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Batman & Robin (1997)

by on 2013/05/23

Batman & Robin (1997)

“Plug him in, time to scream.”

* *

Dear lord this movie, Batman & Robin, is a tragic waste of resources, a perfect model of how to kill a franchise. Every awful thing said about it is absolutely true. I saw it, stalled, and couldn’t bring myself to write about it until now.

I thought it deserved a single, cynical dismissal and little more but – seeing as I already did so this month with another terrible flick – I figured I should probably give it a hundred words per star.

(Sigh . . . at least 120 to go.)

You’d never know it was shot in Ottawa or Montreal or anywhere in particular. Everything pretty much looks like a rave. Could be a club nearly anywhere, with occasional mansion interiors. Nothing is subtle, visually or “intellectually”.

This wretched dayglo abortion challenges “one dimensional” to go even shallower. All four villains are stoopid, affecting highly annoying mannerisms, declaring their plots outright, and rendering Dark Knight Detective-work moot.

Irony is practically defined by this debacle containing the following line: “What is Batman, if not an effort to master the chaos that sweeps our world?”

The only hero’s journey is our own, surviving a barrage of idiocy, interpreted through eye-searing visuals and too much of everything, three bickering protagonists included. Wrestlers as orderlies, a cringe-worthy dance number, cartoon sounds added in post, a parody of parodies so hyper-stylized that its pedantic exposition actually helps.

Tonally, it utterly fails to combine the goofy and dour together. Neither dumb fun nor dark comedy, it has more in common with a well-funded, drug-addled production of The Wizard of Oz. It’s a travesty.

Hated the Sixties series? Disliked Tim Burton’s take? Found Tom Hardy’s version of Bane difficult to relate to? Watch this instead. I dare you, go ahead.

I suppose it might work if you turn off your brain, but I can’t.

All hail the reboot.

* *

Rated PG13

125 minutes

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