Lists are made to be argued with, so I won’t deny that primal urge, but I do feel obligated to hold onto Movie Overdose’s position as the only, and it does seem only, defender of Batman & Robin as a movie experience.
The film was today voted the worst film of all time by Empire Magazine readers, something I just cannot agree with. I don’t deny that Batman & Robin is a terrible film, but what was everyone expecting? Batman Forever is a far less joyful and dumb experience, one which still believed that things were going down a good path. Joel Schumacher has proved again and again that with a budget, he’s a douche. I was never expecting Batman & Robin to be great and, therefore, why not just sit back and enjoy the relentless stupidity of everything that happens.
Also, consider what it’s actually doing. This is not a film which is pretending to be cool or clever. Everyone in it, especially the dead-eyed Clooney, completely understands that this is a terrible film. Even Schwarzenegger has to bring his quip A-game to the party to attempt to ring some fun out of his insane dialogue. To contend that a film with such low aims doesn’t manage to succeed to meet them is one that lies to opinion. If you feel this film didn’t meet its aims, it probably is among the worst films ever. But I would argue this film meets those low, low aims perfectly well.
Yes, Batman & Robin is a terrible film, but it wholly crosses the line to be so bad it’s watchable. If you are watching this movie with The Dark Knight in mind, shame on you. That film was expected to be, and was, really good. It took a better storyline, better villains, better actors and a much better director and, shock horror, resulted in a better film. Batman & Robin took a dying franchise which thoroughly deserved to die and be taken in a completely different direction and thuddingly, camply thrust the knife into the heart of the series.
Without this overblown mess, you would not have what followed in the future, and there are many more bad films which have pretensions of grandeur and greatness which thoroughly deserve to be consigned to the shitter of history. But let us keep Batman & Robin, the most gloriously terrible superhero film we have.
I was reading a blog post the other day on Empire Online about the genius of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s one-liners. I’m a huge fan of a good pun (though I guess some would argue that there is no such thing as a good pun), so Arnie’s killing quips are all gold to me! Inspired by this article, I decided to look back at the intense pun-overload of Batman & Robin. This is a movie which is pretty much hated across the board, but I kinda love it in its own special way. Ok, so the plot sucks, the dialogue is corny, and Joel Schumacher seems intent on amping up the camp to 11. Though for some reason I think it works. And this is mainly because of the sheer relentlessness of Arnie’s Mr Freeze and his inability to conduct a conversation without throwing in a dubious gag. He is basically a frosty version of Rodney Dangerfield and because of this, I find his character extremely entertaining. So in tribute, I felt that I should rank his best puns.
5- ‘Ice to see you!’ – The most perfect ice related pun, though I can’t actually remember when he says it in the film. The sheer intensity of cold related puns in Batman & Robin has slightly confused me as to what lines he actually says. For instance there was a time when I was convinced he used the line ‘Thanks for the frosty reception’, but alas I was mistaken…
4- ‘Let’s kick some ice’ – Another great use of ‘ice’. The instance above had Mr Freeze replacing ‘nice’ for ‘ice’, but in this case, he manages to somehow substitute the word ‘ass’. That’s some dedicated punning!
3- ‘I hate it when they talk during the movie’ – This isn’t really a pun and not even a play on words…it’s barely a one liner! But what I like about it, is the fact that Arnie basically says it directly to the audience. None of the characters are listening to him deliver this line, however he does it anyway, showing his commitment to bad comedy.
2- ‘What killed the dinosaurs? THE ICE AGE!’ – People have speculated for years what killed the dinosaurs, but Mr Freeze is convinced that it was the ice age. In fact he was so convinced, that he raises his voice to deliver the answer. What I particularly like about this line, is that he is battling Batman at the time but seems to be having a go at dinosaurs…
1 ‘Allow me to break the ice. My name is Freeze. Learn it well. For it’s the chilling sound of your doom.’ – I think this is the perfect pun. It’s not clever and it’s not witty, but it does boast three ice related puns in a row!
And to finish, you can watch a montage of Mr Freeze puns here!