Batman (Original Film Series)

4 – Batman and Robin; Batman and Robin – a film so many regard as not only the worst superhero film, but possibly the worst movie of all time. Batman himself is woefully miscast, as he is played by George Clooney – who has to create a character from one of the worst scripts in superhero cinema. Director Joel Schumacher makes a laughing stock of Batman and his fellow sidekicks (Robin and Batgirl), who are perhaps the worst interpretations of the characters ever put to screen. Chris O’ Donnell and Alicia Silverstone may be trying their best, but the material they are given to work with is lackluster at best. To make matters worse, Arnold Schwarzenegger as the iconic Mr. Freeze is the worst villain in superhero history, if only for his excessive use of ice related puns. Accompanying him is Uma Thurman, playing the equally revered Poison Ivy, who spouts disgustingly flirtatious nonsense to our title characters throughout the film. Everything – from the casting of the characters to the inclusion of bat-nipples – is hilariously awful in its execution. As such, Batman and Robin is seen as a complete failure across the board, and undeniably the worst in the long running franchise. Cinemaster Score: 2.3/10

3 – Batman Forever; Looking at the entire collection of films since Batman (1989) following the titular character, Batman Forever nearly falls into worst. Compared to the original tetralogy, the movie is first on a steep slope into Batman and Robin. The acting thoroughly fails in living up to its predecessors. From Michael Keaton being replaced by Val Kilmer, to the terrible portrayals of The Ridler and Two-Face from Jim Carrey and Tommy Lee Jones, respectively. The villains’ acting in particular make their characters seem like wannabe versions of Jack Nicholson’s Joker and takes away from their villainous auras. Beyond the antagonists, our protagonist of Batman is much more childish than he used to be, making the movie as a whole harder to take seriously. The story is okay at its best and the flick is mainly enjoyable to younger viewers as it feels cartoonish in tone. All the bad parts add up for a decent whole. Unfortunately, the descent in quality would continue and Batman wouldn’t have another hit until The Dark Knignt Trilogy. Cinemaster Score: 4.4/10

2 – Batman Returns; In Batman Returns, Tim Burton fully embraces the dark side of the caped crusader. Gotham is full of gothic charm and a unique assortment of characters. We have Batman, of course, played by Michael Keaton – who brings that same magnetism that made him so iconic in the first film. But, replacing Joker as his antagonist is The Penguin, who – along with Catwoman – torments Batman in more ways than one. Danny Devito and Michelle Pfieffer are brilliant in their roles, embodying the characters they represent with great charisma and intrigue. What separates Batman Returns from its predecessor is just how dark and tonally different it is. Batman (1989) was twisted in some moments, but Batman Returns takes it to a whole other level. The very plot of the film revolves around child murder, with the villains as immoral to their actions as ever. As such, Batman Returns is a unique sequel that by no means attempts to redo its original, making it an excellent addition to the stellar franchise. Cinemaster Score: 8.8/10

1 – Batman (1989); The first solo feature for the classic Detective Comics hero was one of the best. The 1989 film rendition (simply titled Batman) had some of the best acting in DC’s cinematic adaptations even to this day. With Michael Keaton as Batman and Jack Nicholson playing the Joker it’s hard to go wrong – despite early doubters. This Batman is a darker and more realistic character than in the 60s tv series. The story surrounded by this acting is a great adventure – but does tweak Batman’s origin a slight bit. Tim Burton heads direction for Batman (1989) and does the character justice. His script for the iconic comic hero is reminiscent of its inspiration in only the best of ways. There are few words to describe what makes the film so good and remain accurate. Batman (1989) simply has an indescribable charm that must be seen to be believed. By and large, Batman (1989) is a fantastic flick matched by few to this day. Cinemaster Score: 9.2/10

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