Since I recently reviewed The Dark Knight Rises, which is being heralded as the pinnacle of the Dark Knight series and a brilliant conclusion to Chris Nolan’s epic trilogy, I thought I’d go in the opposite direction and review Batman and Robin.
Unfortunately, this particular film is considered the opposite to Nolan’s vision in many ways. Meaning, while his series is among the best comic book movies of all time, this particular installment in the series would be the worst. And when I say worst, I don’t mean just as a comic book movie, I mean one of the worst movies, ever.
Let’s break it down…
Joel Schumacher’s Batman & Robin is much more akin to the TV series from back in the day than it is like the current version. B&R is cheesy, has some of the hokey camera angles, and it looks like they raided the TV show’s set for some of the costume designs albeit slightly more modern. While the TV show had a campy charm, this just comes off cheesy in terms of design and presentation.
Then there’s the acting. Most of the actors put in performances that are just way over the top (see Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy) or patched together with constant one-liner moments (see Ahhh-nuld Schwarzengger as Mr. Freeze) that just don’t add anything other than empty catch-phrases to an already lame script. Clooney as Batman / Bruce Wayne just doesn’t work either. George Clooney is a good actor but is wasted here as he just sort of phones this one in and plays his standard George Clooney. No need to waste too much time typing out how bad Chris O’Donnell and Alicia Silverstone are, so I’ll stop there.
Soooo lame script, lame direction, lame acting, lame, lame, lame…
The only favorable comparison I can make between this version and The Dark Knight Rises is that they both have Batman and Bain. That’s about it. This best thing we can do is just continue to watch the Chris Nolan versions while we try to forget this one ever happened.
reviewed by Sean McKnight