The film that killed the first franchise now gets a review. Our Big Screen Batman week will come to a close tomorrow with a review of Batman Begins.

Cast, Crew, and Other Info

George Clooney as Batman

Chris O’Donnell as Robin

Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze

Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy

Alicia Silverstone as Batgirl

Michael Gough as Alfred

Pat Hingle as Commissioner Gordon

John Glover as Dr. Woodrue

Elle Macpherson as Julie Madison

Vivica A. Fox as Ms. B. Haven

Jeep Swenson as Bane

Written by Akiva Goldsman

Directed by Joel Schumacher

Complete information is available from the IMDB.

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A plant themed villain wants to punish Wayne Enterprises for damaging the environment, so naturally she teams up with a second villain who is trying to bring about a second ice age.

High Point

The images of Alicia Silverstone in a tight latex outfix were enjoyable.

Low Point

Pretty much everything not listed in the High Point was grating and irritating, but the one that topped them all was “take two of these, and call me in the morning.”

The Scores

The originality gets a small boost for changing the Batgirl’s origin, probably don’t to bring a “family” theme into things. I give it 3 out of 6.

The effects were not awful, though some looked worse than others. I give it 4 out of 6.

The story was hard to pick out of the mess that the audience is bombarded with. It was very predictable, and the dialogue is some of the worst I’ve ever heard. The irritating thing was the potential. The villains don’t convincingly combine, though any of them could have worked as the sole villain. (Even Bane, the brute who does Ivy’s bidding, was a serious enough villain in the comics to break Batman’s back.) Instead, we get a studio retooled mishmash that was being rewritten during filming, which leads to all sorts of continuity editing errors and nonsensical “plot” twists (as previously filmed scenes were moved to “get their money’s worth” from the filming). Still, the germs of useful ideas are here, such as the “Alfred is dying” plotline that looked interesting in the trailers, but was defeated in the film because you learn that Freeze can cure that stage of the disease before you even know that’s what Alfred has. I give it a 2 out of 6.

The acting was poor. Gough did a fine job, but nobody else did. I suspect that Schumacher was willing to print any take that didn’t include flubbed lines, so the actor trained for the stage (where you have to get it right every performance without the director there to intervene) was the one who got the job done. I give it 2 out of 6.

The emotional response was very poor. Every audience I spoke to felt as I had; bored and insulted. (I’ve never seen word of mouth spread as effectively as it did for this film. Opening Friday, the theater I worked at ran two shows and turned away enough customers to fill two more shows. Opening Saturday, it still sold out, but we didn’t turn away more than four or five people. On Sunday, the matinee was about half full. On the first Tuesday, we sold a grand total of 30 tickets to both showings.) I give it 2 out of 6.

The production had decent costumes. The city had a distinctive, neon look that was still completely out of place in a Batman film. The directing was poor, the lighting was uniform and all too shadow free, and the continuity editing was outright horrible as a result of the mid-shooting rewrites. I give it 2 out of 6.

Overall, this is the worst theatrical release of Batman I’ve ever seen. I give it 1 out of 6.

In total, Batman and Robin receives 16 out of 42.