Batman and Robin (1997)
Batman and Robin Review
Director – Joel Schumacher
Cast – George Clooney, Chris O’Donnell, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Uma Thurman, Alicia Silverstone, Pat Hingle, Michael Gough
– follows Batman Forever
As I sat watching the mind-numbing neon nightmare called Batman and Robin, I couldn’t help but think of the previous movie I watched for this series that I’ve called Superheroes: Bottom to Top. But while Superman IV: The Quest for Peace was awful due in large part to its low budget, this movie suffers for having too large a budget. Put simply, it doesn’t know where to stop, from it’s outlandish set pieces (which might have been fun for kids if not repeated so relentlessly), to the overt sexuality of the constantly-narrating Poison Ivy, which went too far for a kids movie.
And I think they thought they were making a kids movie. That’s what everyone wanted apparently, after the slightly dark first two Batman films. Well, parents groups, you got your wish. This movie has the tone of a Looney Tunes short, complete with whistles and bweeps during fight scenes, but unfortunately without the fun. The baddies refer to Batman and Robin as the heroes, and are self-aware enough to know they are the villains. The dialogue is right out of a comic book, full of exposition and plot-pushing. Let’s drop in on Poison Ivy talking to herself… “Mammals, a day of reckoning is coming. The same plants and flowers that saw you crawl from the primordial soup will reclaim the planet, and there will be no-one to protect you!” It seems Schumacher takes the dynamic duo as seriously as the Hasbro execs.
For that matter, so does Clooney.” Sleep walking” would perhaps be the term. Michael Gough seems to give it his all, and in fact his story becomes almost touching. Almost. Meanwhile, Uma and Arnold ham it up. They seem to think they’re in a children’s play. Well, who are we kidding. They are.
Now all this is not to say that a light tone and a tongue-in-cheek spirit can’t work. It just doesn’t here. Bright colours and jokey quips are well and good, but here it feels like being hit over the head with a neon baseball bat.
All-in-all the movie just reeks of corporate desperation. Director Joel Schumchaer himself admitted to being under pressure from toy companies to make a movie that would sell action figures. Ice Skating Batman, Hockey Goon sold separately! I don’t know if they succeeded. Out of pure spite I hope they didn’t.
Batman and Robin deserves its bad reputation and then some. It’s garish, loud, obnoxious, and dull. Enough said.
NOTE: This review is part of a series called Superheroes: Bottom to Top, wherein I review every super-hero movie I own, from the lowest rated to the highest (according to Rotten Tomatoes). Next up, Superman 3! Not sure why I put an exclamation mark there…
“Batman and Robin” on other websites:
IMDB —– Rotten Tomatoes —– Wikipedia
No comments yet.