This feature is dedicated to the memory of Harvey ‘Two Face’ Dent.
Nice work Burton. Not content with making carbon copies of Jonny Scissor-Fingers until the paint bucket of white make-up ran dry, the one time you tapped into your true potential with (the frankly amazing) Batman Returns you offend the studio execs with vile mutants and a tone darker than black, leading to us suffering Joel Schumacher’s short but terrible reign of franchise terminating terror. Sure, we eventually got Big Fish, but too little too late. The deep scars left by the Batman films of the mid ‘90s are still felt world-wide over 15 years later, but as time tries to heal these wounds we often forget the entirety of the reason these 2 movies were as awful as we hazily recall in our night terrors. Allow me to bite the batarang and remind us all why Seth Green once said, as his character crawled through a sewage pipe, “it smells like Batman Forever in here”.
Part 1: If nothing else, at least Tommy Lee is having fun.
Everybody read ‘Gone (for 8 Years) in 60 Seconds’? Shame, because now I have to retype the entire opening sequence out again as it’s basically shot-for-shot; nipple suits and ass-hugging leather as Batman suits up for a night on the town to score him some young cock/fight crime/make his parents turn in their graves like bingo cages – whatever he does on his nights out. Thanks a bunch for your loyal viewership, jerks. Harvey ‘Two Face’ Dent Lee Jones is robbing a bank and looking less like the gag worthy burn victim played spectacularly by Aaron Eckhart in The Dark Knight, and more like Ivan Ooze from Power Rangers: The Movie.
For reference, one of these guys is Two Face. Outside the cops are standing around as useless as Mothra in a lightbulb testing facility, along with the ravishing Dr. Meridian the foremost expert in flamboyant fruit loops. She takes a particular shine to Batsey either because she has a thing for chins, or she finds men who dress up as rodents to work out their parent issues through violence and crime escalation a turn on.
Meridian: Harvey’s robbing the Second Bank of Gotham on the second anniversary of the day you first captured him.
Batman: Of course! He must have lost a coin flip to Calendar Man and they switched M.O’s
Meridian: Or, it might be he has a thing for #2.
Batman: So by applying this rule, if we leave him to it for the rest of this year then we need never worry about him again.
Meridian: Sure, although I do love a man who blindly fights his way into nearly inescapable predicaments despite the obvious risks. Gets me all kinds of hot.
Batman leaps into the fray without a second thought.
Commissioner Gordon: You know, one day we’ll learn that all this is avoidable if we just throw that fucking coin of his away next time he’s in custody.
Harvey gleefully shoots up the joint as Batman ‘whaps’ and ‘bams’ through the hoards of masked goons (prevents them getting mixed up with other goons during a villain team-up), laughing madly while talking to himself and coming across as more schizophrenic Joker wannabe than former respectable lawyer with Multiple Personality Disorder. Between his constant laughter and growling monologues, I’m finding him less and less of a character trapped between two warring mindsets – and I love a man trapped in two different mindsets jostling for dominance, like this guy:
Harvey lures Batman into the vault wherein lies a hog-tied security guard.
The door slams shut and the vault begins to fill with “boiling acid” – more lethal than acid in its solid form -, as Two Face hauls the vault out of the building with his helicopter. ***Logic break*** I don’t know much about banks (part of the reason my heists always go awry), however there are some things I doubt are factually accurate in this scene:
a) Vaults are not normally kept on the upper floors where they are more vulnerable to insane theft attempts, especially when they weight as much as this one appears to (despite the fact it can be air-lifted by personal aircraft [see c]).
b) Normal vaults don’t tend to contain acid. Even a man protecting his patented ‘boiling acid’ wouldn’t store it loose in the deposit draws even if the bank did allow for such an odd request.
c) If a vault can be lifted with ease and carried away by an average issue civilian helicopter, you aren’t building them out of the most secure materials.
d) If you’re going to build a bank, why oh why would you do it in Gotham?
Alas, the architects of Gotham felt that the city, home to some of the most cash-obsessed mobsters and sociopathic maniacs this side of Rome, didn’t need its banks to be constructed from materials stronger than polystyrene, allowing a plan concocted by a bipolar lawyer who wanted to justify his extortionate helicopter expenses to be pulled off without a hitch. Fortunately for the investors of Gotham, Batman manages to pop the vault using nothing more than a hearing air (y’heard me), following up this feat of ‘just because he’s Batman’ brilliance by defying physics; zip-lineing the vault FROM THE MOVING HELICOPTER back into its original resting place, along with the guard. Fuck you physics! How the bankers are going to deal with the gallons of acid now sloshing around in their only apparent cash safe without ending up like Renne from Cube is left to the imagination of the reader.
Now that science has taken another beating in the name of the Caped Crusader it’s time to slap some pretty into Two Face, who takes Batman on a tour of the city, which includes the Statue of Liberty – on loan to Gotham after a bank architect vouched for it being in good hands there. Two Face parachutes to safety as the chopper SLICES THE FACE FROM LADY LIBERTY – forget Al Qaeda, Harvey just declared war on the concept of freedom and autonomy…with a flying machine… Was Batman Forever a warning of the horrors to come (and not just Batman & Robin)? Would suggesting Joel Schumacher helped plan 9/11 make people despise him even more? Unlikely, but I’m going to begin spreading this rumour as of now regardless. Batman leaps away as Lady Libs cries fire over her dramatic facelift. ***Logic break*** what the Hell is the Statue of Liberty doing in Gotham – were the filmmakers confused as to its geographical location, because I gotta tell ‘ya, Batman would not last a day in New York. Most of his enemies are regular thugs, mob bosses and psychopaths, not super powered villains. Fan boys can winge and moan about ‘who’s best/coolest/most bankable’ but at the end of the day Batman would be outclassed in a city home to the Fantastic Four, Avengers, X-Men, Defenders, and Spider-Man.
Hum, when you look at it like this, New York is way too oversaturated with heroes. To make up for losing the city millions of dollars (unless they like their currency how Alien’s Xenomorphs like their births: wet and melting from acid exposure) Bruce Wayne has invested into the Villainous Research & Origins branch of Wayne Enterprise. Bruce has a habit of pooling copious amounts into research ventures that’ll wind up trying to kill him and bleed the country, so why should today be any different. Meet today’s nutcase of tomorrow (probably best if you did that yesterday), Edward ‘don’t call me Ace’ Nigma, who has a hard spot for Bruce.
Edward: Mr Wayne, let me invade your personal space in order to talk really really fast!
Bruce: I’ll allow this in order to lead you on.
Edward: I have the technology of the future; a device that’ll beam televisionstraightintoyourhead and now I’ll slow, down, to, slower. than. normal. speed *deep inhale*.
Bruce: Mr. Ventura-
Edward: -Call me Edward.
Bruce: Edward, I can see you’re excited about this project…
Edward: WRONG!!!! I’m actuallylikethisin all. my. films *deep inhale*.
Bruce: But I’m guessing your machine works by implanting ideas and images into the brain. So what is stopping thoughts being extracted or manipulated?
Edward: Scientific limitations. The laws of plausibility. James Cameron deviating the development of the technology to sell 3D glasses and migraines. A team of nuns operating the machine, what do you want to hear?
Bruce: I’m sorry Acedward, but my unrealistic expectations toward your desires to increase happiness by allowing us live TV rather than watching it being used for brain-siphoning acts of evil have convinced me, a man who dresses up like a bat to fight penguins and clowns, not to invest. Also, to further cement my status as your nemesis you’re to be reassigned as office lunatic. Because I can.
He leaves Edward, the only man who prefers Val Kilmer to Michael Keaton, to rethink his life choices. Bruce you fool, you just lost the only ally you had in this movie!
The bat signal has been activated so Bruce uses his super secret office entrance to return to the bat cave. Anyone else want to be privy to the conversation he had with the architects that day:
Bruce: I want a long shaft that connects the floor beneath my desk to the underground cavers of my manner house the other side of Gotham.
Builder: Whatever you want pal, but what about all the offices beneath yours that’ll have a man-sized tube running through their work space.
Bruce: Humm…I’ll keep those offices vacant so as not to raise suspicions.
Builder: But wouldn’t cordoning off half the building me just as suspicious?
Bruce: My money my rules. Also, I want the chair to tilt back and the floor to open up whenever I say the super secret word.
Builder: And that is?
Builder: Okay so that’s one man-sized pipe leading from downtown Gotham to uptown Wayne Manner, with a voice code activated trap door floor and reclining chair. So what’s this all for?
Bruce: It’s a super secret.
In the end Bruce decides to do what he always does and make Alfred do it, while the builder weighs up whether to sell the identity of Bruce Wayne or become an overly theatrical villain himself. 3 months later, the Human Architect is killed during a planning commission-themed heist when shrapnel from Mr. Freezenegger’s exploded escape pod rains down on him.
Back to the story. Dr Meridian, dressed only in naked and a bit of black fabric, was the one who turned on the bat signal in order to hit on Batman and wasted tax money. She noticed last night that Two Face’s coin is his weakness…which medical institute did you earn that doctorate in stating the obvious? While you’re at it tell me Clayface is vulnerable to water. She comes onto him with the clinginess one would expect of a childless Jewish woman reaching 40, and although it’d probably be the best lay of his life, the thought of her incessant phone calls, emotional breakdowns and mood swings are enough to steer Batman away. While this exchange was going on, 8 stores were robbed, 1 woman raped, 5 arsons occurred and an American remake of Gojia was put into development. Meanwhile at the Wayne Science lab a nemesis is born as Edward tests his brain manipulation, the idea given to him by a wary Bruce Wayne, on his arsehole of a boss – he goes on about how it’s sucking the knowledge out of his prisoners’ head like a toothless zombie with a drinking straw, but all I’m seeing is a forerunner to the glasses-less Nintendo 3DS and Jim Carry hopped up on his favourite drink: sugar water mixed with Red Bull and coffee grounds. Congratulations Bruce, by telling a scientist trying to bring joy to the world that an insane man could use his 3D TV for evil, you’ve created an insane man with a desire to use his 3D TV for evil – if only this film had been released as a response to Avatar, it may have been the greatest satire piece of the age. Armed with heightened intellect symbolised through hyperactive overacting, Edward decides it’s time to throw his boss out the window. That’s the kind of genius plan that can only be gained through advanced intelligence.
Journalists are running with their story of the week: Two Face, ironically the bit player in this film so far. They show how he became the half-man he is today when a mob boss threw acid at his face WHILE ON TRIAL. IN A COURT ROOM. The bank vault containing acid seems more plausible now that mobsters on trial are allowed to bring a vile of corrosives with them. Good thing Harvey had that PAPER FILE to protect the other side of his face, or he may have become the totally 100% evil Face-Face, or One-Face, or just Face. Bruce gets the call as he agonises over the news footage that one of his employees died last night – Edward having successfully made it appear to be suicide. Commissioner Gordon has an uncanny knack for identifying such cases, as one look at the ‘goodbye cruel world’ note has him convinced to drop all further investigation. Bruce comes across a riddle left for him (unless any other employees have his face, which is used as a creative image for the puzzle).
Bruce: If you look at the numbers on my face you won’t find thirteen anyplace.
Personal Assistant: What could it mean? If only I was as smart as Batman. If only we were all as smart as Batman!
Batman: It’s a riddle – a brain teasing puzzle of wordplay. The answer is…I think I hear my phone going off, please excuse me.
Bruce climbs out the window.
Bruce (continued): [on phone] Alfred, I need an answer for a riddle to save face…
Bruce re-enters after several minutes.
Bruce (continued): Clock.
Personal Assistant: Of course! Dang, and I thought it was ‘helicopter’.
Edward is taking to insanity with ease, and considering the relatively small step it required to put him there this isn’t surprising. His house was already a museum to Bruce and all manner of crazy crap so it was only a matter of time before he took the plunge. And what could be more villainous than leaving cryptic puzzles on the property of the man you despise? Bruce however is more devious than those he inspires, for he uses the creepy riddles (the ones embossed on pictures of his face) to strike up a conversation with Gotham’s’ recession enabling Dr. Meridian. Nothing like showing you have a crazy stalker to win over the ladies, but what happens when the lady in question sees you as a crazy stalker herself? Even worse, Dr. Meridian is stalking Batman, whilst being stalked by Bruce who’s being stalked by the Edward. This film has got a freaky four-sided love triangle. After uncovering the answer to this latest riddle (a match), Bruce tells her to get undresses and then redressed into something fancy, for he is taking her to the circus – chicks dig the circus.
Part 2: It takes Two [Face] to tango
Tim Burton enters the boardroom wherein sit the commissioning panel of Warner Brothers. His unkempt hair bounces foppishly as he pulls off his sunglasses to reveal his dark glasses beneath. A grin plays betwixt his stubble.
Tim: Guys, thanks for inviting me back. Batman Returns is going through the roof. Have you seen the cash it’s raking in? People are queuing around the block to see it. Honestly, if I’d have known making the type of movie I wanted to could do this well…*happy sigh*. So left talk sequel.
He beams at the board members, sitting sullen and bloated like deflated toads in suits. Eventually, one with a thick cigar in his gold signet ringed hand leans forward.
Toad Faced Suit: Tim, we gotta say: Returns is going great business. Great business. Already it’s earned me enough to buy that second gold house and pay off all my outstanding taxes…
The board erupt with rasping laughter at this joke.
Toad Faced Suit (continued):Hahahaha, hem! However, we feel the movie isn’t child friendly enough.
Tim: ‘Child friendly enough’? This is a film based on a man who loses his parents to crime and becomes a vigilante to take on the underworld – crimes’ twisted morality physically distinguishable by its deformed practitioners -, while the Batman himself struggles to define whether he is any less sane than those he incarcerates. This is adult material.
Toad Faced Suit: Be that as it may, we – by which I mean ‘we’, not ‘you’ -, feel we could be exploiting children who haven’t even seen the film by selling them toys they otherwise wouldn’t want unless we made them want them. As such we are kicking you off the project and bringing on someone we can browbeat into making a movie which can profit of the innocence of kids.
Tim Storms out muttering something about never bothering to have an original thought again, as Joel Schumacher enters, taking a seat.
Joel: Can I just say it’s an honour to finally be recognised by the studio system, after years of making gritty, underrated classics. I already have some ideas to discuss about Batman Forever…
Toad Faced Suit: [Cutting Joel off] Actually, we have some ideas ourselves.
Joel: [Nervous] What kind of ideas…
The Toad Faced Suit smiles widely as he lights his cigar with a $100 bill.
The Flying Graysons’ and their youngest son Dick fly through the air with the greatest of ease as the rich and elitist core of Gotham coo in admiration. Edward is watching the elite-only, no riffraff circus spectacular on his regular television box (hey Nigma, try inventing a plasma screen!). Bruce asks Meridian out on a second date, but she blows him off for Batman (a man she knows she loves, despite having met him twice and can’t tell is SITTING RIGHT NEXT TO HER). Two Face hijacks the event and hams it up magnificently (much as I hate this film, you really can tell how much Tommy Lee Jones is enjoying himself which is quite nice in a way), demanding the Batman step forward but also dead (he wants a zombie Batman? Won’t that just make his existing bat problems worse?) or he’ll detonate a bomb that’ll kill all the city’s wealth…okay this was possibly more of an incentive before the recession caused by bankers and the rich destroying the Western economy in 2008 with their greed. Edward, who I must remind you, was working to better mankind finds this most delightful, even though his vendetta is against Bruce not Bats. What a dichotomy Bruce has on his hands: Save the economy in the future, or save Dr. Meridian’s boobs and with them the rest of the crowd now. Luckily the Grayson family are taking care of things so Bruce doesn’t have to come out as a latex fetishist in front of his snootiest peers, and as Dick throws the bomb into the river the rest of his family fall to their sleep on the floor below. I think they’re sleeping. Oh boy…. As literally EVERYONE in the audience watches, including the people viewing this on TV, Two Face escapes through a trap door YET NO ONE FOLLOWS because they are too busy mourning over a family of fucking acrobats to chase after a schizophrenic mass murdering thief slowly crawling through a one-way tunnel to freedom.
Feeling guilty for not simply saying “I’m Batman, now let these people go” that would have saved him a shit load of adoption paperwork, Bruce takes in a stray Dick (ha! I bet he did) and bribes him into staying with promises to let him ride his motorcycles someday (ha! I bet he did). He agonises over the parallels between him and the boy being crime orphans, more so than the audience anyway who are agonising over how gay this film is going to be by the credits. Over in the lair of Gotham’s other repressed homosexual, Edward is toying with his criminal theme. Batman goes off in search of Harvey that evening, however Harvey knew Batman would be searching for him down this particular deserted stretch of highway and a chase ensues. Anyone expecting The French Connection can go drown in their lost expectations earlier than the rest of us, and do it quickly because Batman Ghost Rider’s his way up a wall in order to escape the onslaught of useless bullets.
At the Two Cave, or the Face Lair, or whatever he calls it, Harvey is settling in after a hard days toil – what with his audition for the circus ringmaster position having failed miserably, and now his plan to shoot batman to death whilst he was INSIDE AN ARMOURED CAR also not having the desired outcome. The place is split into 2 sections, with one half white and ornate, the other dark and jagged – each side with a complimentary wench. Do you recon he has to stay in the centre of the room at all times? What happens if the one face starts dating the wench of the other? Is it possible to eat 2 meals of creamy salmon and roast hog at once without hurling? All these questions and many more remain unanswered as the Riddler crashes the meal, promising to grant Harvey the crime spree of the century by helping plant his mind stealing device in every home in the city, in exchange for the unmasking and death of Batman. Two Face flips a coin to decide (shoot a stranger, or out my enemy and get rich? Tough one, I can see why he’d need to risk it on chance). We never learn the verdict because it cuts away to the pair robbing a diamond store. Seriously guys, what did the coin say? Bet you enjoyed the sound of a charismatic couple cavorting in a chaotic crime spree right? Well too bad we have to cut away to Dick DOING HIS LAUNDRY. His fucking laundry! Why exactly Batman couldn’t make it to the dozens of robberies breaking out last night remains unclear, although one may suspect it’s the sudden appearance of a subtle young man in the Wayne household drawing focus away from more pressing matters. Anyhoo, Bruce receives another riddle – I’ll save some time, the answer is ‘chess pawn’. Now I didn’t even need to hear the riddle to solve that, yet Batman AND Alfred require the entire utilisation of the Bat Computer. I should be Batman!
Bruce: Clock, Pawn, Match. All physical objects – man made (the fuck!?).
Alfred: Light weight, small in size (the fuck!?).
Bruce: What’s the connection?
Alfred: With all due respect sir, I think that’s why they call him the Riddler, fnaw fnaw.
Bruce: With all due respect Alfred, shut the fuck up!
With so minor embellishments towards the end, this is the detective mind that’s meant to rival Sherlock Holmes. “Light weight, small in size”, what the hell kind of detectiving is that supposed to be?! Unable to solve the greatest riddle ever imagined (although I still think ‘?’ is far more challenging) they call it a day and lock half the doors in the house to mess with Dick, who is already curious about what is being kept behind the locked away from him. “Oh I’m sorry Dick, how rude of me to not let you nose around my house after a day of knowing you, despite being generous enough to let you live here rent free after your parents were murdered. Ungrateful shit – if I had a crowbar…..”
James Cameron Edward Nigma is launching his new 3D television devices to the whelps of Gotham, using his ill-gotten gains to fund mass production. Within days the entire city is drooling mindlessly in front of their 3D sets, never questioning why they paid so much to get a false sense of depth and immersion, while Riddler and Harvey feast on their delicious brain waves. Question: what could the regular schmucks of Gotham offer these master criminals? Sure, you can get their bank details (because who doesn’t remember allllllllll their financial information codes?), but this was 1997, a good few years before the internet shopping advent, so even if they were able to transmit the entirety of their card and pin number information, Riddler would have to go to each house, raid each card and use it at the nearest bank EVERY TIME. So really all he’s getting out of this is what the random individual has on his/her mind at any given time: perverted sexual fantasies and general knowledge – unless the fate of Gotham is decided by a naked pub quiz come the finale I doubt that’ll be much use to anyone. Everyone is too blind to see the ginormous green tower off the shore sucking in brainwaves and looking unsettlingly like Nigmas’ device, and with Batman unable to answer riddles without the aid of a super computer, I’d say the city is pretty screwed.
Elsewhere Dick has found a clever way around the purpose locked door system called ‘break in and to crap with your rules!’ His daring disregard for the privacy of others rewards him with full access to the bat cave – ever wondered what the bat cave’s security system is capable of, given how kick-ass Batman’s everyday toys are? Well guess what, it fails to meet expectations. Like when you date a clown and hope he/she is attractive under the make-up, well imagine that but this time under the make-up is another more terrifying clown.
For the love of all things Holy, the security system actually activates every piece of tech in the place, offering intruders FULL ACCESS TO THE ENTIRE ARSONAL, albeit with an ‘awoooga’ alarm bleating over the bat speakers. So Dick has proved he is ready to be a crime fighter simply for breaking down a door and seeing stuff (Daredevil would never qualify if that’s all it takes). HE ISN’T EVEN SHOCKED TO SEE HE’S LIVING IN BATMAN’S FREAKING ATTIC!!! More boring stuff happens between Bruce and Meridian so fuck that, moving on to the bit when Dick STEALS THE BATMOBILE in order to win a street race (the fuck!?) and all he gets is a lecture. Know what the Penguin got for messin’ with Bat’s car: DEAD. Dick tries to work out a partnership with Batman.
Dick: I’ll help you fight crime if I can kill Two Face.
Bruce: No, I took the Hypocritic Oath to ensure others don’t become super heroes for vengeance.
Dick: Like you did?
Bruce: Exactly! You’ve read Spider-Man, seen me in action. Imagine a world of emo, whining and emotionally broken heroes. It’d be horrendous. No, there has to be a limit of 1 per publisher.
Dick: What if I wore a colourful costume.
Bruce: That shit might fly with Schumacher, but not with Nolan! If I can just hold out another film and a half…
At a gala ball hosted by Edward Nigma, Bruce is informed that in the space of several days, Nigma Corp. has grown bigger and more lucrative than the entire Wayne fortune. Hum, is it possible to gain more wealth than a billionaire inheritor who has decades worth of shares in numerous top-class business fields, by just be selling 3D TVs? More and more this is sounding like the wishful wet dreams of film studios and television manufacturers than a plausible narrative device. Do you realise that 3D cinema has existed since the early 1900s, flaring up like a bad infection once every 30 years? Nearly 100 years old and every time audiences smacked it down in preference to sound, colour, DTS, widescreen – audiences WANT immersion, to be drawn into the film, not for the film to be shoved into their sore eyeballs! Phew, rant over. Bruce Wayne agrees with me that Nigma and his 3D tech is unnecessary and doing more harm than good by stifling projection and escapism, and when Batman agrees with you that’s generally a sign you are on the right train of thought. Although he is a bit of a prick about it:
Bruce: Fully immersive three dimensional holograms beamed directly into the brain. Very impressive.
Edward: I KNOW, remember when I pitched this multi-billion dollar idea just weeks ago and you called me deluded?
Bruce: Hum, interesting how I’m not really listening to you. Tell me; if you can implant images then what stops you taking them to?
Edward: Are you seriously implying that the brain is such a simple thing that by listening to a radio, the radio can listen to it, and the same with television? You sir, ARE A TECH-NO-PHOBE *deep inhale*.
Bruce: No, just a massive dick who deems all people smarter than me as dangerous. But you wouldn’t be the first I’ve driven to flamboyant crime through these means; the guy who fixed my watch is now the hyper-punctual Clock King.
I wish he was making this up, but there really is a Clock King who uses fastidious knowledge of bus and train time tables to commit crimes:
Bruce sneaks into the machine chambers and tests out the machine, unaware that his thoughts are being recorded. Pfft, what’s the worst that could happen, the Riddler riddles him at his home address like he already is hahaha oh wait I forgot about Two Face. Yeeeeah this could turn out quite bad 😦 Harvey shows up and shoots the place to shit as, like the audience, he is tired of sitting around while zero action is going down.
Edward: You moron! How is this helping?!
Two Face: We got bored of waiting around, for we are Venom. Besides, nothing brings out the Batman like a good old shoot-up at a party for the wealthy.
Edward: May I remind you that last time you said that, Batman didn’t show up and he gained a partner.
Two Face: Like that would happen again.
George Clooney/Arnold Schwarzenegger/Uma Thurman/Alicia Silverstone/Chris O’Donnell: Don’t be so hasty…
This time things work in Harvey’s favour as Batman crashes through the roof and makes out with Dr. Meridian while people are being mugged and shot – hey, when Nicole Kidman offers you sex you try doing something more productive. Unfortunately Batman’s pathetic riddle solving skills pale in the wake of when he’s thinking with his dick, and he falls straight into Two Face’s ambush, leaving him buried alive.
Nawh crap Robin saved him. Bruce is less than adamant that Robin is clinging to him harder than Dr Meridian. Speaking of which, it’s time for Batman to shoot her down so Bruce can have a crack at that fine ass…asset that is her brilliant mind. Yes the once respected Batman is now essentially pretending to be his identical twin in order to get his girl to admit her feelings for ‘the real him’. Jokes on you though Batman, because she dumps him to be with Bruce. Batman takes this rejection pretty hard, becoming jaded and embittered – taking his frustrations out on a tramp whom he proceeds to beat to death. Only after scraping the dried blood from his cracked and sore knuckles does he remember that he is Bruce, which is of significant comfort.
You look glum Harvey. That is, half of you looks glum – the other looks charred and puss weeping 24/7. You know what helps take the sting off of discovering the man you thought had a terminal case of being buried alive has made a full recovery? The answer is a simple one: a certain recording of the thoughts of Bruce Wayne captured the night of the hold-up.
Riddler: Riddle me this: what kind of man has bats on the brain?
Two Face: A clock!
Riddler: I said ‘man’.
Two Face: Let me guess, let me guess! No you’ve had your turn, now it’s mine. Don’t you mean ours? Not in this context. Are we bipolar, schizophrenic or afflicted with multiple personality disorder? We don’t know; we were given poor character description and direction throughout this experience. You’re going off topic. Is it an exterminator?
Riddler: NO! Think about it. What kind of MAN would have BATS on the brain?
Two Face: Well, we sort of do. Yes I agree with me there. Thank you. You’re quite welcome. So does that mean we’re Bruce Wayne?
Riddler: YOU AREN’T BRUCE WAYNE. BRUCE WAYNE IS BATMAN! HE HAS BATS ON THE BRAIN. HE. IS. BATMAN!!! Fuck!
With the arbitrary connection established that all it takes is for a man to think of winged rodents under pressure to make him Batman, Riddler and Harvey plan their next move. Too bad for them Bruce is retiring his alternate persona in the name of love (he’s only met Meridian three times and already he’s saying the city can look after itself now he’s had enough of jerking off over Alfreds’ aged sister once he gets a shot as some pussy. Dat shitz cold Bruce). As Batman is the only man capable of stopping Robin going out and beating both Harvey’s faces into mush with a crowbar, as Dick is keen to repeat loudly at all occasions, this is made even more selfish. Meridian arrives for Bruces’ ‘outing’ dinner and Dick flies off into the night with his costume. Riddler and Two Face break into the manor and descend to the bat cave, which once again leaps into action by activating all computerised systems for use – or in this case, providing clear targets for grenading as Riddler blows the shit out of the place. Two Face drops in on the lovy-dovey couple and takes Meridian hostage after doing what he should have done to Batman all those years ago and shooting Bruce in the head. Ru~de, yet effective. The shot to his skull was just the warning blow I guess, for Riddler catches Harvey preparing for a ‘let’s just make sure’ shot and stops him – the real game has just begun. Or should that be riddle? Is riddling the one with the clubs and little white ball?
Part 3: Riddle me this: What’s bored and has two thumbs? This guy!
Bruce awakes from his mild case of bullet to the cranium to discover life has gone to shit.
Alfred: They took Meridian, Dick has left, the cave is destroyed, and worst of all there is another riddle.
Bruce: Another!? Dear God…but without the Bat-puter how will we solve it?
Alfred: What do you find in “a tennis court”?
Some time passes as Bruce and Alfred hit the books.
Bruce: I’ve got it: Owls!
Alfred: I think you’ll find they are nouns sir.
Bruce: Excellent. But what do nouns, matches, pawns and clocks have in common? Could it be Edward Nigma is behind this?
Phew, got that one faster than all the other riddles despite the ambiguity. Maybe if you’d had the curtsy to remember the voices of your dedicated, admiring employees once in a while you’d not only have sorted this out weeks ago, you may even have prevented him becoming a mad man with a brain leeching blender. Whatever, never mind, you’re there now so roll with it. All suits are destroyed aside from the prototype with sonar modifications (wouldn’t it be a fantastic stroke of luck if that came in handy later) so we’re treated to our third, THIRD, shot of Bruce’s ass in tight latex in 2 movies. With the Batmobile out for the count (1 bat, 2 bat, 3 bat, ah ah ah!) he chooses the batplane and gives Robin the batboat as penance for ditching him earlier. BTW, it this really the best way to store the batplane?
I get it’s a bat motif and all, but how do you get in and out of it without spilling you coffee or piloting it straight into the floor at the speed of sound? Despite the cunning plan to come at them by sea and air, Riddler and Two Face are more than ready for them and Battle Ship the batboat into a watery grave, proceeding to uses the brainwave collecting thingy to shoot the batplane down using only the power of thought I guess. Fighting off the squad of harpoon goons waiting for them, Batman and Robin wash ashore on the Island Nigma built in the space of a few weeks that went completely unnoticed by the shipping authorities.
Some weeks earlier….
Builder: I can’t thank you enough for letting us be a part of this project Mr Nigma. After our last client dumped us we’ve sort of been having a hard time getting work – Wayne really blackballed us.
Riddler: No problem my man, I think you’ll find us a little more accommodating than Wayne Corp. Now first up, here is where I want you to build my new lair.
Builder: This is just a piece of blue.
Riddler: To the untrained eye, but to a genius it is the ocean. That is where you’ll begin construction.
Builder: I see…
Riddler: You mean ‘sea’ 😀 Yes and I want the entire thing made out of metal. An island of corrosive metal, floating out to sea, and deep enough to withstand the weight of my Doom Fortress without sinking – I’m thinking 4 miles deep to the ocean floor.
Builder: *Sigh* and how long do we have to complete the contract?
Riddler: A fortnight. Oh, and I want you make the final design match my dream of a giant blender that glows green, rotates and fires lightning.
Builder: Uh-hu, and so what’ll you be paying us for building this Mr Nigma.
Riddler: What is greater than God, more evil than the devil, the poor have it, the rich don’t, and if you eat it, you’ll die? Answer: Nothing.
Builder sighs, regretting not having sold Batman’s identity to the reports before Riddler got there, and resumes his life of petty crime as the Human Architect.
The island lifts us a mile into the air on a colossal pistol (shush, listen and you may hear the screams of the Builder even now). Batman ventures inside alone and begins the long lonely climb up the connecting ladder – in the event of an emergency like, picking one off the top of my head, the base exploding and collapsing, this seems like the least practical means of emergency escape. With his partner distracted, Robin is ambushed by Two Face but is more than ready for him; beating the ugly out of the one side of his face and pretty out of the other, leaving the vile lawyer dangling from the cliff before realising he would rather see his foe in prison than dead. Question: Why did Harvey get the short end of the stick going after Robin when Batman is his arch nemesis? Sure Robin has reasons to hate him, but Harvey has nothing against the boy and EVERYTHING against Batman; the man who failed to clean up the mob syndicates that left Harvey horrifically burnt and deranged. Think about it, Harvey turned a blind eye to Batman’s brutal, unlawful acts in the faith that it would benefit the city, and yet he ends up deformed and disgraced because of the moral self-serving code Batman operates under. Why the fuck should he get Robin duty when all Batman did to Riddler was make him A SHIT LOAD OF CASH AND GIVE HIM THE MEANS TO ASSERT HIMSELF ENOUGH TO BECOME THE SMARTEST MAN ON THE PLANET?
Several hours later Batman reaches the top of the ladder and crawls limply into the base, panting heavily and demanding a breather before he carries on.
Riddler: Welcome Batman, to your doom!
Batman:…I gotta….just….I gotta have a minute here…*gasp*…okay…okay…I…*pant*…let’s do this…
Two Face appears and unveils the final challenge; Meridian and Robin are trapped in separate tubes suspended over trap doors.
Batman: How did…wait…*pant* how did you get up here…so fast?
Two Face: Elevator.
Batman: [Annoyed/to himself] Elavator.
Riddler: Yes the stairs were all part of my master plan to make you look a dick before you die. Speaking of which, who’s it going to be: Save your new found partner with nothing to live for now his movie career is practically over, oooooor the beautiful Docto-
Batman: The girl. I’ll take the girl. Sorry Dick but it was this or have you beaten to death by the Joker as the fans demanded.
Riddler:…You were supposed to say something about not really being able to save either of them or yourself, thusprovingmeyoursuperior *deep inhale*. Just for thaaaaaat I’ll kill them both.
Batman: WAIT, I have a riddle for you: What kind of man like to smack around a thing he can’t see with 64 teeth – some black, some white?
Riddler: Please, you’re as blind as Ray Charles.
Batman switches to sonar mode and smashes out the over head brain harvester dome, plunging the room into darkness.
The broken machine goes into reverse overdrive – exactly the way a television doesn’t when you throw a rock through the screen -, sucking the stupid back into Riddlers’ head as the minds of Gotham return to their owners just in time for The Price is Right. Riddler opens the tubes, Batman only just saving Meridian then moving onto Robin out of guilt. Two Face has followed them down the mile long drop by unexplained means, only to be bamboozled by Batman’s spare change as it flies through the air as he is flipping his coin. If the coin were to have come up ‘let them live’ would Harvey have shrugged and walked away? Maybe, we’ll never know because Batman’s deviously clever trick of throwing money at his problems works to his advantage as Two Face falls to his demise on the jagged rocks below whilst desperately flailing for his precious coin – the last relic of his former humanity. Batman is such a c***, and what of his moral code not to kill!? He literally traumatised Harvey in doing this, all because he didn’t want to risk a 50/50 chance of being shot.
Riddler has reverted to a babbling loon with a chronic fear of bats so strong he becomes convinced he is Batman, flapping around is Arkham cell in a shredded straight jacket. Bruce’s secret is safe, and all at the low cost of one broken district attorney’s life (both figurative and literal) and the fortune and sanity of a former employee he discredited and pushed into a life of crime, just ‘cause that’s what Batman does: ruins lives.
This is dedicated to the memory of Harvey ‘Two Face’ Dent, a man who’s been there through it all yet seems to be the whipping boy of the Batman movie franchise who deem him the only villain worthy of death, justifiable (The Dark Knight) or not (Batman Forever). So let us please take a moment to remember Harvey through the ages (best viewed alongside Ava Maria).