Saturday, March 19, 2016

Movie Review: "Batman & Robin" (1997)

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Movie"Batman & Robin"
Director: Joel Schumacher
Year: 1997
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 2 hours, 5 minutes

Batman (George Clooney) and Robin (Chris O'Donnell) face new villains Mr. Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and Poison Ivy (Uma Thurmam), who are planning to turn Gotham into a giant ice cube so it can be reborn again as a world for plants. (LOLOLOLOLOL)


Joel Schumacher returns to his directorial duties for "Batman & Robin," the film that put the proverbial nail in the coffin for the Batman series as it was. For some reason, Joel Schumacher took everything bad about "Batman Forever" and amplified tenfold, winding up with this ridiculously laughable joke of a film. In fact, we don't know if we can call it a film at all. The campiness has been revved up so high, it exceeds that of even the 1966 "Batman: The Movie" with Adam West. The neon color scheme from "Batman Forever" has been amped up, too, and it has been slapped all over just about everything, including sets, suits, and backgrounds. George Clooney replaces Val Kilmer in the lead role of Batman and doesn't fit the part whatsoever. Clooney may be have been a playboy billionaire in reality at one point in his life, but that doesn't make him Bruce Wayne. In addition, we are (mis)treated to the full Clooney, so to speak...well, the full everyone, really, as the suits this time around leave little to the imagination as far as nips and tips go. Really, who needed to see close up shots of every character's butt cheeks and crotches zoomed in as they are prepping for a fight? Chris O'Donnell returns as Batman's sidekick Robin to stink up the movie just a little bit more. We reiterate: name one movie Chris O'Donnell made better. We dare you. Want to talk about things that have been enhanced since "Batman Forever"? Look no further than Robin's incessant combative nature and whining. Good lord above. O'Donnell is the worst.

New to cast as one of the main villains is Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze, who seems to only speak in one liners and puns. Much of the dialogue in the entire movie either contains a pun, or a quip, or a joke, or some form of wordplay intended to be witty but fails on every level. Look, if you want to know an intimate detail about me, I love puns, can't get enough of 'em. BigJ hates that I love puns, but he loves me anyway. Regardless, "Batman & Robin" besmirches the good word "pun" and was the source of its burial as a whole for nearly a decade. Back to Schwarzenegger for a second, we have to admit, we like the guy. We might not agree with his politics, but he's charming enough. We even devoted a large portion of our summer last year to watching most of his movies to make a list of our top 10 favorite films starring the Governator. The second villain is played by Uma Thurman. She plays Poison Ivy, who loves plants more than animals and humans. Underwhelming is the best way to describe this character, but in a sea of goofy, over-the-top performances and goings on, Thurman is a welcome addition to the film, we guess. She also has a sidekick of sorts, Bane, played by Jeep Swenson. In the comic books, Bane is quite the rival of Batman, but here, the character has been reduced to a bumbling, idiotic, completely mindless musclebound henchman. This is perhaps one of the worst handlings of a character ever to be put on film. He's essentially useless. Batgirl is also inexplicably thrown into the mix for no reason other than adding an extra pointless character. Alicia Silverstone, who was in one of our favorite 90's movies ever, simply didn't need to be in this movie and is utterly pointless. Her character is shoe-horned in and given an almost identical backstory to O'Donnell's Dick Grayson. Speaking of pointless characters, what was Elle McPherson doing in this movie? Talk about a superfluous character! We understand that she has scenes with Bruce Wayne and we see them eating dinner together as boyfriend and girlfriend, but unlike past Batman films where the women cast turned out to play a major role, she adds literally nothing to the plot.

This whole film is a disaster in some way or another. It truly is one of the worst movies ever made. In the end, there is some fun to be had watching "Batman & Robin," but not in the way the filmmakers intended. It takes more than a few alcoholic beverages and a Mystery Science Theater 3000 approach to make watching this a slightly enjoyable experience. This movie is downright awful and is clearly the worst Batman film ever made.

My Rating: 3/10
BigJ's Rating: 3/10
IMDB's Rating: 3.7/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 11%
Do we recommend this movie: AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!
One year ago, we were watching: "Exodus: Gods and Kings"

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