Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, George Clooney, Chris O’Donnell, Michael Gough, Pat Hingle, Uma Thurman, Alicia Silverstone
Directed By: Joel Schumacher
Written By: Akiva Goldsman
Rating: PG-13 (US) Running Time: 2 hr 5 min
The only saving grace of having to re-watch and review Batman & Robin for my blog is, I’ll never have to sit through this horrible film ever again. It’s logged, done, filed under C for crap!
Joel Schumacher, director of the terrible last installment, Batman Forever, revisits the world of the Dark Knight in a final last-ditch effort to kill the character in the movies for good! He almost succeeds too. Less than two minutes into the film, he revisits one of his more embarrassing ideas from the last film.
After that, the movie immediately rushes to introduce its first villain, Mr. Freeze, played with, I’ll be honest, some enthusiasm by Arnold Schwarzenegger. Who gets some of the worst one-liners ever committed to celluloid.
Batman this time around is played by ER* regular, George Clooney, while the role of Robin is reprized by Chris O’Donnell. What happened to Val Kilmer? Well, the wikipedia page for Batman & Robin says Val sorta quit while Schumacher sorta fired him. Whatever transpired, it was a lucky break for Kilmer, as this film does even less to develop the Batman legend, and Clooney just seems lost amongst the visual effects and supporting characters.
Schumacher, looking to create that 60’s TV series campy vibe, again, misses the mark. The dialog isn’t nearly smart enough, and this movie just has too much baggage (and characters) left over from the other films in the series. As I said in my Batman Forever review Joel, play it camp, or play it gritty, because the combination in this film is painful to watch.
We’re also introduced to Poison Ivy, hammed up here by Uma Thurman. And Bane, a steroid fueled super soldier controlled by a large button on his chest. Bat Girl is also added to the already crowded cast, brought to life here by a perpetually pouting Alicia Silverstone. It’s like the makers of this film were just deliberately pissing on the decades old comic book character.
* ER – Long running American medical drama television series.
If you somehow enjoyed Batman Forever, then you might actually get some enjoyment out of Batman & Robin. Expect over the top performances, cringe worthy dialog and explosive visual effects.
Like the last installment, this film looks like neon vomit on the dance floor. A HD showing on your TV will service this film well enough. I don’t think the viewing experience (such as it is) will be improved if you watch this on anything portable.
Worst Moment: << spoiler >>
Barbara Wilson (Alicia Silverstone) finds the Bat-cave, and is confronted by a computer rendering (think Max Headroom – look it up!) of Alfred (Michael Gough). Who anticipated she would find Batman’s office, and took the liberty of creating a Bat Girl suit! It just boggles the mind the depths of stupid this film sinks to.