Holy Rubber Nipples Batman!! Batman has gotten a serious resurgence with the Christopher Nolan films and the Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice movie on the way. Before the days of a Heath Ledger Joker and a Tom Hardy Bane we had the Joel Schumacher Batman & Robin “movie”. Anyone familiar with this dung is not surprised that I am doing a What not to Watch on Batman & Robin but if you are thinking ‘maybe there are some good qualities to this movie’, you wouldn’t be entirely incorrect.
George Clooney in 1997 is the worst possible Batman ever. He still apologizes for making Batman & Robin to this day as seen here. Clooney isn’t a bad actor, if nothing else Syriana taught us he’s really quite good, but he just isn’t Batman. Clooney is a passable Bruce Wayne. He gets the arrogance and billionaire playboy part well, possible typecasting at the time. Unfortunately, a par Bruce Wayne won’t make up for a worse-than-Adam-West-level-of-campy-Batman. Every line sounds sarcastic and when he’s not dripping with smugness they are all phoned in.
Who is to blame? Knee jerk reaction is Joel Schumacher, but time has shown us that he’s not a bad director. In fact I bet he was listening to this while making the film, unfortunately it did not make the movie better. His problem with Batman is that he was trying to make Tim Burton Batman movies and just isn’t Burton. If Burton made Batman Forever and Batman & Robin I feel the movies would have been bad but for potentially different reasons. We are talking Planet of the Apes 2001 caliber bad. I feel he just can’t wrap his brain around action in a movie. He does a lot of other things right but action in a Burton film just lacks a certain realism, like a teacher of a self defense class that has never been in a fight or anything close to it. He understands the techniques but doesn’t that real life application may require a bit of innovation or creativity.
I can read your mind: “Alright smart guy, who is to blame?” Stephen Goldblatt. Who is Goldblatt? He is the director of photography or cinematographer of this wretched stain on the fabric of Batman’s cape. While the director is in charge of the story, acting, and delivery, the director of photography has everything to do with the way the movie looks and feels. It was his responsibility to try and emulate Burton style with neon lights and glow in the dark paint. I’m not saying it was his idea but as the cinematographer he certainly had veto power and should have used it many times.
I think Robert Turturice may be to blame for Batnipples. He was one of the 2 main costume designers and the only other non-made-for-TV movie he did after Batman & Robin was The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas. I can’t even imagine what the creator of that suit was thinking when adding the circles for the nipples. There was absolutely no way they weren’t laughing. I like to think that Goldblatt was really mean to Turturice at one point and he decided to screw with him and forgot he left the nipples on there. Goldblatt didn’t bother to check because everything up to that point was nippleless. So Turturice ruined his career because Goldblatt took the last apple fritter and was acting all high and mighty about it.
Ultimately, this terrible movie is more than the sum of it’s crappy parts. Some of these parts include a desperately trying-to-be-sexy Uma Thurman, Arnold, Alicia Silverstones derp face and lack of British accent for a character that is supposed to be from England, and a camera on a constant 30 degree angle for no reason (you will never unsee that once you notice). Batman & Robin is one of those so bad it’s good movies that I can watch only because of how crappy it is. I recommend watching the Rifftrax version that you can find here for only a few bucks.
Now for our Ambush Makeover Ricki Lake style of Batman & Robin. This is actually not terribly difficult. First, scrap everything else previous. I am not Tim Burton and I should try to be. Next, Deborah Ann Woll is Poison Ivy, Adrien Brody is Mr. Freeze, and Matthew Willig as Bane with the correct accent, Michael C. Hall as Batman, and some teen person as Robin. Basically, Freeze’s origin is told to us and we see Ivy’s origin in the movie. Freeze believes Ivy holds the key to saving his wife so he is working with her to get what she wants so she will give him this potential cure. Turns out, Ivy can’t give him what he wants and has known this the whole time but is lying to Freeze. Batman & Robin fight Ivy and Freeze a few times and the story wraps up in some clever way of Batman and Robin figuring out that Freeze is being manipulated.
The end has Bane finding Batman right after the big fight at the end where he is most vulnerable and you realize you have been seeing him in shots the whole time but not realizing it in a Mission Impossible style greyed out flashback scene. Bane is roided up and wearing the Luchador mask with the proper accent and everything. Batman fights him off as best he can but Bane is too strong and Batman is already tired. Bane breaks his back and Robin barely gets away and that’s the end of the movie. After that sequels would follow with the Batman/Bane story arc.
Thank you for reading my review on Batman & Robin. Sorry about the long break but I just bought a home and I have been quite busy. As always I am Tim McDonald, your movie watching stunt double. Hit me up on Twitter or Facebook to make suggestions or comments.