Batman & Robin
May 23rd, 2008
NC: Hello, I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to. (sigh) Well, guys, this is it. The big one, the shit stopper. The constipation of American cinema. A bowel-blockage from which nothing of any value can possibly be removed! What is said to be one of the worst films of ALL TIME. I am, of course, talking about the indescribable terror that is Joel Schumacher's Batman & Robin.
The Batman & Robin title screen plays, followed by footage of the movie and other things to illustrate his points
NC (voiceover): We are talking about a movie that's so bad, that lawyers are actually making reasonable arguments that their clients' crime may be horrible...but at least they didn't make Batman & Robin.
Cut to footage from Kentucky Fried Movie
NC (voiceover): And in the remotest parts of Southeast Asia, it is still considered the number one preferred form of execution.
Some dialogue is translated with superimposed words saying "Show him Batman & Robin"
Prisoner: NO! NO, PLEASE, ANYTHING BUT THAT!
NC: So as you can tell, I am NOT looking forward to reviewing this stinker. However, before I review it, let's take a look at the declining history of these Batman movies.
Footage of the other Batman movies
NC (voiceover): The first Batman movie was released in 1989 under the direction of then-newcomer, Tim Burton. It was edgy, dark, and made just as much for adults as it was for children. In fact, it was made MORE for adults, and continues to be the highest-grossing Batman film to date.* The second film, Batman Returns, was ALSO very edgy and dark, but MAYBE a little too dark. A lot of people didn't gravitate towards the often disgusting Penguin or the exceptionally depressing storyline. While the first Batman ended on a triumphant note, the second ending was more bittersweet and left a lot of people feeling kinda empty. While still a big hit, Batman Returns wasn't the mega-blockbuster Warner Bros. was hoping for, so Burton was booted off the sequels and replaced with another director. Enter Joel Schumacher, the director of the third Batman film, Batman Forever, which was definitely more kid-friendly, bringing in stars like Jim Carrey, some bright flashy colors, and some really corny one-liners.
Batman: It's the car, right? Chicks love the car.
NC (voiceover): It wasn't good, but it certainly wasn't horrible. It was the Batman film studios always wanted: Safe and marketable. And as you would imagine, it was a big hit. So logically, Schumacher was called in to direct the next one.
NC: And seeing how this is one of the worst films of all time, special precautions have been made today to prevent me from killing myself. For example, all sharp objects have been removed from the building, they took away my tie so that I don't hang myself, and, OH! They also padded the end of my glasses so that I don't jab them in the sides of my throat. But... (He removes his hat and reaches in) they didn't count on my cyanide pills! So, let's take a look and see just how bad Batman & Robin really is.
The film opens with a montage of Batman and Robin suiting up
NC (voiceover): Well, this isn't so bad. They're just suiting up, there's the Batmobile, the music's nice...maybe this won't be so horrible after all.
Cut to Batman and Robin looking at their vehicles
Robin: I want a car. Chicks dig the car.
Batman: This is why Superman works alone.
Camera goes back to NC, who puts the cyanide pill in his mouth hastily and tries to drink it down, but a man in a white coat comes in and stops him
NC: No, no, I can't do it! (cries)
NC (voiceover): So, yeah, if you're not a fan of one-liners, don't worry. There's only a hundred and sixty seven BILLION more of them.
Cut to a later clip of Mr. Freeze
Mr. Freeze: YOU LIE!
Cut to Batman and Robin facing off against Mr. Freeze
NC (voiceover): So the story centers around our main heroes Batman, played by George Clooney, and Robin, played by Chris O'Donnell, as they plan to stop the evil Mr. Freeze from--you guessed it!--taking over the world.
M. Bison (from Street Fighter): Of course!
NC (voiceover): It opens with Freeze, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, robbing the Gotham Museum. So our heroes suit up for battle for the opening fight scene. And yes, those costumes come complete with Bat-nipples and Bat-asses.
NC: All right, you all know what's coming. ("The Ambiguously Gay Duo" song plays as NC points upwards) Now that we got that joke out of the way, let's continue.
NC (voiceover): Mr. Freeze is stealing a diamond that apparently powers his subzero suit. Apart from that, his only goal seems to be making jokes about a subject matter that unfortunately lends itself to a lot of insufferable puns.
NC: And I'll give you four guesses as to what that subject matter is. (words pop up to emphasize each choice) A, celebrity gossip. B, political satire. C, family dilemmas. Or D, Ice.
Mr. Freeze: (various scenes) The Ice man cometh! / Kick some ice! / Can you be cold? / Freeze! / Chill. / Cool party! / Stay cool.
NC: If your answer was D, NO FUCKING SHIT!
Mr. Freeze: Thanks for playing.
Cut to Batman and Robin battling Mr. Freeze's henchmen at the museum
NC (voiceover): So Batman comes busting in along with his sidekick Robin on his motorcycle. As the fight scene rages, we get an onslaught of lame lines and over-the-top stunts.
Robin: (talking about Batman catching a priceless vase) Nice catch!
Batman: You break it, you buy it.
NC (voiceover): In fact, you may notice a similarity to ANOTHER familiar style. Can't quite put your finger on it? Maybe this'll help.
60's Batman music plays, accompanied by the "Pow!" "Wham!" and "Lame!" illustrations that come when Batman and Robin hit people.
NC: That's right. This Batman movie has stopped moving forward with its dark storylines and complex character development, and has instead gone back to the campy, bright and colorful style of the original Adam West TV show. (After a moment of silence, he leans in closely to the camera) HEEEELP!
NC (voiceover): So as the fight scene continues, we see Batman and Robin literally skate across the icy floor, playing hockey with a valuable hunk of diamond.
NC: Do I even have to make fun of this?
NC (voiceover): Meanwhile, Freeze manages to hook up a rocket that'll launch him into space.
Mr. Freeze: What killed the dinosaurs?
NC: Gee, is it something having to do with ice?
Mr. Freeze: The Ice Age!!!
Freeze takes off on his rocket with Batman pursuing him, where Freeze traps him
NC (voiceover): Batman works his way up the rocket where the villain freezes him to the wall.
Batman: Freeze...you're mad.
NC (voiceover): Yes, listen to the sane man in the Batsuit.
Mr. Freeze: I think not!
Robin rescues Batman and they dive out of Freeze's rocket
NC (voiceover): Robin comes to rescue him as they surf their way down to the ground off the doors of the rocket. The only thing that would make this scene lamer is if Robin actually shouted "cowabunga".
NC looks unimpressed. Cut to Batman and Robin catching up with Freeze, until Freeze freezes Robin
NC (voiceover): As if this scene couldn't possibly be any longer, Batman and Robin chase Freeze into another building, where Robin gets frozen by the ray gun.
Mr. Freeze: Stay cool, bird boy.
NC: GOD, HOW MUCH LONGER IS THIS MOVIE?!
A placecard comes up saying "Time in: 10 minutes"
NC: 10 MINUTES?! WE'RE ONLY 10 MINUTES IN?! Ooooh...this film is gonna be the end of me!
Cut briefly to an earlier scene
Cop: Show some mercy!
NC (voiceover): All right, so after Freeze gets the diamond back, Batman stays behind to thaw out (imitating Mr. Freeze.) "bird boy."
Mr. Freeze: (to Batman) Your emotions make you weak. That's why this day is mine! I'll kill you next time!
NC: Why not kill him now?
Cut briefly to a later scene of Bruce Wayne
Bruce Wayne: I wish I knew.
NC (voiceover): As you can tell, Schwarzenegger is easily, by far, the worst actor in this movie.
We are first shown the film's other villain, Poison Ivy
Poison Ivy: I've got some...wild oats to sow.
NC: ...Until this person came along. And you are?
Poison Ivy: Poison Ivy.
Cut to Poison Ivy's introduction as a nerdy scientist working at a doctor's lab
NC (voiceover): Ah, yes, Poison Ivy. The woman who started off as a nerdy environmental scientist who works in the most clichéd of evil laboratories.
NC: Seriously, this place is so clichéd, all you need is a strike of lightning on the building.
It happens. Pamela Isley discovers that Dr. Woodrue has turned a normal person into a powerful thug named Bane
NC (voiceover): She's shocked to find out that her boss is turning people into Mexican wrestlers, to auction off to power-hungry dictators. Finding out that his diabolical plan is revealed, her boss takes it well.
Dr. Woodrue: I'm afraid you'll have to die. (he then pushes Pamela Isley into many chemicals, laughing maniacally while he does so)
NC (voiceover): From all the toxins and chemicals arises a flowery femme fatale known as Poison Ivy, who kills people by giving them venom-filled smooches. Talk about the kiss of death!
Cut briefly to a later scene of Batman
Batman: Why are all the gorgeous ones homicidal maniacs?
NC (voiceover): By using her love of deadly plants, Poison Ivy's diabolical goal is to--you guessed it--take over the world.
M. Bison (from Street Fighter): Of course!
We are first shown Barbara, Alfred's niece, visiting her uncle.
NC (voiceover): Meanwhile, back at Wayne Manor, Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson get a visit from an unlikely visitor: Alfred's niece, Barbara, come all the way from Britain.
Barbara: Uh, the new computer sciences division.
NC: I'm sorry, I just can't understand you under that incredibly thick British accent.
Barbara: I don't know, all this luxury really isn't my style.
NC: Definitely Liverpool.
Barbara: I've always lived kind of rough.
Cut to Mr. Freeze looking at his sick wife Nora
NC (voiceover): Meanwhile, we discover that the villainous Mr. Freeze actually has a wife, who has an incurable disease. So he keeps her frozen in the comfort and hidden safety of A NEON-LIT ICE CREAM PUB!
NC: How can no one figure out that he's in there?
NC (voiceover): It's the equivalent of Walt Disney trying to hide out in Disneyland. I mean, don't you think SOMEBODY would take a look?
Cut briefly to a later clip of Barbara
Barbara: It's really ridiculous.
NC (voiceover): While trying to figure out a cure for his beloved wife, Freeze spends most of his time conducting an orchestra of killer Eskimos to sing "I'm Mr. White Christmas, I'm Mr. Snow."
Cut to Batman and Robin making a special appearance at a Gotham auction, where Poison Ivy makes her entrance
NC (voiceover): Meanwhile, the Batman who used to hide from the limelight and steal any photographs taken of him is now making public appearances, at a sexist auction where men bid on good-looking women to take out on a date. While there, they come across the seductive Poison Ivy, who blows a hypnotizing perfume that makes men bow to her every will. And as you sadly might've guessed, Batman and Robin actually start bidding on her.
Batman: 1 million dollars.
Robin: 2 million.
Batman: 3 million.
Robin: 4 million.
Batman: 7 million. (he pulls out the Bat-credit card) Never leave the cave without it.
NC is beyond shocked
NC: A Bat...credit card? They gave him a Bat-credit card? They had the BALLS to give one of the GREATEST superheroes of all time a BAT-CREDIT CARD?! NO! NOOO! DOES NOT COMPUTE, DOES NOT COMPUTE, DOES NOT-
The man in the white coat comes back to restrain NC as he yells angry gibberish; a placecard comes up indicating it is now "20 minutes later". NC is now calm
NC: I...apologize for that outrage. It was childish and immature. I just get...a little peeved when I see one of my childhood icons carrying... (Gets angry again) A BAT-CREDIT CARD?! YOU BASTARDS! I'LL KILL YOU! I'LL KILL ALL OF YOU! ALL OF YOU WILL DIE! YOU'LL GET THE GAS!
Placecard indicating it is "One Hour Later"; NC looks disheveled
NC: Ahem. (He's about to speak, but immediately resumes being angry) RAPE MY CHILDHOOD WILL YOU?! YOU'LL ALL DIE! YOU WILL ALL DIE-
Place card indicating is now "Seven Hours Later"; NC is looking much better
NC: (deep breath) Okay...phew. I'm cool, I'm fine, I'm fine. So, after Batman uses the...you know what...
Cut to Mr. Freeze breaking into the party, but Batman catches him after a chase, much to Robin's dismay
NC (voiceover): ...Mr. Freeze busts in and ruins the party. But through an exciting chase, Batman catches Mr. Freeze, doing God knows what to him under that cape, and places him in Arkham Asylum. But Robin is angry because (mocking) HE wanted to get Mr. Freeze!
Robin: I could've made that jump. Sometimes, counting on someone else is the only way you win.
NC (voiceover): In fact, most of Robin's dialogue is just bitching and moaning.
Robin: (various scenes) She loves me and not you. / This is no partnership. / I want a Robin Signal in the sky. / It's Batman and Robin, not Robin and Batman.
NC (voiceover): You could pretty much just replace his dialogue with...
Most scenes of Robin talking are dubbed in with NC's childish mumbling. Cut to an earlier clip of Robin
Robin: Look, I made a mistake, I'm sorry.
Cut to Barbara participating in a motorcycle race, which Dick soon discovers
NC (voiceover): Meanwhile, in story number 12, we see that Barbara gets out all of her rage and emotions by partaking in pointless motorcycle chases. After Dick Grayson saves her from the world's worst blue-screen effect, Barbara reveals a stunning secret about Alfred.
Barbara: How he's hiding the pain all the time? Alfred's sick.
NC: Oh, Alfred is sick? Alfred is sick? I mean, do we really have to concern ourselves with the butler in this movie? I mean, come on, how sick could he possibly be?
Bruce Wayne: He's dying.
NC: Wow, awkward.
Cut to many scenes of Bruce and Dick trying to give a sick Alfred comfort
NC (voiceover): So Bruce and Dick decide to give him a leave of absence due to reasons of dying. Here, Bruce and Alfred have a very heartfelt talk. He also reveals his personal appreciation for Alfred. But maybe a little too much.
Bruce Wayne: I love you, old man.
Alfred: And I love you.
Cut to NC, who triggers the "Ambiguously Gay Duo" song again. Cut briefly to a later clip of Robin
Robin: You've got some real issues with women, you know that?
Cut to Poison Ivy teaming up with Mr. Freeze. During that scene, we are shown the Ridder's suit in a jail cell
NC (voiceover): Meanwhile, Poison Ivy breaks Freeze out of prison and steals his subzero suit. By the way, the Riddler suit here IS kinda clever. But Freeze needs his diamonds from his headquarters to keep his suit active.
Poison Ivy: I'll help you grab your rocks.
NC mock laughs at the "joke". Cut to Poison Ivy attempting to kill Freeze's wife by unplugging her
NC (voiceover): Ivy agrees to pick them up while also pulling the plug on Freeze's wife, leaving her to die.
NC: I wish I was in that jar.
Cut briefly to a clip of Robin
Robin: You can say that again.
Cut to Batman and Robin attempting to confront Poison Ivy, only for Poison Ivy to use her manipulative abilities to make them fight each other
NC (voiceover): The Caped Crusaders try to stop her, but are turned against one another because of their lust for Ivy.
Cut briefly to a later scene of Bruce Wayne
Bruce Wayne: She wants to kill you, Dick.
NC: You watch your language.
NC (voiceover): Ivy escapes, and leaves Batman and Robin to fight over her.
Cut to Commissioner Gordon confronting Batman after Poison Ivy escapes
Commissioner Gordon: What happened? How'd they get away?
NC: How dare you didn't stop them! It's not like this is a job for the poli...How dare you didn't stop them!
Cut to Poison Ivy lying to Mr. Freeze about his wife's fate, causing Mr. Freeze to turn more evil
NC (voiceover): As Ivy returns, she tells Freeze that Batman killed his wife. So Freeze vows to take vengeance on society.
NC: Sheesh, all that's missing is for Freeze to shout "First Gotham, then the world."
Mr. Freeze: First...Gotham, and then...THE WORLD!
NC is frustrated, but looks around to see if anyone is watching. He gingerly reaches down and picks up a small tape player and puts a crude look-alike copy of himself in his chair; he makes a "shh" motion to the camera, then turns on the tape player
Tape player: I hate this. Look at that. That's so lame. This is idiotic. I really hate this. This is so stupid. I wish I could kill myself. Wow, that's horrible. Oh, my God, I can't believe how bad this is. I wish I could kill myself.
The sound of a brawl somewhere off-screen is heard and NC is thrown back to his chair. Cut to Robin confronting Poison Ivy and them kissing
NC (voiceover): So while Freeze tries freezing the world, Ivy tries to seduce the Dynamic Duo. And here's something you never thought you'd see in this movie, a man kissing a woman.
NC: No, Robin, no! You're just confused!
NC (voiceover): But rubber lips sink ships, as Batman and Robin put their feud behind them and are ready to kick some green thumbs.
Cut to Barbara discovering Bruce's secret
NC (voiceover): Meanwhile, Barbara finds out what anyone with a brain cell could: that Bruce and Dick are Batman and Robin. And you gotta love her expression when she finds it out.
NC affects a goofy expression to mock her
NC (voiceover): She makes her way to the Batcave where a virtual reality Alfred--I know, just go with it--tells her that he KNEW she would find out who they were, discover the Batcave, and has even prepared a Batsuit for her to go out and fight crime.
NC: (confused) ...Well, of course!
Cut to Batgirl fighting against Poison Ivy
NC (voiceover): So Barbara helps her colleagues by becoming the fearsome Batgirl, the only character in this movie who SHOULD have Bat-nipples, but doesn't seem to have them. I never thought a catfight between Alicia Silverstone and Uma Thurman could be so boring. So she defeats Poison Ivy by knocking her into her own man-eating plant. I think the only thing missing here is for Poison Ivy to shout out "Curses!"
NC: Go ahead, say it, I dare you. I double-dare you, motherfucker! You know you want to! You know you wanna do every cliché in the book! Go ahead, say it, SAY IT!
Poison Ivy: CURSES!
NC: GODDAMN THIS MOVIE!!!! It did it, it finally did it! Batman has driven me bat-shit crazy!
He acts crazy, while imitating Woody Woodpecker's laugh at one point, and downs some pills
NC: Ahh...tranquilizers. Always come prepared when Joel Schumacher is involved.
NC (voiceover): So Batgirl saves the Dynamic Duo and reveals her secret identity.
Batgirl: Bruce, it's me...Barbara.
NC: A-buh-jijabuh...Barbara? Who would've guessed? That mask just hides your face so well!
Cut briefly to a clip of Mr. Freeze
Mr. Freeze: I find that unlikely.
Cut to the now-formed trio trying to form a plan to save Gotham from Freeze
NC (voiceover): So the three of them head out to stop Freeze after having a change of wardrobe apparently, and plan to unfreeze the city.
Batman: Sunlight could reverse the freezing process.
Batgirl: The sun doesn't rise for five hours.
Robin: But it's morning in the Congo
Batman: We could relay the sunlight from the equator-
Batgirl: It'll take about a minute for the satellites to realign.
Batman: The satellites could be positioned to thaw the city directly, but that'd take a computer genius.
Robin: I'm on it!
Batman: All right, I'll set the telescope, you thaw the mirrors.
NC: Oh, thank God I don't care.
Cut to the film's climax, all shown quickly as NC speaks
NC (voiceover): So after a series of lame lines, ridiculous stunts and over-the-top effects, our heroes defeat Mr. Freeze and blow up his giant ray gun. Wow...just think of how many starving children we could've saved with the money used for these effects!
Cut to an earlier clip
Ms. B. Haven: Talk about your cold shoulders.
NC (voiceover): After that, they melt all that nasty snow covering Gotham down to your basic, simple rubber icicles.
An arrow points to some fake icicles in a scene
NC: But wait a minute, what about Alfred? Isn't he still at Death's door?
Cut to Batman revealing Poison Ivy tried to kill Freeze's wife to Freeze, and then revealing his wife is still alive, and convincing Freeze to hand him the cure for Alfred
NC (voiceover): Well, luckily, Freeze's wife has the EXACT SAME DISEASE as Alfred, and having a change of heart, [Freeze] gives Batman the cure that he kept in his suit.
NC: And he didn't use this on his wife because...?
Cut to the film's final scene
NC (voiceover): So as you can imagine, they put Freeze in jail, give the cure to Alfred and they all live happily ever after. But wait! What to do about Barbara?
Bruce Wayne: You are going back to school.
Dick: Bruce, you're never gonna win this argument.
Bruce Wayne: Partners.
NC (voiceover): So you see, kids, the moral of the story is: drop your studies, forget all about school, dress up in tight leather and live your life as a superhero. Why? Because Batman said it's okay!
NC: I'd say this is a horrible lesson for the kids, but I don't think it really matters. No kid ever saw this movie! Batman was a gigantic Bat-bomb!
NC (voiceover): Why? Because this film is so terrible, so horrific, and so godawfully bad...
NC: ...that there's only one word that could possibly sum it up. You wanna know what that word is? I'll tell you.
He pulls out a cane, and starts singing and dancing, occasionally switching to scenes from Mary Poppins and Batman & Robin. His song basically serves as his final thought on the film
NC: (singing) It's super-crap-a-fuck-ariffic-expiala-bullshit! A film so bad the censors really oughta go and pull it, sadly there's not many words that only rhyme with bullshit, super-crap-a-fuck-ariffic-expiala-bullshit! Fuck-alily-fuck-alie, fuck-alily-fuck-alie. Here's a film that's so awful I'd rather have a guy...come circumcise me with an ax and poke me in the eye. I'd rather drink a giant bowl of ape and monkey splooge, and there's another MILLION things that I would rather do! Super-crap-a-fuck-ariffic-expiala-bullshit! A film so bad the censors really oughta go and pull it, sadly there's not many words that only rhyme with bullshit, super-crap-a-fuck-ariffic-expiala-bullshiiiiiiiiiiiiiit! ...No, really, though, it's awful.
*Keep in mind that this review was made before The Dark Knight was released