Break Yo’ TV: Seal – “Kiss from a Rose”

The director that shall remain nameless who got a hold of the Batman franchise in the mid nineties needs to be slapped. We went along with it for the first two movies when Tim Burton was behind the directing wheel, but once Val Kilmer took over the iconic lead roll it was all down hill from there. Batman Forever and Batman and Robin were entertaining at best with the only excitement coming from which A-list actors will fill out the cast, and which villains will be brought to life to toy with the Bat. But bluntly, it was all a big joke. I mean really, did the suits need nipples?

Before George Clooney and his mammary protrusions ended the debauchery, the franchise’s third installment, Batman Forever, brought together an unlikely cast headed by Val Kilmer at his acting peak, and introduced us to Chris O’Donnell as his caped life partner, I mean sidekick. Like all action-only stars, Kilmer couldn’t act but man could he stare you down. To help pick up the slack Jim Carrey rehashed his Ace Ventura character for the maniacal Riddler and Nicole Kidman seduced us (kind of?) as Dr. Chase Meridian. Topping it all off however was Tommy Lee Jones’ insane Two-Face. A saving grace if you could call it that. Now with such a huge movie (for 1995) you needed an equally big music video to encompass it all in a neat little package. Enter Seal and his then hit, “Kiss from a Rose”.

Yes, when you think blow out action blockbuster you think Seal, right? Those soaring notes and overly produced theatrics were perfect to represent one of the biggest movies of that summer. I can just see the meeting now, and it could only lead right into the nipples on the bat-suit conversation.

Now the music had already been taken care of the year before, so all they needed was the video. It would be easy too. All that was required was an overlaying montage of gripping scenes showing the intensity of the movie with shots of Seal next to the bat signal throwing his arms about with his shirt flying off him. What else is there? This is where things get a little ridiculous.

The video opens with a panning shot of Gotham as the Batmobile takes us up to where Seal is casually hanging out on a rooftop at night. With his shirt blown open, and his chest ablaze, he starts to lip-synch. From there, each of the characters is introduced with everyone getting their moment in the sun-er-signal, if you will. Carrey and Jones are just as odd as ever as they blow out their characters with gusto. The punchline however comes when Kidman gropes Batman’s rubbery pectorals to show her affection. You just can’t deny a man in uniform. From there, everyone seems to be getting some action as O’Donnell grabs his damsel-in-distress for his own lip-locked reward. The humor is subtle but it’s in every shot showing just how over-the-top the movie was. It just makes me wonder, did anyone take this thing seriously?

By the end of the two and a half minutes you have seen the entire movie. Seal asks at the songs conclusion, “Who will remain my power, my pleasure, my pain?” I think his answer is in the final shot of two heroes running at you in capes and leather.


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