5. The Dark Knight Rises
This movie was, like, halfway good — at least until director Christopher Nolan seemed to lose interest halfway through. Bane beating the holy hell out of Batman is an all-time great scene, but we’re not quite sure what was going on by the end of the damn movie. Bane went out like a chump. Catwoman became sort of meaningless. And Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the new Batman? Hard pass. But hey, at least we got to imagine a world where Ben Roethlisberger gets swallowed up by an underground abyss.
4. Batman Forever
Joel Schumacher entered the Batman franchise like a blister shows up on a private part. He flipped the Tim Burton script from a dark dystopia to something that resembled the 1960s version of the character: bright lights, camp, and ill-conceived scripts. Jim Carrey and Tommy Lee Jones were short changed as Riddler and Two-Face, respectively. And the less said about the costumes, the better.
3. The Killing Joke
The animated Batman movies are a real mixed bag, ranging from great — Mask of the Phantasm — to rushed and sometimes truly horrible. We don’t know if they should even count for the purposes of this list since they rarely ever make it to theaters. Still, The Killing Joke deserves special placement because of its egregiously sexist treatment of Batgirl. Get this big trash movie out of here forever.
2. Batman vs. Superman
I’ve only walked out on a movie in the theater twice. The first time was for M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village, which was basically a long episode of Scooby Doo. And then this one. Batman vs. Superman was as enjoyable as a root canal and as boring as calculus class. The climax of Batman and Superman realizing that they shouldn’t fight — because their mothers have the same name — is an insult to intelligence and bloodlust alike. Sure, the warehouse scene of Batman beating up some goons is among the best in the franchise, but it’s not enough to save this epic film failure. (They really depicted Ben Affleck in a P90x training montage in preparation for fisticuffs with Superman. SMH.)
1. Batman and Robin
It really breaks our hearts to rank this as the worst because Vivica Fox was in her absolute prime here. This is one of the holy trinity Vivica Fox baddie movies, along with Booty Call and Independence Day. So we can’t with a clear conscience say too many bad things about a film that looks like an acid trip minus the laughter or enjoyability. We’ll just note that the movie starts with Batman and Robin in an ice hockey battle with Mister Freeze’s goons — and things only get more absurd from there.
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