It’s yet another boring lockdown evening. You’ve exhausted all the latest prestige shows streaming services have to offer. Maybe you’re a few bottles into some cheap booze, no judgments here. Then you spot 1997’s Batman & Robin is available to watch. “Ha,” you think, “that movie is supposed to be so bad. Maybe it’d be fun to finally check it out for a giggle.” Bad idea. The thing about this disaster is that it’s very funny as a series of edited clips, but significantly less entertaining as a two-hour movie.
Batman & Robin was a similarly painful experience for much of its cast. George Clooney and Uma Thurman both quickly recovered from the debacle, but it irreparably harmed Chris O’Donnell and Alicia Silverstone’s careers, both of whom disappeared into bit parts after playing Robin and Batgirl.
Silverstone got it particularly bad. After her presentation at the 1996 Academy Awards, she faced media mockery for gaining a tiny bit of weight. This snowballed into her being catcalled “Fatgirl” on the street by paparazzi and the movie’s crew swapping jokes about her being too big for her Batsuit. It sounds miserable, but in the latest Collider Ladies podcast, Silverstone revealed that there were upsides to the role, saying:
“I mean, I loved all my scenes with Michael Gough. Michael Gough is a dream and I just love that man so much. So, you know, just being with him was incredible and lovely.”
Of course, Gough played Alfred in the Burtonverse movies, and was by all accounts a consummate professional and veteran of the craft.
Silverstone then paused, trying to think of one other thing she was happy with and revealed:
“I’m trying to think what else I’d be proud of. I mean, I like it when I get to do the fighting scenes with Uma Thurman. That’s fun. But I’d like to do it all over again as this woman! [Laughs] I think it would be much better now.”
Perhaps the nicest thing we can say about Batman & Robin is that it’s a good cautionary tale of what not to do with a Dark Knight movie. Aside from that, it’s best forgotten.