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Batman and Robin (1997) – Movie Review

Batman and Robin movie poster

Written by: Akiva Goldsman
Directed by: Joel Schumacher
Starring: George Clooney, Chris O’Donnell, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Uma Thurman, Alicia Silverstone

My Advice: Wait for MST3K

What a marvelous study in what not to do. I won’t even begin to waste your time synopsizing this thing. I only hope textbooks someday use this piece of shite as a nice negative example of filmmaking. Don’t get me wrong, there are some kudos to hand out. Clooney would make a fine Bruce Wayne/Batman–if he was in another film that actually had decent dialogue. O’Donnell would make a fine Robin, even with the dialogue–if he were ten years younger. Schwarzenegger would make a great Mr. Freeze (the moments he spends pining over his wife are the best in the entire film)–if he didn’t spew out really crappy one-liners everytime he opened his blue glowing mouth. Uma Thurman did exactly what Schumacher asked for–act like an idiot, so she gets the points even though her hairstyle was a cross between the Mother character in Pink Floyd The Wall and Angela Lansbury in Sweeney Todd. Alicia Silverstone doesn’t fool me for one minute–she’s twelve. Michael Gough comes out of this smelling like roses, since he’s been the only consistently good thing in all four films, despite being turned into Alfred Headroom at one point. He also gets bonus points for his character becoming terminally ill in a desperate attempt not to be in the fifth film. John Glover is mildly amusing as Jason Woodrue, although he’d be in much better shape in another movie altogether. I’ll give a dollar to anyone who can convince me that Vivica Fox and Elle Macpherson served any purpose in this film whatsoever. And am I the only one who noticed that Uzi Gal (creator of the gun) was a cop in this? Qwa?

[ad#longpost]Basically, I’m not going to say anything here that everyone except Joel Schumacher doesn’t know already. It’s all his fault. The fact that he went ahead with a film that contained (read: wasted) four villains (counting Woodrue aka the Floronic Man), the fact that he gave us ass-shots of all the heroes, the fact that he actually bought all that neon crap wholesale, the fact that he had a Bat-credit card, the fact that he cast Silverstone, the fact that he actually went with Goldsman’s script, the fact that with that budget he was able to create a Batman film that was actually bad enough to make you long for the Adam West incarnation (which was all right for its day, but come on)–for all these facts, he gets the blame for this sucker around his neck like an albatross. We should put him in a room with R. Kelly’s useless “Gotham City” song playing at him over and over again until he pisses himself and promises never to do it again. Only to be watched if someone creates some kind of “stupid Schumacher screw-up” drinking game. “Ah! The surfboard scene! CHUG!”