision of a coin flip. Eventually, things got out of control. Christopher Dent aimed a firearm at his own son, causing Harvey to hide in the closet. Eventually, Batman wakes him up to tell him about Fever. Dent tells him that Maroni is responsible and that last week, Bullock got an anonymous tip to raid one of Maroni's businesses that were suspected of manufacturing the drug. However, they found nothing there and Maroni filed a lawsuit against the police department for harassment even though he was the one who sent the anonymous tip. Because of the legal system, there was nothing Dent could do to attack Maroni which is why he called upon Batman for help, whom he believed was innocent. Elsewhere, Maroni is confronted by Riddler at his penthouse, which formerly belonged to Carl Grissom. Riddler kills all of Maroni's thugs by slashing their throats with the sharp question mark part with his cane and proposes an alliance with Maroni, promising to reveal to him the true identity of Batman if they work together. Due to being impressed by the Riddler, Maroni agrees.

Elsewhere, Bullock and his right-hand man Charlie are at the crime scene where James Gordon died. When Bullock is going home, he is confronted by Selina Kyle, who is revealed to be his illegitimate daughter. In Oasisburg, in around the 1940s, Selina's mother Maria Kyle the waitress conceived her with Bullock and gave birth to her. Growing up, Selina still knew who his father was and loved more than anything. Bullock paid a lot of money for child support when he learned Selina was his daughter and would always make trips to Oasisburg to visit Selina, as well as attending her karate tournaments. Bullock had a loving relationship with Selina until he discovered Selina was working for Loeb, the previous police commissioner that he knew was corrupt, as his secretary. Selina and Bullock meet in Bullock's office at his precinct where Selina explains everything, about what Loeb did to her, his alliance with Penguin, and Penguin framing the Ice Princess for murder. Upon hearing all of this, Bullock becomes angry at what Loeb did to his daughter and apologizes to Selina for disowning her. Bullock then asks who Batman is, however, Selina tells him that Batman is the man who tried to save the Ice Princess but failed. Bullock then asks Selina where she has been since he hasn't seen her since Bruce Wayne's Christmas party and Selina reveals that she has become a cat burglar in Rome, Italy. Selina then leaves to give Bullock enough time to think about all this.

It is revealed that since the events of the Christmas massacre, Bruce Wayne has spent more of his time being Batman than himself. He would eat and sleep in the Batcave while not occupying Wayne Manor. This does not concern Bruce, however, it does concern Lucius and Dick, a mechanic whom Bruce would let into the batcave from time to time to repair the Batmobile if needed. Lucius distrusted Dick at first, however, the two eventually got along and became friends. Dick and Lucius trick Bruce into having a session with psychiatrist Chase Meridian, when they make Bruce think he is just going there to get a profile on the Riddler for Dent, who has correctly deduced that Maroni is working with the Riddler and begins to obsessively work in finding a legal loophole in bringing in Maroni, worrying his wife Gilda and son Harvey Jr. However, Bruce gets distracted from his session when Lucius contacts him revealing that Dick has taken the Batmobile for a joyride.

When Dick does that he witnesses the Red Triangle Circus Gang harassing a teenage girl. Dick confronts them demanding that they leave her alone. The leader asks Dick who he is and Dick claims he is Batman, but forgot his suit. The Red Triangle Circus Gang attacks him, however, Dick defeats them, rescuing the girl. When the girl leaves after kissing Dick, the gang leader whistles for more members to join the fray and they almost corners Dick but are interrupted when the true Batman descends from the rooftop, at which point the group fled into the shadows, terrified.

Riddler begins his killing spree in Gotham City where he starts murdering strippers working for Maroni's rival Phil 'The Leech' Andrews. Riddler would kill those women, carve question marks on them, and leave behind riddles at every crime scene. He even did other things such as programming a riddle on a bank machine and threatening to blow up the bank unless the customer solved the riddle. Unfortunately, the customer failed and the bank explodes because of the bomb. While Dent is doing work at his home, Maroni has "The Irish", a gang of hitmen destroy Dent's home. Although Dent survives and is not horribly scarred, his wife and son are dead. Dent is rushed to a hospital, but stabs a doctor and escapes to the sewers, where he confronts his father and kills him to get revenge. Maroni meets with Andrews in the meantime and poisons him with a meal that he tricks him into eating.

Behind Bruce's back, Dick and Lucius throw a party at Wayne Manor claiming that Bruce Wayne has returned to Gotham after spending some time in Japan. However, Bruce leaves when Dent and a group of vigilantes he has recruited have a hostage situation in one of the banks that Maroni owns. During the fight between Dent and Batman, they both struggle for control of the helicopter. Batman tells Dent he is out of control, however, Dent calls him a killer. Dent then manages to escape by the parachute, after Batman realizes he has locked the steering wheel into position and escapes when the statue damages the statue of Lady Gotham. Bruce confides in Dick and Lucius how ashamed he is for being Batman since he broke his promise twice to his parents by becoming the very evil that he has sworn to fight against. Because of this, Bruce gives up being Batman, upsetting Dick feeling that Batman is the reason why he has suffered in the past.

Elsewhere, Maroni meets with the Riddler and Riddler reveals to him the true identity of Batman which is why Maroni gathers his men. Bullock spies on them from the sewers by using surveillance equipment, however, Riddler catches him in the act and Maroni orders the Irish to kill him. Maroni then smiles in amusement when Riddler replicates Calhoun's famous experiment by adding the rat he tested before into a colony of twelve rats. The only reason Maroni is pleased with this because of the anarchy that follows where the rats start to be violent towards each other, especially by eating their own children. When Bullock is attacked by 'The Irish', Catwoman comes to her father's defense and defeats all of the thugs in street combat.

Bruce begins to believe that he killed his parents since he wanted to go to the movie theater that night, however, Thomas wanted to stay home instead. Bruce goes to the cavern where he first saw the giant bat that inspired him to become Batman. Inside he finds his father's red diary which he had dropped when he first fell into the Batcave after his parents death. He reads the entry about him insisting his parents take him to the theater to see a show the same night they were killed. He realizes he had misread it, and his father had written 'even though Bruce insists, we wanted to see Zorro so his show will have to wait until next week'. Suddenly, Maroni and Riddler arrive to attack Bruce. Maroni explains he had his parents killed since they were planning to make Crime Alley no longer a crime-ridden neighborhoodMaroni declares that to him, crime is business and that corruption is an opportunity. Maroni's gloating soon robs Bruce of his guilt. Suddenly, Catwoman, Dent, Lucius, and Dick, who is in a costume, come to Bruce's aid. Dent kills Riddler by blowing him up with an RPG, however, before he could kill Maroni, Dick stops him only for half of Dent's face to be horribly damaged.

Maroni is later arrested for assaulting Bruce and Dent is sent to Arkham Asylum where Bruce and Chase visit him. Bruce then leaves where he meets with Selina. The two decide to spend the evening together before Selina leaves for Rome. When Lucius is driving them to Wayne Manor, the bat signal appears Selina asks if Bruce has to leave, but Bruce tells her he finally has a 'friend'. Dick, still wearing his costume, meets with Bullock and they discuss plans to clear Batman's name. Dick points out the location of the Neon gang leader, who was a part of the Red Triangle Circus Gang, and tells him that police catching him can help prove Batman's innocence since they can force him to confess. Bullock thanks Dick and promises to get right on it. Before Dick leaves, Bullock tells Dick that he needs a code name and ask what it's going to be. Dick then smiles and calls himself Robin before leaving. Bullock then turns off the bat signal after Robin leaves.

Cast

  • Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne/Batman
  • Richard Roundtree as Lucius Fox
  • Ray Liotta as Salvatore Maroni
  • Billy Dee Williams as Harvey Dent/Two-Face
  • Robin Williams as Edward Nygma/Riddler
  • Ophra Winfrey as Gilda Dent
  • Rene Russo as Dr. Chase Meridian
  • Pat Corley as Commissioner Eddie Bullock
  • Joe Morton as Charlie
  • Pat Hingle as James Gordon
  • En Vogue as Hookers
  • Ofer Samra as Two-Face's thug
  • René Auberjonois as Dr. Burton
  • Tommy Lee Jones as Christopher Dent
  • Marlon Wayans as Dick Grayson/Robin
  • Michelle Peffeir as Selina Kyle/Cat-Woman
  • Rebecca Budig as teenage girl
  • Don 'The Dragon' Wilson as Red Triangle Circus gang leader
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