Baff! Barn! Pow!

Six Flags puts Batman Forever into high gear
By Laurence Arnold
Press Lakewood Bureau

JACKSON TOWNSHIP - Holy sneak preview, Batman!
Fans breathlessly awaiting next month's opening of "Batman Forever" - the third feature film starring Gotham City's favorite superhero - can catch an early glimpse of the movie's new heroes, villians and Batmobile beginning today at Six Flags Great Adventure.

The Batman Forever Stunt Show, a 20-minute barrage of music, action and fiery explosives, will be performed five times daily though Sept. 5. It's partially covered 3,200 - seat arena was formely occupied by a stunt show based on events and characters of the first batman movie.

At a presentation for the media yesterday, theme park officials described the new show as a prime example of the park's goal to let people experience the movies.

Since purchasing the Six Flags theme park chain in 1991, entertainment conglomerate Time-Warner has incorporated its movies into park attractions. The popular roller coaster Batman the Ride, for instance, was introduced at Six Flags Great Adventure two years ago.

The stunt show was produced by Peter Alexander, the former executive producer of shows at Universal Studios' theme parks in California and Florida. Alexander, who now runs a production company in Florida, said the goal of such attractions is to "find way to ride the movies".
Of the stunt show, he said, "There's more technical stuff in this show than in "Phantom of the Opera" and this is only 20 minutes long."

The set is redesigned Gotham City featuring 45-foot-high facades of Gotham National Bank, Wayne Manor (home of Batman's alter-ego, Bruce Wayne) and Nygmatech Enterprises, lair of the villanious Riddler.

In the first of three acts, Bruce Wayne is playing ringmaster for the Gotham City Circus and introducing the "Flying Grayson", the human cannonball. When villain "Harvey Two-Face Dent" makes an explosive appearance and chases Wayne from the stage, he has the cannon repositioned so the human cannonball - actually a dummy- is shot clear out of the arena.

But -voila! - the Flying Grayson returns as Batman sidekick Robin the Boy/ Wonder, and when he finds himself in trouble, Batman makes his first appearance, flying into action over the audience by means of a pully.

In the second act, Bruce Wayne takes to a motorcycle in hopes of taking his love interest. Chase Meridian, for a ride. But Harvey Two-Face Dent reappears with this thugs to blow open the doors of Gotham National Bank.

After an intricately choreographed motorcyle chase scene featuring Batman on his "Batbike", the villain's helicopter appears over the bank and shoots the superhero, leading Two-Face into celebratory song. But wait! Batman returns to shoot down the helicopter, crush Two-Face and save the bank's gold ingots.

The Third act finds Bruce again beginning a day on his motorcycle when the audience learns "A new crime wave sweeps Gotham City". This Time the antagonist is The Riddler, who captures Chase and holds her captive until Batman comes to the rescue in the sleek new Batmobile.
"Batman Forever," starring Val Kilmer as the caped crusader, opens June 16.

Batman faces down the infamous Riddler during a scene in the 20 minute Batman Forever! Stunt Show.

Batman shoots down a helicopter, foiling villian Two-Face's attempt to rob the bank of gold ingots.