5 Reasons You Should Rewatch ‘Batman & Robin’ Tonight

by Jesse Gumbarge

In 1997, director Joel Schumacher did an effective job of slaughtering the Batman franchise (at least for the next decade) via Batman & Robin. It flopped at the box office, at least when compared to the previous films. You can routinely find it on many “worst movies of all time” lists, and it is certainly considered one of (if not the) worst superhero movie of all time.

I can’t believe this myself, but I’m actually going to attempt to defend this film, to the best of my ability anyway. But before we get into that let’s see if some of the hate is justified:

** Bane was a complete waste of an awesome character. In the comics, he is one of Batman’s most formidable foes, both mentally and physically. In Batman & Robin he is simply an ex-con on steroids. Over a decade later, Christopher Nolan would remedy this with Tom Hardy’s much more cerebral rendition of the character in The Dark Knight Rises.

** Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze is still pretty ridiculous. His version of the villain may be a so-bad-its-good experience but it’s still bad nonetheless. “You’re not sending ME to the COOLER!”  The ice puns are slightly humorous but the amusement wears off quickly.

**Alicia Silverstone’s Batgirl is pointless. At the time it probably seemed like a genius move: her star was rising, and it added a heroic female character to the film. In retrospect, the producers must have been “clueless” to include her in the proceedings (see what I did there?). While we’re at it, throw Chris O’Donnell as Robin in this category as well.

The movie is filled with many other cringeworthy moments that I could spend a few thousand words trying to cover, but let’s change gears and look at five reasons you should give Batman & Robin a revisit.

5. George Clooney Is a Great Batman/ Bruce Wayne

That’s right, I said it. Let’s imagine George Clooney was never cast in Batman & Robin. Now, imagine they were trying to cast the upcoming Superman vs. Batman film with an older, experienced caped crusader, who do you think would be at the top of the fantasy casting list?

In the film, Clooney is actually the next logical step for the character. He has evolved. He is calm, cool and seems to finally be in a peaceful place. Plus, he fits the whole millionaire playboy thing perfectly. Too bad the movie sucked and didn’t give him a proper venue to show his Batman acting chops. After watching Clooney in the greatest space film of all time, it was reinforced just how great of an actor he actually is.

4. Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy

It will probably go down in history as one of the hammiest performance of all time, but in its own way it is still a gem.

Uma Thurman exudes sexiness and is exactly what you would imagine a character such a Poison Ivy to be. Still one of the greatest Batman villains of the franchise.

3. The Score

When Joel Schumacher took over the franchise, the director caught a lot of flack for ditching the Danny Elfman music that made the Tim Burton films so iconic. Like Batman Forever, the original score for Batman & Robin was written by Elliot Goldenthal. It sets the tone perfectly.

The soundtrack? Well, the songs weren’t classics like the Prince tracks on the original Batman, but it wasn’t that bad. Overall, the music was just as impressive as its predecessors.

2. It’s Michael Gough’s Last Outing As Alfred

Batman & Robin would be the last time the late Michael Gough would play the trusted butler for Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson.

Alfred’s “dying from a rare disease” storyline was extremely contrived but it struck an emotional chord anyway.

1. You Can Prove You’re Too Cool For School

If you want to be one of those guys that just feels compelled to go against the crowd, here you go. Batman & Robin provides you with the perfect contrarian opportunity. You and your partner want to spend movie night in Gotham City? Forget The Dark Knight or the Tim Burton films, Schumacher is the way to go.

If you’re ever with a group of friends or in an internet forum (if that’s your thing) there are two Batman films that only “cool” people will mention. The first, Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm (probably the greatest Batman movie ever). The second, Batman & Robin. If you can intelligently argue the merit of the film you can immediately boost your nerd cred. The trick is to not come across as pompous as you make your case. Let this article be your guide, or maybe you shouldn’t, I’m not that smart.

How do you feel about the black sheep of the Batman franchise? Sound off in the comments.

READ ALSO: 30 Hottest Woman In Otherwise Lame Comic-Book Movies

 

Jesse Gumbarge is editor-in-chief at JarvisCity. He’s a fan of old-school horror flicks and starting pointless debates. You can contact him at JesseGumbarge@JarvisCity.com. 

More from Jesse: 6 Reasons You Should Rewatch Robocop Tonight | 5 Reasons You Should Rewatch Jason X Tonight | 7 Reasons You Should Rewatch Blankman Tonight

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