Mystery Science Theater 3000 head writer Mike Nelson writes in his collection of movie reviews, “Movie MegaCheese”:
For those of you who were scared away by the abysmal reviews of Batman & Robin, let me lay to rest some of the prejudices you might have about the film. It’s not the worst movie ever. No, indeed. It’s the worst thing ever. Yes, it’s the single worst thing that we as human beings have ever produced in recorded history. (There may have been a viler clay tablet somewhere in prehistory, but we mustn’t spend time speculating on that.) Batman & Robin is an act of cold cynicism, reckless incompetence, and unbridled hate. It is a story filled with hints of fetishism and pederasty, displayed with a bald-faced contempt for its audience.
But, hey, that George Clooney is easy on the eyes, I’ll tell you that for free!
And that’s really all there is to say at this point. As with Batman Forever, here are my unedited viewing notes and an obscene amount of screenshots of a really bad, really stupid movie.
George Clooney just looks confused.
“This is why superman works alone.” Batmobile is like a Formula 1 car. No protection for his body at all.
Alfred delivers some awful lines and grimaces afterwards. Hilarious.
“THE ICEMAN COMETH.” Bullshit ice hockey players. Just one-liners. How how HOW did George Clooney agree to this?
Mr. Freeze: Every word he says is a question followed by an answer that has something to do with ice. It’s Arnold so it’s always hilarious.
Movie is needlessly loud. Needlessly blue, too. Fucking lighting and design is atrocious. ROCKETSHIP?! AIRSURF. FALLING FALLING That’s all Joel knows how to do and it looks bad and stupid. Freeze turns Robin into icecube. DUMMMMB. Uma shows up. OHOHOHLYLYS DIHITITIT Robin covered in jizz.
Uma trying animal/plant fusing. Looks awful. Project Gilgamesh is right next door – not making this up – and Bane is born right there. Jiggly, green, veiny Bane. Fucking awful. Luchador mask. Uma is lousy and gets killed by Dr. Idiot. Green shit and mist everywhere, flashing lights. Headache-inducing fuckshit.
George Clooney. What a fucking sex machine. Bobbles his head around. Alfred is shivering from all the shitty movies he’s been in. Aflred drops hints he’s dying and Bruce remembers young Al helping young him. Yeah, whatever, who gives a shit about stories or characters in these movies anymore.
Uma rises out of the ground and makes her introduction. Fucking dumb but damn she has a tight tummy. Bane appears roaring.
WTF is Arnold doing in this movie? WTF is he doing singing shitty Christmas cartoon songs? Making henchmen sing? Smoking cigars? Impossible to understand.
George Clooney has HUGE turtleneck. Alicia Silverstone appears because she was popular once. WTF was her appeal? Bland as hell. Not fair to judge someone’s appeal or acting ability in a Batman movie otherwise Michael Keaton, Christopher Walken, George Clooney, Uma Thurman, Pat Hingle would all be dumpsters.
MAN HOLDING BALLS. Observatory opening scene or whatever. CRAZY REPORTER shows up. Uma Thurman shows up yelling bullshit. Batman & Robin is gonna show up at a benefit or something. BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT THEY DO NOW.
Flower thing. Jungle. Uma Thurman comes out of a monkey suit. Freeze shows up and says CHILL. LOL. Freeze and Uma meet and makes some plant puns. FUCK.
Driving around a huge naked man. Who built this city? Batman suddenly defeats Freeze. Batman and Robin argue over who wants to fuck Poison Iv more.
Poor Michael Gough. Gets the most screentime in this piece of shit. Bruce tries to get advice from Alfred who doesn’t really say anything.
“COLD ZONE.” Freeze can only survive in it in Arkham or wherever they bring him. Jesse Venture is one of the cops. WTF? Arnold invite him on set?
Uma talks like a 20s actress or DRAG QUEEN or something. NEON PAINT GUYS, In case you couldn’t get enough last time. Uma and Bane redecorate. YEAH LET’S WATCH THIS.
BRUCE AND ROMANCE – jokey references to I’M BATMAN. Just seems like he’s gay. Hallucinates he sees Poison Ivy. Man, I think I had that same problem when Kill Bill came out. Bruce says he’s not the marrying kind. GUESS CLOONEY DIDN’T HAVE TO ACT FOR THAT LINE, HUH?
COOLIO?! COOLIO? THE 90S WERE DUMB. MOTORCYCLE CHASE. Joel has his priorities all fucking wrong. How did WB allow this? Friggin’ Clockwork Orange gang. Yeah, Joel you saw a Kubrick movie. YOU’RE A FILMMAKER. Motorcycle scene go on forever. Joel is never gonna master bluescreen. YPU YUP SHAKE THE CAMERA GOOD JOB.
Alicia’s parent’s died too. HURK. OXBRIDGE? Alicia goes on about how she knows more about how Alfred feels than Alfred does.
Freeze sculpts an ice… toy. Oh wait, it’s a perfect mini sculpture of his wife. YEAH ARNOLD CAN DO THAT.
A lways winterize your pipes.
A laundry service that delivers! WOW! HILARIOUIS Arnold lines. Come out of nowhere. The puns and sexual euphasmisms are such a fucking stretch.
Batman works with the cops?! He’s like a sheriff. Mascot.
Is this awful on purpose? Startling evidence: the fucking dust vials from Batman ’66. Adam West sound effects and strutting around like morons. TILTED ANGLES.
My lungs. They’re freezing! GAS. Mr. Freeze doing shit. CHILLED TO PERFECTION. Poison Ivy Action Figure comes complete with him! BANE. They probably did. Did they? Robin falls in ice cream Whatever. UMA KILLS FREEEZE’S WIFE.
Michael Gough. DYING. LIKE ME. PAT HINGLE. SUDDENLY HAS SOMETHING TO DO. Uma hypnotizes him. OR SOMETHING. FREEEEEZE. Observatory. Looks like a huge dickoscope.
Alicia breaks Alfred’s trust and types passwords slowly.
george and Alfred make out while slow version of the theme plays. all the music is variation of the shitty theme song.
Gotham streets. Shitty. FACE HOUSE & HEAD ROOM? Freeze takes over osbseravator.
Alica goes in batcave. Virtual Alfred made her a batgirl suit already. DURRR OKAY MOVIE. Alicia is a fuckin’ stone. Close-ups of T&A. YEAHHH.
PLANT SIGNS. SLIPPERY WHEN WET. PLANT JOKES. Batiglr comes in. NOW GET READY FOR WOMEN JOKES. awful FUCKING EDITING. BATGIRL INTRODUCES HERSELF AND BATMAN AND ROBIN ARE LIKE THAT’S NOT P.C. SPICE GIRLS FEMME POWERMENT DUHHH
Gotham gets iced. DUHHHH.
Different costumes and vehicles. TOYS. FUCKING. DUMB. Random Japanese in background. MISSILES. ALL 3 zoom up. Just because he has things that makes him swoop doesn’t mean he’s BATMAN. They figure out a plan to save Gotham. WHATEVER. arnold. You’re the best. UPSIDE-DOWN KEYBOARD. Batman and Freeze fight on the cockoscope as asian guy gives running commentary. FUCK THIS MOVIE. Bane is reverted to a skinny bastard. Happened to me once.
CLOONEY DOESN’T EVEN CHANGE HIS VOICE. Sounds bored and dumb. Things fall. Where the fuck in Gotham is this?! COMPUTER GENIUS to do this. Oh, so Robin and Batgirl are computer geniuses. SUNLIGHT THAWS EVERYTHING.
For a two hour movie nothing happens. BATMAN CONVINCES Freeze to make the cure or whatever. OH BUT HE ALREADY HAS SOME. Phew. IVY AND FREEZE live at the end!! Wow, that’s a change.
Whaat is Bruce doing wearing a hoodie? Holy shit he’s handsome.
And those are the notes.
At this point Batman’s movie career was dead and tarnished. According to IMDB: “[Batman & Robin] did so poorly in the box office that Warner Brothers canceled the fifth Batman film, “Batman Triumphant”. Had the film been made, the main antagonists would have been the Scarecrow, the Man-Bat and Harley Quinn (for this story, Harley Quinn would have been the Joker’s daughter instead of his on-and-off lover; and at the time, Madonna was being considered for the part) and a prolonged sequence would have involved the effect the Scarecrow’s fear gas has on Batman: a return of the Joker (with Jack Nicholson making a cameo).”
Rumors of a new Batman movie began to swirl around the turn of the millennium. Darren Aronofsky was attached to Frank Miller’s “Batman: Year One” for a long time. High off the harrowing Requiem for a Dream, it sounded promising, but nothing got off the ground until Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer showed up with their own story. Taking inspiration from “Year One,” as well as Tim Sale’s and Jeph Loeb’s “Long Halloween” and Denny O’Niel’s “The Man Who Falls,” their story deals with Batman’s origins and the villains Scarecrow, R’as al Ghul and mobster Carmine Falcone. News of this caused great anticipation. Could this franchise “reboot” be the Batman movie I, and so many others, waited forever for?