Saturday, May 19, 2012

Penny Thoughts ‘12—Batman & Robin (1997) ½*

PG-13, 125 min.
Director: Joel Schumacher
Writers: Akiva Goldsman, Bob Kane (characters)
Starring: George Clooney, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Uma Thurman, Chris O’Donnell, Alicia Silverstone, Michael Gough, Pat Hingle, John Glover, Elle Macpherson, Vivica A. Fox

When I originally saw this movie, I was actually late to the theater—an incident that has happened so few times in my life I could count them on one hand. So, I started the movie in the middle of the opening sequence, when Batman and Robin are trying to stop Mr. Freeze in the Gotham museum. I was confused, not knowing what I had missed, I thought perhaps my confusion was at least a partial explanation for what I was witnessing.

Freeze’s stooges were playing hockey with a diamond that Robin was after. Why did Robin and Batman appear to have ice skates on their feet? Is it possible they saw enough ice related crimes in Gotham that they had these installed to their costumes? What are Batman and Freeze getting into? Please tell me that’s not a rocket ship, like you’d see Bugs Bunny accidentally climb into during a Looney Tunes short. Oh my God, it really is a rocket ship. What villain brings a rocket ship to a heist as an escape vehicle?

When Freeze abandon’s the two heroes in the ship, which is “the harbinger of their doom!” I half expected to hear the old voice over actor from the 60s television show come across the audio saying, “Is this the end of the dynamic duo?!” Then they air boarded their way back down to Gotham on the doors of the rocket ship. Really?! Really, Mr. Schumacher? Air boarding?! Really!! You’re going to blame this atrocity on the studio pressure you were under to make the movie family friendly? Did you have no control over your production at all? Does “family friendly” mean “horrifically bad” in the window dressing land you come from? Really.

In a note I wish was unrelated: I’ve always felt George Clooney would’ve made the best Bruce Wayne/Batman had he been allowed to be it in a movie worthy of him and Batman alike.

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