In a recent article with VICE, director Joel Schumacher apologized to all fans of Batman for his film “Batman and Robin”. Not only was that film totally unwatchable, it killed a movie franchise that didn’t get rebooted until “Batman Begins” eight years later.
As a lifelong fan of Batman, I still am scratching my head over “Batman and Robin”. You would think that someone involved in the production would have looked over the dialogue in the script, watched the dailies while the actors chewed the scenery to shreds with their over the top and wretched performances trying to speak that dialogue, read through the ridiculous plot and said, “Um, this is terrible. REWRITES!!!” But nobody did, and the result might be the worst superhero movie ever to make it to full theatrical release… including “Electra” and “Steel” (well, maybe that last one is pushing it).
The thing is, I do not accept Schumacher’s apology because in order to do so I would have to buy that he didn’t mean to make a movie that was a giant F.U. to comics fans. I think he did. He made it way past a farce and into the land of “this is how stupid all you people are for actually caring about a character like this, and taking it even remotely seriously.” I mean, why else to you add turn around rubber butt shots in to the “gearing up” scenes unless you mean to point out how dumb this all is? That would have been straight out of a parody film. MAD could have written that into a parody of an actual superhero movie.
I’m convinced Schumacher meant for this film to be a parody of super hero films, and not a goofy one that pokes fun at the genre. That was what “Superhero Movie” was. This was like a surprise attack in the middle of the night where the objective was to steal your ticket money and then turn and tell you how big of an idiot you are. This is the guy who directed The Lost Boys, 8mm, A Time to Kill, The Client and several other very good films. He’s no dummy, and he’s not a hack director.
Sorry Joel. We’re still pissed about “Batman and Robin”, and we blame you.
737 My cover art for the next issue of MAD, exclusive sneak peek from @entertainmentweekly website
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