Friday, March 25, 2016

Batman & Robin

Yeah, you didn't know I could rate a film so low, did you? Well, we're breaking all kinds of ground with this movie, as it's the first film I've ever reviewed starring a childhood favorite of mine, Chris O'Donnell. I'm totally kidding. No one's favorite actor has ever been Chris O'Donnell. Funnily enough, this movie was actually on heavy rotation in my family's VHS player. I wish I could blame that on someone else, but it was completely my doing. In my defense, I was about 10 years old at the time and had a soft spot for Arnold Schwarzenegger. Still, I probably should have known better even back then. Ever since YouTube and social media exploded with film pundits, this movie has been beaten to a pulp in every way one could possibly imagine... and, unfortunately, I'm not about to stop that trend.

Batman and Robin are sent to a museum to capture the villainous Mr. Freeze, who is intent on stealing as many diamonds as possible so as to freeze Gotham and then hold the world at ransom in order to earn funding for his research to save his wife who's dying from MacGregor's syndrome... yes, I care so little about this plot that I'm not even going to fix that run-on sentence. However, Robin is becoming difficult to work with, pushing his limits and trying to get out from Batman's shadow. Coming in to feed on this tendency is Poison Ivy, who was turned into a plant-person by some chemicals... and for some reason has a lackey named Bane that does her bidding... Her plan is to cover the world in plants, so naturally she wants to team with Mr. Freeze... because, reasons... and Batman and Robin have to fend off her feminine wiles (and pheromone dust) to work as a team to take down the villains. Oh, and Batgirl is shoe-horned into this plot as well.

What's that? You think my plot summary is kind of lazy? Well, think about how I feel watching an entire movie with a script as lazily written as that synopsis. Yeah, it was painful. To be honest, I thought there might be something redeemable about this movie when I sat down to watch it again. After all, this is supposed to be a campy, intentionally-bad experience like the old Batman series from the 1960's. Unfortunately, they didn't fully commit to the concept and the tonal disconnect is utterly ruinous to any fun there may have been in this movie. They try to force in falsely dramatic moments like Alfred dying while also having a villain who conducts a group of goons as they sing the "Snow Miser Song" in a run-down ice cream shop. It's just terrible.

Seriously, there are so many things wrong with this movie that I could spend hours and hours breaking it down. However, I don't have the time or desire to do that (heck, you saw that plot summary), so let me keep this short and sweet by saying that this is one of the worst movies I've ever seen. Nothing about it makes sense, the acting is terrible, the comedy is dreadful, the drama is laughable, and the visuals are garish and utterly unappealing. Joel Schumacher should have never been allowed to direct another movie after this trainwreck, but instead he went on to ruin The Phantom of the Opera a few years later. By the way, what's with all the crotch and butt shots of the characters in their costumes? Was any of that even remotely necessary? It goes on for a while too... I'm not sure what his fascination is with that, but it was in the last one too, and more than twice as long in this one...

Anyway, as I said before, I was hoping to have something good to say about this film... but it makes Batman Forever look like Batman Begins. Arnold says nothing but ice puns, Clooney just smirks the whole time (including when he finds out Alfred is dying), O'Donnell is fighting a losing battle to maintain his dignity, Alicia Silverstone doesn't have anything to do, and Uma Thurman thinks she's in a 1930's comedy. Seriously, I don't know how many different ways I can say it... this movie is THE WORST! It isn't even funny bad, because they are also trying (and failing) to be funny half the time. Not only do I completely despise this movie now, but I'm ashamed of my 10 year-old self for liking this movie. Batman & Robin is seriously one of the worst movies I've ever seen, and it gets a well-deserved one star.

BATMAN & ROBIN is rated PG-13 for strong stylized action and some innuendos