Batman & Robin


This third sequel to the 1989 smash hit is about Batman learning to trust his new partners, while fighting three new villains. The script is as lame as it gets: the dialogue is dumb, the Bruce Wayne scenes are cheesy and there isn’t anything original. I thought that Joel Schumacher’s direction was somehow interesting in “Batman Forever”. His style was flashy and it was different than Burton’s. But here, he repeats everything that was new in the previous film. Many scenes are very similar between the two films, but Schumacher also repeats himself in the same film. Poison Ivy and Mr Freeze always do the same things. The first action scene is kind of fun in a campy way, but the others aren’t as much because it’s just more of the same gaudy crap. The finale was bad in “Forever”, but they had the stupidity to use it again in “B&R”! It’s even more tiresome this time. The heroes are always falling and throwing bat-ropes, and the fight between Freeze and Batman is repetitive.

That’s strange: Schumacher had a great cast and a huge budget but he made an unwatchable film. The best thing in it is probably the cast. George Clooney is good enough, but Chris O’ Donnell still sucks. Alicia Silverstone… what is she doing in the film? I always hated the Batgirl character. What’s fun about the Dynamic Duo is that they’re ambiguously gay. Two guys in rubber suits running around in a cave, it’s suspicious! But if you put a charming lady in the Batcave, you start to think that they might be hetero. How boring. Alfred’s role is too big. Every single sequence in which he is is corny and boring, except the practically gay scene between him and Bruce Wayne. Another pointless character is Elle Macpherson, Wayne’s new girlfriend. She’s cute, but she’s far from Nicole Kidman, a more talented and charming actress, and anyway, her character comes from and goes nowhere.

Uma Thurman’s Poison Ivy is sexy, but her schtick gets obnoxious real fast. Her bodyguard, Bane, was cool in the comics, but he’s badly used here. His make-up is horrible and he doesn’t do much. As a die-hard Arnold Schwarzenegger fan, I was mildly amused by his turn as Mr Freeze. His suit and his make-up aren’t bad and I liked the way Schwarzie played him totally evil. I also liked that he actually kicked butts, unlike most Bat-villains who just wait for their goons to do the job.

Nevertheless, “Batman & Robin” remains one of the most misguided movies I’ve seen. I’m not fanatical about Batman or anything, I don’t see it as heresy to not portray him as a tortured black soul; in fact I much prefer the old Adam West TV show to Tim Burton’s flicks. But this is just too much, like two hours of annoying TV commercials spiked with bad acid.