Lets begin with a riddle: ‘What weighs six ounces, sits in a tree and is very dangerous’?
Answer at the end of this review...
With the release of The Dark Night Rises drawing ever closer, let us take a nostalgic trip back in time to the year 1966. Bring on the exaggerated acting and props that looked as if Blue Peter had made them. For anyone not familiar with Blue Peter: it’s a British children’s TV show which demonstrated how to make everything from cardboard sea creatures to rockets (I hated that show with a passion!!!!).
If you liked the Batman TV series starring Adam West (as Batman/Bruce Wayne) and Burt Ward (as Robin/Dick Greyson) then you will love this film. It’s basically an extended version of the TV show. But having said that, it does stand alone as a movie and feels as if you are watching something more substantial than just a long episode. It has a good plot, lots of retro visual effects and all the mad Gotham villains we have come to love, assembling for this Batman extravaganza.
The premise of this movie is pretty simple; Batman and Robin launch a rescue mission at sea after being tipped off, only to discover that their four nemeses have escaped from jail and were behind the hoax tip off. Planning to take over the entire world using a device that will turn humans into dust, only Batman and Robin can stop these super villains. Essentially this is a battle of good versus evil with a lot of comedy and slapstick fight scenes which makes this movie so different from the later Batman movie franchise attempts. Robin has the most laughable one-liners (each beginning with ‘holy’, of course). During the opening scenes, Batman is fighting off the most unconvincing plastic shark replica which ends up biting his leg; ‘Holy sardine!’ now that’s a real lol moment.
Anyway, thank goodness for Shark Repellent Bat-Spray…
There are some genuinely funny moments in this movie and if you can let yourself succumb to the utter silliness and just escape for a few hours into their world then you will be doing yourself a great service. Sometimes you have to let yourself go, stop looking for realism and criticising the dated visual effects: embrace it all and you will find that whilst you notice these things, it only adds to the overall enjoyment of the movie. Trust me.
The supporting cast is pretty great and they all take villainy to new heights with overdramatic performances at times verging on the melodramatic... Not that there’s anything wrong with that! You have Catwoman (Lee Meriwether), The Penguin (Burgess Meredith), The Joker (Cesar Romero) and The Riddler (Frank Gorshin) all causing mayhem and trying to defeat the dynamic duo once and for all. As for the stars, Adam West and Burt Ward, they are a perfect match as usual. West with his cool, serious exterior and Ward with his charming powers of deduction just make the movie. I could not imagine anyone else playing these roles but them. They work so well together and have great chemistry.
Anyhow I would rate this movie 4 bats out of 5: you have action, a strong good-versus-evil plot and plenty of comic lines and ingenious riddles. What more do you want? Oh, did I mention the Bat-Copter, the Batmobile, the Bat-Boat... need I go on?
By the way the answer to the riddle posted at the beginning of this review is…
...‘a sparrow with a machine gun’.
If you want to find out what ‘gobbles up’, watch the movie!
Review by Delicia Watts. Thanks for the contribution!