The recent death of Adam West sparked more than a few “Who played Batman best?” debates. Coming in at the bottom of almost every list was poor George Clooney. It’s not necessarily his fault — let’s face it, he was given a clunker of a Batman movie to work with. Believe it or not, Batman & Robin celebrates its 20th anniversary next week — people will celebrate with raspberry birthday cake, no doubt, to commemorate the 11 Razzie nominations the film earned. Hey, at least Clooney was spared… he didn’t get a “Worst Actor” nomination, though he did get more than his fair share of ridicule for his Batsuit, the only one in the franchise’s history to feature nipples. (Yes, bats are mammals, but c’mon! Really?)
The movie didn’t set out to be bad. It came with plenty of successful cast and crew members, including director Joel Schumacher and co-stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Uma Thurman, Alicia Silverstone and Chris O’Donnell. But the story was a mess, and the movie lacked a clear vision. Critics hated it, and though the movie grossed more than $100 million, it is by far the least successful Batman movie. In fact, there are those who believed the movie could have killed the entire Batman franchise. (In some ways, it did. It took a complete reboot with Batman Begins to get the character back on track.) Though Clooney has often been gracious enough to accept blame for the movie’s shortcomings, we think there’s plenty to go around. And as Clooney himself told us, the successes and failures of Batman & Robin were a team effort. (Click on the media bar below to hear George Clooney)
Which Batman movies would you rank as the best and worst? Share your lists, and let the debate begin!