Jul 16, 2020
Batman & Robin (1997) (part 1 of 13)
The Cast of Characters:
Batman (George Clooney). Real name: Bruce Wayne. Millionaire playboy who fights crime by night. Pushing forty, yet still unmarried and living all alone with a guy in his twenties. Hey, I’m not implying anything here, I’m just presenting all the facts. You make up your own mind.
Robin (Chris O’Donnell). Real name: Dick Grayson. Former carnival trapeze artist who’s now Batman’s youthful crime-fighting sidekick. Has a chip on his shoulder roughly the size of Joe Don Baker.
Alfred Pennyworth (Michael Gough). Batman and Robin’s stereotypically English butler. In this film, he’s dying of an Unspecified Movie Illness that seriously impairs his ability to pick secure passwords.
Batgirl (Alicia Silverstone). Real name: Barbara Wilson. Pointlessly changed from the comics to be Alfred’s niece in this movie. Proof that a little leftover baby fat should be no obstacle to a successful superhero career.
Mr. Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger). Real name: Dr. Victor Fries. Forced by fate to wander the backstreets of Gotham City in a clunky aluminum suit, speaking in even clunkier puns. Develops a poorly thought-out plan to cure his wife’s Unspecified Movie Illness by freezing the entire city. It’s a long story.
Poison Ivy (Uma Thurman). Real name: Pamela Isley. A Greenpeace reject who gets infused with plant toxins that compel her to constantly toss out smutty one-liners. For a reference point, just imagine Mae West reincarnated as a carrot.
A word of warning before we begin: Even for me, this is going to be an exhaustingly long article. But you can’t really expect any less for what could be the stupidest movie of the last ten years. Batman & Robin is the very epitome of the big, dumb, and loud action film that has plagued audiences in recent years.
It’s hard to think of a film that is more actively disliked than this one. It’s not the worst movie ever made, far from it, and in fact it ended up as one of the highest-grossing films of 1997. (It’s not even the worst Batman-related movie ever; that honor is split between Alyas Batman en Robin and The Wild World of Batwoman.)
But Batman & Robin is easily one of the most reviled movies ever made. I defy you to find a single positive review of this movie anywhere, by any critic. In 1999, readers of the UK magazines SFX and Comics International voted this the worst comic book adaptation ever made (beating out Howard the Duck [!]). And in 2001, the editors of Maxim magazine (okay, so they’re not the Medveds, but they’re still a pretty accurate barometer of the opinions of the general male populace) voted this the worst movie of all time.