Rant: Did Batman and Robin Really Screw Things Up THAT Much?
by Alex Billington
April 24, 2008
As I was writing my article on the G.I. Joe tidbits yesterday morning, I noticed a line in the original io9 post that read, "the costumes may look a bit Batman & Robin-esque (power-armor-breasts!)…" That final mention of Batman & Robin finally put me over the edge, because that's not the only time I've heard it mentioned when critiquing superhero costumes. The other time was when we released the first batch of Watchmen costume photos - there were numerous mentions of Batman & Robin and the disastrous nipple-laden Batsuit that George Clooney wore. I'm not questioning whether the movie itself was a screw up (that's a given), I'm questioning whether Batman & Robin really screwed up everyone's interpretation of costumes so much that we now always have to reference it when talking about superhero costumes?!
What's aggravating me with this whole Batman & Robin thing is that it has become the standard for critiquing all things superhero costume related. As in, if it's not Spider-Man perfect, it's "like the Batman & Robin" costumes. Wait, what? How did we get to this point? Did Batman & Robin really screws things up so much that no matter how unrelated the costumes may be, if they've got nipples or if they're not perfectly up to what we were imagining, then they're "Batman & Robin bad"? It really annoys me that this is what we've come to as a conglomeration of film geeks for criticism. Can't you judge the costumes for a movie on their own?!
A similar thing like this has arisen surrounding The Matrix. We now compare all action movies and sci-fi thrillers to Matrix in terms of its CGI and special effects. Thankfully it's the opposite measurement - this time Matrix is at the top and all other films are trying to get there; with Batman & Robin, it's at the bottom, and all other films are trying to stay away from there. I guess it's time I try and pitch a solution to this problem if referencing Batman & Robin isn't the right way to go about critiquing costumes. The trouble is, I don't know a better solution. How about we just forget about that blasphemy of a movie anyway and just think about new movies on their own?
If we get more photos of G.I. Joe or Watchmen costumes in the future, I'd love to see some opinions that are judging them on their design and functionality in relation to that movie and that universe alone, not how they stand up in comparison to Batman & Robin. Is that too much to ask for? I hope that we can rid ourselves of those putrid costumes from Batman & Robin once and for all and focus on new movies. To be honest, not only are both the G.I. Joe or Watchmen costumes far superior to those in Batman & Robin, but both of those movies actually look fantastic, unlike Batman & Robin. Stop complaining about Joel Schumacher's comic book movie disaster from 11 years ago!