Comic Book Movie Rewatch: Batman & Robin

I really enjoy movies based on comic books, whether they be blockbusters like the MCU films, or old, cheesy films like the 80s Superman movies. Every time I watch one (or re-watch one) I write up a post with my thoughts. I try to be spoiler free, but the older the movie, the less careful I am. This time it was the extended edition of the 1997 movie Suicide Squad.

bandrBatman & Robin

IMDb Rating: 3.7/10

Rotten Tomatoes critics: 11%

Rotten Tomatoes audience: 16%

My Rating: 4/10

Unlike the previous movies, I got the sense, right from the beginning, that this installment was intentionally campy. I don’t think I understood that the first few times I watched this. It really changes the dynamic of the movie, and actually made me like it more than Batman Forever. That doesn’t mean that it’s a good movie.

Let’s start with Clooney. Clooney is possibly the worst Batman of all time. He doesn’t look the part, he doesn’t sound the part. He’s not convincing at all. That said, I actually think he’s a passable Bruce Wayne. He carries himself with the poise I would expect from a charismatic billionaire. It’s unfortunate that none of that carries over to his alter-ego.

The rest of the cast are all okay, but the writing is so bad that it makes everyone involved seem worse than they really are. Bad jokes are everywhere in this movie. Arnold Schwarzenegger is known for his cheesy action movie lines, but this went too far. Trying to incorporate an ice pun into every bit of dialog is just bad writing. Uma Thurman seemed like she was the only cast member who decided to have fun with the awful dialog. She overacted every scene she was in. Every. Single. One. At first it was terribly distracting, but once I realized that it was intentional, it started to get pretty funny.

I felt like the visual effects in the movie should have been great, and some of the CG effects were, but even for a late 90s movie, I thought the practical effects looked cheap and gimmicky. There were several times where I watched the giant icicles wobble as characters walked past. Few of the sets looked convincing and it was easy to tell when things were made out of styrofoam or cardboard.

I want to say that this is one of those movies that’s so bad it’s good, but that’s not quite the case. There’s a reason why this installment killed the franchise and that several of the actors involved couldn’t get solid work for a few years after the movie came out. It rides the line between so bad it’s good and just bad.

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