The Pitch

If your introduction to Gotham’s dark knight came via LEGO, this might be the Batman for you.

Age Recommendations

Watch With the Kids: 8+ Common Sense Media: 13+

Content Advisories

Rated PG-13 for strong stylized action.* Jim Carrey really Jim Carreys up the place. Kidman’s sexuality is as over the top as Jessica Rabbit’s. Two Face’s two submissive girfriends are introduced in lingerie. Batman asserts that “Chicks dig the car.” Come to think of it, the movie seems made by someone whose only understanding of women comes from drag shows.

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03.22.13

*Where by “stylized” they mean edited so poorly it is often impossible to understand what’s going on.

Candy-colored crimefighting

I know. You were so let down by this movie, which traded in the creepy menace of Tim Burton’s Batman and Batman Returns for rubber-suited camp and Jim Carrey. But by invoking something more of the Adam West era* (a large bomb has a foot-high digital readout on its side), Joel Schumacher made something more like a kid’s movie. It offers a trio of origin stories—for Robin, the Riddler, and (through flashbacks visually inspired by Mazzuchelli and Miller’s Batman: Year One) Batman himself. The neon palette clearly inspired the look of the LEGO video games your kids may already be playing. Does it make sense for there to be a street gang with clothes, weapons, and makeup optimized for black-light conditions (and who dwell in black-lit alleyways)? Why would you ask that question? This is the kind of movie in which the art director presents six different designs for the Riddler’s costume and hair and the director says let’s just use all of them.Chris Ereneta

*Sadly, Val Kilmer is no Adam West.

Edited & designed by Chris Ereneta. Suggestions, feedback, and rants welcome at watchwiththekids@gmail.com, @WatchWithKids, or on Facebook. More about this site.