Batmania Part 6: ‘Batman & Robin’ – the nail in the coffin

I missed Batman & Robin in the theater. I eventually saw it on video, by myself, in the privacy of my own home. I got about forty minutes into it, and I was so embarrassed with how painfully awful it was I had to turn it off.

Such is my affection for this movie.

In keeping with my Batmania theme, I recently forced myself to watch Batman & Robin, hoping that I could glean something–anything–from this, THE WORST BATMAN MOVIE EVER MADE. Much to my surprise, I did.

These posters?  Meh.

These posters? Meh.

What’s it about? There is discord between the Dynamic Duo. Batman (this time played by George Clooney) doesn’t trust Robin (Chris O’Donnell), and Robin’s just being obnoxious. Mr. Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is stealing diamonds to save his sick wife. Poison Ivy (Uma Thurman) wants to save the environment by eradicating all humans. Alfred (Michael Gough), is very sick, and his niece Barbara (Alicia Silverstone) is around for no real reason. Corny action sequences on ice and bad puns ensue.

What’s good about it? In a weird way, I came to appreciate Batman & Robin for one reason: if you’re going to fail, fail big. The fourth Batman film makes a spectacle of itself, the same way that Batman Forever did, but only more so. The film is completely ludicrous and over the top. Director Joel Schumacher runs the franchise into the ground on a grandiose scale, flushing Warner Bros.’ money down the toilet (it was a costly bomb–the film cost $125 million and only grossed $107 million domestically) and alienating Batman fans for eight years until Batman Begins.

How is this a good thing? Case in point: Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. The film is truly awful AND it looks cheap.

What’s bad about it? While I appreciate the film’s “fail big” mentality, it still fails big.

Perfect for: Uh, let me get back to you on that.


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