Oh, Val. Michael Keaton was beyond good at being Batman and, as such, Kilmer his successor,would always be compared unfavourably - even before we get onto the qualities or otherwise of Batman Forever. The frothy, lightweight tone is totally at odds with what had been great about Batman and, to a lesser extent, Batman Returns.
Kilmer delivers his bits of the quip-led script as if mentally holding it at arms length, uncertain of what to make of this acid house remake of the 1966 film. Do I ham it up, go the full Adam West? Do I play it straight, and try to give what little depth I can to these gags?
In the end, Kilmer decides to do neither, and instead delivers his lines with the urgency of a man whos just banged three Valium and bonked himself on the head with a mallet. Add to that Kilmers oddly boyish, soft face (no venture capitalist ever looked so dreamy and uncreased) and youve got a leading man who looks and sounds not just like hes in the wrong film, but has been parachuted in from another, much more boring dimension.
If you were being kind you could say that his blank, gormless, manchild face portrays a Batman whos seen so much suffering and violence that hes incapable of feeling anything at all at this point. If you were being very, very, very kind, you could say that.