“Atomic batteries to power. Turbines to speed.”
Thus begins the classic Batman movie released way back in 1966. Adam West and Burt Ward reprise their roles as Batman and Robin in this theatrical masterpiece. Based on the campy tv show, this movie came out after the first season and featured the great set pieces and incredible actors that made the show so great. Batman The Movie was the first time the character graced the silver screen and set the bar for future iterations to live up to.
The plot is a ridiculous affair featuring four of Batman’s greatest enemies teaming up to take over the world. To do so they attempt to first take Batman out of commission in a number of silly and creative ways. Batman and Robin are always able to narrowly escape death, whether by luck or skill. One of the best scenes in any superhero movie involves Batman running around trying to dispose of a comically oversized bomb. Everywhere he turns there is something keeping him from tossing it away, including nuns, baby ducks, and lovers kissing. This scene is indicative of the over the top camp that is featured heavily in the movie, and somehow it works so very well.
Batman The Movie handles having all four villains in one movie with aplomb. The fearsome foursome of Catwoman, The Joker, The Riddler, and The Penguin are brought together brilliantly, using each of their diabolical strengths to plot against Batman and ultimately the world. Lee Meriwether plays Catwoman as a sexy temptress that seduces both Batman and Bruce Wayne, not to mention the audience. Caesar Romero, Frank Gorshin, and Burgess Meredith play their roles perfectly, bringing each villain to life with flair.
If you’re a fan of Batman and missed this gem, give it a chance. It’s the complete opposite of The Dark Knight. Adam West is a great Batman, and possibly the greatest actor to ever don the cape and cowl. He has a cadence that rivals William Shatner as James T. Kirk, and comedic timing that is second to none. Stream this one on Netflix right now if you want to relive a more innocent time in Batman’s theatrical career.