I must preface this review with the fact that I'm only 25 years old. I did not get to experience Adam West's Batman during its bat-heydey in the 60s. However, I do have fond memories of going to grandma & grandpa's (they had cable!) as a kid, watching reruns on their HUGE 27-inch console TV.
To commemorate its 42nd bat-anniversary, along with cashing in on the bat-success of The Dark Knight, Fox re-released Batman: The Movie on DVD, and for the first time released it in HD on Blu-ray. I recently viewed the Blu-ray version and, having never seen the film, didn't know what to bat-expect.
The story is about as crazy as they come:
The Joker, the Penguin, the Riddler, and Catwoman team up to highjack Commodore Schmidlapp's yacht containing a superdehydrator. This superdehydrator can extract all moisture from a human, reducing them to a pile of dust. The villians' plan to take over the world by dehydrating the 9 members of the United World Security Council and holding their dusty remains for ransom. It's up to Batman & Robin, with their Batmobile, Batcopter, Batboat, and all their miscellaneous bat-tools (all prefixed with the word "bat-"), to put a stop to this evil bat-menace!!!
Within the first five bat-minutes of the film, you know what you're in for. When an at-sea rescue attempt gets foiled, Batman finds himself dangling on a rope ladder from the Batcopter, being attacked by one of the Penguin's exploding sharks! Thanks to 1960s special effects, the exploding shark is a giant rubber shark attached to West's bat-leg that he beats mercilessly with his bat-fists. Holy sardine, Batman! Robin retrieves the shark repellent bat-spray from the cockpit, gets it to Batman, and with a single spray the shark falls back to the sea, exploding on bat-impact (I'm guessing PETA didn't exist in the 60s).
The movie features lots of campy, laugh-inducing bat-dialog:
- Batman: [reading a riddle] What has yellow skin and writes?
- Robin: A ball-point banana!
- Batman: [reads the second riddle] What people are always in a hurry?
- Robin: Rushing people... Russians!
- Batman: So this means...
- Robin: Someone Russian is going to slip on a banana and break their neck!
- Batman: Precisely, Robin!
- Robin: [pointing toward the sky] That crazy missile! It wrote two more riddles before it blew up!
- Batman: [reading a skywritten message] "What goes up white and comes down yellow and white?"
- Robin: An egg!
- Batman: [reading another skywritten message] "How do you divide seventeen apples among sixteen people?"
- Robin: Make apple sauce!
- Batman: [thinking out loud] Apples into applesauce - A unification into one smooth mixture. An egg - nature's perfect container. The container of all our hopes for the future.
- Robin: A unification and a container of hope? United World Organization!
- Batman: Precisely, Robin! And there's a special meeting of the Security Council today. If what I fear is true...
- Robin: Wow! Let's commandeer a taxi!
- Batman: No, Robin. Not at this time of day. Luckily, we're in tip-top condition. It'll be faster if we run. Let's go!
- Robin: [while running] Holy marathon! I'm getting a stitch, Batman!
- Batman: Let's hope that it's a stitch in time, Robin, that saves nine - The nine members of the United World Security Council. Come on.
My only bat-complaints...
- It's an hour and forty minutes long, which isn't too terribly long, but the campiness does wear a bit thin towards the bat-end. Also, the bat-ending is pretty uneventful.
- WHERE IS MR. FREEZE?!?!?!? He was my favorite bat-villain in the TV series, and he could've easily been worked in, making the fearsome-foursome a fearsome-fivesome.
I still recommend this movie, just for the sheer bat-goofiness of it all. It's a fun look at Batman prior to his 80s gone-goth makeover. So check out this bat-DVD, pop some bat-popcorn, relax in your bat-recliner, and enjoy the crazy antics of Batman: The Movie!