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Yet another post about this silly film. When will everyone get over it?
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Batman & Robin Theory: George Clooney's Batman Sucked Because... He Won
Batman & Robin featured one of the most disliked depictions of Batman on screen. Perhaps this is because Batman finally won.
BY ANTHONY GRAMUGLIA
George Clooney's Batman from Batman & Robin is commonly regarded as one of the weaker portrayals of Bruce Wayne in cinema, but perhaps the reason for this was something that was outside everyone's (even director Joel Schumacher's) control by that point. Clooney in the film plays Batman as a celebrity figure in Gotham, showing up with a swagger and a smile unlike any prior version of Batman. His Bruce Wayne and Batman personas are hardly distinguishable from each other, unlike with Michael Keaton and Val Kilmer, both of whom put a clear divide between their real identity and superhero persona.
However, there is a wholesome explanation for all of this. Looking at the prior three films that lead up to Batman & Robin, it becomes clear that this iteration of Bruce Wayne is disappointing to fans because it's the first time in cinematic history where billionaire industrialist is finally happy. George Clooney's Batman won before the film even started.
[size=39]How Did Batman Win?[/size]
In a recent video from CBR's The First Rule podcast, it is theorized that in Batman & Robin, the Caped Crusader had already done everything he could have as a hero by this point. The audience is introduced to a decaying Gotham in Batman and Batman Returns. By the time Batman Forever appears, Gotham is a far brighter, more cheery place.
Truly violent or otherwise terrifying crime has been broken. The mafia families and corporate overlords that held the real power in the Batman universe (most notably, Grisham and Max Schreck) have been slain. The new power is Wayne Enterprises, which is focused on more humanitarian agendas. The supervillains that emerge are far less murderous and violent, like Joker or Penguin, and more goofy, like Riddler and Mister Freeze. Batman has become a mainstream institution and a celebrity. He has become the Batman Brand, as seen with his infamous Bat-Credit Card. As Bane says in The Dark Knight Rises, "Victory has defeated you!
This victory has allowed Batman to relax. Unlike any other iteration of the hero, this Batman saw his good work change Gotham. However, unlike The Dark Knight Rises, which sees Batman "win," Clooney's Dark Knight wins entirely on his own good terms. He does not turn himself into a pariah, nor does he retreat from the world. He just comfortably continues his crusade against crime, but in a much more lighthearted way... with built-in ice skates, no less
[size=39]eorge Clooney's Batman Lets People In, Thanks To Dick Grayson[/size]
Batman has won, but there's another more internal victory that has taken place over the prior three Batman movies. In Batman, Batman confronts the man who killed his family, Jack Napier, and gets his revenge. However, he retains this profound melancholy and pain inside his heart going into Batman Returns and even Batman Forever. This is because revenge did not actually address any of Batman's real pain. However, this inner darkness is present nowhere in Batman & Robin.
His inner darkness is directly confronted over the course of Batman Forever. For one, Bruce finally talks to a therapist about his issues. This allows him to directly confront his own problems. However, just as important, Dick Grayson enters into Batman's life. Dick undergoes something very similar to what Bruce did, which allows Batman to use his life-experience to help Dick overcome his pain. Most importantly, he manages to help Dick overcome his grief without giving into vengeance.
Previously, Batman had never been able to allow a person into his life for very long without something going horribly awry. Vicki Vale and Selina Kyle are both people he lets in, but only to a point. Selina in particular gets very close to Batman, but their relationship ends tragically, despite their similarities. However, Dick Grayson is someone Batman is able to finally connect to, albeit reluctantly. Because of this, by the time Barbara comes knocking, Bruce welcomes her almost with open arms. This is entirely unlike the Bruce we saw in the prior films.
All of this is because Clooney's Batman is the only Caped Crusader in the whole of cinema who has been allowed to heal. Audiences are drawn to Batman's inner darkness, turmoil, the pain he feels and how it drives him onward. This Batman — alongside Adam West — remains one of the few Batmen to lighten up. And audiences hated it.
This might just be proof that the hero, at his core, cannot find personal happiness without compromising his mass appeal to audiences. Batman as a character needs to be a tragic figure, perpetually. That's a depressing outlook as to why George Clooney's happy Batman rubbed so many fans the wrong way.
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A silly post about a movie that isn't that bad. I agree with a lot of what he says about the Batman character but I don't agree with his conclusion. Anyway, it's just one man''s opinion.
- Zip a dee Clooney!
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