Batman & Robin (1997)

Batman & Robin (1997)

Director: Joel Schumacher
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, George Clooney, Chris O'Donnell

Batman and Robin contend with Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy.

If I ever doubted that I was a pathological masochist, the fact that I willingly sat through this movie should be all the evidence needed to have me locked away in a padded cell for the rest of my natural life. When this movie came out, it looked terrible and I had the good sense not to touch it and spent nearly 20 years getting no closer than a comedic Internet review or two. Some very stupid part of me decided I needed to see the nightmare for myself. From the opening moments when the camera assails you with an extreme closeup of the Bat-package to the end credits, this movie punishes you for watching it. If director Joel Schumacher was revealed to be a Cenobite standing alongside Pinhead, I wouldn't be surprised. That's the brutal sadism of how bad this movie is. About the only thing resembling a redeeming value is poor old Michael Gough attempting to hold on to some dignity. Batman Forever was pretty campy, but this is so camp that it makes the 1960s series look like the Nolanverse. And it's not a fun kind of camp either. Any chuckles you might have will likely be directed at yourself for subjecting yourself to this dreck. The camerawork is loaded to the gills with obscene Dutch angles, the aesthetics are garish, and the dialog... don't even get me started on the dialog. Some of the actors in the cast are capable of good performances elsewhere, but don't expect anything worthwhile here. Chris O'Donnell is particularly irksome as the insufferably petulant Robin. I wish he was Jason Todd instead of Dick Grayson so the Joker could beat him (the character, not the actor) to death with a crowbar. What can I say besides warn people not to see it, even though anyone with any sense knows better already? Don't be tempted by morbid curiosity. You'll just find yourself staring wide-eyed in horror screaming, "IT'S A SIN! IT'S A SIN!" This is the Sodom and Gomorrah of mainstream cinema and it deserves the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah. Cleanse with fire.

Burn It

Note: Some further research indicates that Schumacher wasn't the primary driver behind all the horrible decisions made for this movie. Nevertheless, he takes the blame like man. If that is indeed the case, I'll give him a nod for it.