Batman and Robin (1997)
Plot: Mr. Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger) terrorizes Gotham by stealing diamonds all over the city so he can build his mega freeze gun and hold the city ransom, money he needs to fund his research so he can save his wife (Vandela K. Thommessen) who’s cryogenically frozen with a rare disease. As Batman (George Clooney) and Robin (Chris O’Donnell) try and stop him, the beautiful Poison Ivy (Uma Thurman) comes to town and attempts to drive a wedge between the two heroes.
It’s been years since I watched Batman and Robin. Director Joel Schumacher should never be forgiven for this movie, but I’ve been thinking about how maybe it’s time we let it go and stop giving him shit for it. Then I watched it again for this review, and you know what; he should get crap everyday for making this. Granted it’s not all his fault, but he was certainly a major factor. Batman and Robin represents the evil nature of the movie industry to its core. It’s an abomination to cinema, the world, and mankind. Watching it as a moviegoer, it’s a disgrace. But watching it as a die hard Batman fan, it’s depressing. All you need to know about this movie is that the ice puns are maybe fifteenth on the list of terrible things wrong with this film. Here are the first lines spoken:
Robin: I want a car. Chicks dig the car.
Batman: This is why Superman works alone.
I can’t put into words how much I detest and loathe this film, but here are a few things; Mr. Freeze’s Ice Henchmen Choir, the ice puns, Barbara is Alfred’s niece and not Commissioner’s Gordon’s daughter, Batgirl, the close up butt shots, Poison Ivy’s introduction to Gotham in a purple monkey suit, the cartoon sound effects, Poison Ivy’s plant sex puns, the nipples, Batgirl, Batman and Robin make a public appearance as guests of honor, the Batman credit card that says “Batman Forever,” Batgirl, crazy satellite realignments, and of course many more. I’m so happy that next year moviegoers will get a true adaptation of Bane in the Dark Knight Rises and not the buffoon who mutters “Bomb” and is Poison Ivy’s bitch. I’m really happy for George Clooney in that this movie humbled him and he was still able to carve out a great career. It’s not really his fault. Chris O’Donnell isn’t to blame either. He didn’t write the terrible dialogue in which he shouts “Cowabunga.” Also, the vehicles are just a total disgrace. The Batmobile looks like a fucking techno dance club. And the Batman movies always introduce cool new vehicles at the end. In this, the three heroes look like they are driving lame silver match box cars. Robin’s car has a giant fan behind it! What the hell is that thing! And it’s so LONG. It just doesn’t end. But when it does end, the last line of the movie is just the icing on the cake:
Alfred: I think we’re going to need a bigger cave.
I could go on and on, but that’s why we have the categories (which will be expanded just for this review). As much as I want to give this movie an all out 1, I just can’t, because if it wasn’t for Batman and Robin, we wouldn’t have gotten the Nolan Batman movies. I guess that’s something.
Rating: 1.5 out of 10 (I’d almost rather watch a movie where Jar Jar Binks is the only character)
Category Rankings (Spoilers Throughout):
Best Performance: Michael Gough as Alfred
-It’s the same old Alfred. He at least has some okay dialogue, and the Alfred sub-plot of him dying is probably the best part of the movie.
Worst Performance: Joel Schumacher (Director), Akiva Goldsman (Writer), and Jeep Swenson (Actor) for BANE
-I’m just going to blame all these people for this atrocity. This is the worst adaptation of any character in any book, comic book, or whatever. They took one of Batman’s toughest and smartest villains and turned him into a bumbling idiot who barely knows how to speak. His origin is awful, we have to endure him in a monkey suit, and at one point he grumbles, “Hooooooneeeey…Compaaaaaaany.” Oh yea, and he wears a cute little trench coat at one point, that’s great. Also, after he’s created, he just stands in the same pose flexing his muscles. And then several hours later he’s still in the same pose shouting his name. Wow. The average person may only know Bane from this detestable incarnation, but on July 20th 2012, that will all change.
Best Line: “Hey Freeze…the heat is on.” –Batman right before he punches Freeze at the end
-Look, I know this is a terrible line, but honestly, I was so happy to hear a heat pun and not an ice pun, I welcomed it with open arms.
Worst Batman Line: “Never leave the cave without it.” –Batman on his credit card
-Let’s revisit the infamous Batman credit card. This was a perfect storm of shit. It was three consecutive Mortal Kombat uppercuts. Its bad enough Batman and Robin start bidding on Poison Ivy, but then this sequence of events happen: Batman slides out the credit card, we get the ‘cha-ching’ cash register sound effect, and then Batman says this line. Wow…just relentless.
Worst Robin Line: “Cowabunga!!”
-I already mentioned it. Its fine for the Ninja Turtles, but not Robin in a fricking Batman movie.
Worst Mr. Freeze Line: “Let’s kick some ice!”
-It was a really tough call. But I think this is the worst ice pun. And it’s epically set up. We get a wide shot above Freeze as the camera slowly zooms in right before he says it. And then he draws out the line in terrible fashion. It was a climax of every ice, snow, and winter reference that came before it.
Worst Poison Ivy Line: “Come join me. My garden needs tending”
Worst Batgirl Line: “Yea, that was me. I did it all by myself. That was me.”
-Technically, she’s Barbara in this scene. It doesn’t seem that bad on paper, but the delivery was so annoying to the point where I really wanted to break my DVD player. And Alicia Silverstone is like this the whole movie. She has these arrogant and annoying looks on her face. It’s just awful! She’s such an unnecessary character.
-Batman and Freeze have a decent fight at the end on top of the telescope, but even then there are these two annoying scientists who are cheering and yelling out lines like “dirty fighter.” It’s like we can’t go two minutes without something awful happening in this movie.
-Wow, so much to choose from. I can talk about how Batman’s gadgets are more ridiculous then in the 60’s show. Really, he clicks his heels and there are ice skates. If he knew he was going to go up against Mr. Freeze, I could maybe buy that he would be prepared with those, but he doesn’t get the Freeze information till he’s in costume and driving to the museum. There’s also Alfred already having a Batgirl costume ready to go, and then Batman accepting Batgirl as his second partner in less than ten seconds. Yea, it took him an entire movie to finally warm up to Robin. There’s also Bruce Wayne’s relationship with Julie Madison that doesn’t even get resolved!! She’s in two scenes, and this is never revisited! That’s just terrible screenwriting. But amongst all this crap, I’m officially crowning my Batman and Robin WTF moment as this: After Robin’s motorcycle crashes through the Museum wall, it leaves a perfect Robin symbol as the hole. For some reason, this angers me a great deal. HOW DOES CRASHING INTO A WALL LEAVE A PERFECT ROBIN SYMBOL! W…T…F!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
-The End Credits
-That stupid and worthless motorcycle race scene with Dick Grayson and Barbara. It’s not bad enough we have porno music blasting in the background, but it’s so long and drawn out. The only plot point it serves is Dick Grayson finding out where Barbara goes at night. I’m glad we got such a long dumb action scene for that. Phew.
-When Bruce says, “She wants to kill you, Dick,” that was kind of funny. Clooney delivered it well.
Bad Ass Moment:
-Seeing the Riddler costume in the criminal property locker at Arkham was kind of bad ass.
Will Batman and Robin ever be re-released in theaters so people can go to mid-night showings, get drunk, and heckle it with friends:
-Maybe…but personally, I think it’s so bad; I wouldn’t even want to do that.