Yesterday, I took it upon myself to watch the only Batman related thing that is on the British version of Netflix, which is the 1966 movie starring Adam West as Bruce Wayne. From just the picture advertising the movie, I instantly thought it looked bad, but talking to a friend, I was forced to consider the fact that it is almost 50 years old. With this in mind, I watched the film with an open mind, determined to remember that it is a product of it’s time.
From the beginning, I found the film almost laughable. The acting is not fantastic, the storyline is somewhat poor and let’s not even talk about the Joker’s outfit. However, I was quickly able to overlook these points and actually rather enjoy the film. As a product of it’s time, Batman: The Movie is an enjoyable piece of cinematography and is wonderful for making the viewer realise just how far film has come in the last 50 years.
I have to admit I was surprisingly impressed at Catwoman’s character throughout the movie. More than once I have been disappointed with DC’s portrayal of women through both comics and movie, be it because of outfit or characterisation. Therefore I was expecting to find Catwoman at the very least cringy and at the worst difficult to look at because of the lack of clothes and unbareable to watch because of her action. Instead what I was presented with was a character who’s outfit was practical for her job (if you can call criminal activity a job) and who knew how to stand and do what was necessary.
Catwoman was most likely my favourite character within the movie. The Penguin is a character I have never truly been interested by, neither in comics, movie or even the recent Gotham TV series. The Joker is one of the most fascinating characters within DCs universes in my opinion, but I wasn’t sold by the purple suit and the way the penguin was in charge of the team. The Riddler is a character who interested me most as young Edward Nygma in Gotham and my interest in him grew through the Gotham City Sirens series. For me, the Riddler in this movie was… interesting. The use of the riddles were brilliant (if one can overlook Batman and Robin’s overacting in figuring them out), especially the one in the sky, but I wasn’t particularly a fan of him with in it.
Onto Batman and Robin themselves, to be perfectly honest, what was probably intended to be just a film in 1966 works as a brilliant light-hearted comedy in 2015. Movies could never get away with those outfits nowadays, and Robin’s comments beginning with “Holy” and whatever fitted the situation or he felt was a good addition were just laughable. I believe, however, that I mean this in a positive way, Robin was a really enjoyable character and his outburst really added to the dynamics of the movie. My personal favourites before “Holy heart failure” when he believes Batman to have been caught in the bomb blast and “Holy heartbreak” when Ms Kitka turns out to be Catwoman.
Batman is an interesting character and I am glad to see both Batman and Bruce Wayne, however I do feel like there is a lack of depth to him completely, although the film as a whole cannot say much for character depth. But Batman is probably the least interesting for me within it, down there with the Joker categorised under Thank goodness for character development in future stories. However, I have to say I was amused by the scene with the bomb, of course there were a number of occasions where he could’ve just thrown it and still avoiding the citizens, but they went for the comic affect, and I did find myself laughing when Batman exclaims that “Somedays you just can’t get rid of a bomb”.
Thinking of the plot itself, I hold my hands up and say I am not scientist,; however, I know enough to be pretty sure that there is no scientific bases that in anyway suggests it is possible to remove the moisture from a person, turn them into dust and remoisturise them as a person. To be perfectly honest, for the majority of this moving I was watching for the dynamics: I was watching to hear the Penguin try and maintain control, I was watching to see the Riddler’s riddles, I was watching to hear Robin scream “Holy …”, I was watching to see Catwoman continue her manipulation of Batman and Bruce Wayne. I was not watching to see whether or not the nine most important men in the world would survive in one piece. I was unable to suspend disbelief enough to feel any sort of worry or fear at the characters situation, I didn’t connect enough to the characters to real feel sad for Batman at Ms Kitka’s revelation.
However, as I have felt the need to keep reitterating, it is a product of it’s time, and looking at it from that respect it’s not a bad film. Looking at it from a modern respect, it is quaint and enjoyable if you are able to accept that it’s not a patch on the flashiness and character depth of The Dark Knight. Now, before I go, I want to leave you with one last image from the movie. This is genuinely what the impact looked like when Robin shot the submarine