I remember when I first saw Batman & Robin, it was opening night back in June of 1997, the theater was pack and the crowd was really in to it. I don’t think I fully realized back then how terrible this film really was.
I’m trying really hard to think of anything good to say about the movie and I’m currently drawing a blank. So let’s quickly list all the things that sucked about this fiasco. First of all there’s George Clooney … I understand Warner Bros. wanted a popular Hollywood star that would appeal to the women and make a rico suave (see 90′s urban dictionary) Bruce Wayne, but here’s the problem … he sucked as Batman. No raspy voice, and more importantly no toughness or physical presence. It didn’t help that his costume’s muscle structure was lacking next to his young ward Dick Grayson, aka Robin (see photo below). Did the costume designers even notice the major faux pas? I guess they were too busy perfecting the Bat-nipples to notice. I mean, Robin looks like he could kick Batman’s butt. On the plus side of the wardrobe, Batgirl’s outfit was pleasing to look at.
Speaking of Batgirl/Barbra Wilson??? Alicia Silverstone, who was another hot actress at the time, was flat out awful as Batgirl. A poorly written script was the main downfall with both of the main female roles. Uma Thurman’s Poison Ivy was equally hard to digest. And what’s the deal Uma? You get paid millions to be in a huge budgeted film and you can’t dye your hair red? That’s fine Ms Thurman, just put on that ridiculous looking wig. SMH
Let’s move on to the fact there were too many characters or as they say, too many chefs in the kitchen. Batman and Robin okay, Mr. Freeze alright, Poison Ivy hmmm, Batgirl maybe … Bane? (record scratches abruptly) Hold it! So, much for the more the merrier.
I can remember being so pumped when Arnold Schwarzenegger was announced as the main villain for Batman and Robin. Let’s face it … this was the Terminator! Unfortunately after two hours of hearing him deliver cheesy one-liners in a futuristic looking garbage can, I was left shaking my head in disappointment. Ummm, and why was Bane in this? Do I go on? I could.
Horrible Batman ✅
Too many characters ✅
Wait! What’s Robin driving? ✅
Poor script (and props) ✅
Ridiculous costumes! ✅
The few things I can say positively about this film:
🔴 Chris O'Donnell did another fine job as Dick Grayson/Robin, and the inclusion of Michael Gough and Pat Hingle were nice.
🔴 Elliot Goldenthal’s score was enjoyable.
🔴 The surreal shots of Gotham City were nice.
🔴 In a weird way, this piece of garbage helped bring Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy into fruition.
FINAL GRADE D+
(I couldn’t bring myself to give this an F, because Joel Schumacher has apologized for this mess of a film and it did make the TDK Trilogy possible.)
I unabashedly love this movie. It’s got a terrible, pun-laden script, hammy acting, a cast evenly divided by great actors slumming and future has-beens, and some of the strangest day-glow-gothic production design I’ve ever seen.
It’s one of the first contemporary non-animated films I saw as a kid (on VHS, naturally) and to me it will always represent that vaguely-remembered time in the late 1990′s. It’s a horrible, compulsively-watchable high-camp classic.
This movie is even worse than Batman Forever! I know everyone else has said this, and I know this “film” has acquired an unbelievable amount of hate over the years, but it’s earned it. It has earned every single one of the negative reviews it’s received because it’s so rottenly bad that it’s not even funny.
The acting is terrible, the special effects look unfinished, the story is stupid, there’s no chemistry, no pacing, no atmosphere, and the setting is just ludicrous. I can’t believe how bad they could treat Batman and the Dark Knight mythology, but this is a new low. I guess the only good thing to come out of this is that we can’t sink lower than this…right?
And now, if you excuse me, I need an aspirin. And a hug. I haven’t been so sad in quite some time.
Featuring:Pirate Dash as Mr. Freeze (Batman: Arkham City) and Pun Pony as Mr. Freeze (Batman: The Animated Series).