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this is the worst movie i've seen since the " so bad i walked out on it " " jingle all the way " .
it is crap on toast made of crap baked in a an oven fueled by crap .
it is crap through and through .
nothing works in this film , as to be expected from joel schumacher , who has made only one watchable film in his entire career ( that being " cousins " ) .
here's a man who admits he's a medicore director , a rather charmingly self-effacing statement .
but truth be told , he is much worse than mediocre .
not all scorn should be heaped on schumacher though -- akiva goldsman should not be allowed to write ever again .
there is no plot anywhere , and the " dialogue " is unrelentingly shallow , preposterous , and boring .
they set up mr . freeze as a tragic figure trying to cure his cryogenically frozen wife , then completely sabotage his character by giving him the lamest one-liners .
it turns him into a stock maniacal villain who thoroughly enjoys his villainy instead of a brooding scientist who has spent much of his life to bringing his wife from the brink of death .
but that's par for course -- nothing in this film makes any sense , including half of arnold schwarzenegger's lines .
as mr . freeze , arnold is given way too much dialogue to spit out at once .
this is the same problem he had in " jingle all the way " , and it seems that his austrian accent is getting thicker and more unintelligible as the days pass .
personally , i think that he has more pull with the directors and doesn't retake scenes to make him understandable .
compare his dialogue in the terminator series to the load of nonsense that streams forth in " batman & robin " .
apparently , james cameron knows how to get a competent performance out of arnold .
uma thurman is not as bad , but nothing resembling good either .
her poison ivy vamps around terribly , chewing up scenery left and right .
and her pamela isley scenes are marred by sub-snl standard " acting " , as if she's reading off cue cards and is about to laugh at any given moment .
given the " script " , it's a wonder it didn't happen more frequently .
there is no redeeming feature in this film -- not george clooney as batman , chris o'donnell as robin , nor alicia silverstone as batgirl .
michael gough is eerily sickly looking as alfred , as if the conceit of his illness was prompted by his cadaverous appearance .
in fact , there was something unsettling about his appearance , which seems to have been accomplished without any make-up tricks , looking as if it were scenes from a documentary about a dying man .
unfortunately , every scene about alfred's sickness is bungled with such incompetence that there is absolutely no emotional resonance -- they just go through the motions , losing whatever impact the scenes were supposed to impart .
the movie is rife with poorly choreographed fights scenes that never give any sense of a big battle -- you know there's a bunch of people , but instead of a melee , schumacher decided to focus on a foot or a fist .
there's never a moment of awe , wonder , or mayhem .
the only interesting part of the battles scenes are the freezing effects , which are impressive ( and probably expensive ) .
even then , the fights are so full of camp and stupidity that they become unwatchable .
the hockey team from hell ?
not even the tv series got that stupid ( at least not on the grand scale of stupidity that " batman & robin " showcases ) .
frustrating too are the various supporting characters that walk on and off with nothing to say or do .
blink , and you'll miss elle macpherson as julie madison , vivica fox as a " why is she even in the film " vamp in freeze's lair ( with all of two lines ) , and pat hingle as the most ineffectual commissioner gordan the batman series ever had .
and in what almost seems like an effort to save on costs , vendela kirsebom has no lines as mrs . fries -- she isn't even filmed well enough to look good ( trust me , she's quite attractive outside of this dreck ) .
and as if the film weren't bad enough to limp along with bad direction , bad dialogue , bad performances , and bad fight scenes , there are inconsistencies and illogic galore .
i know it's nit-picky to ask where the hundreds of feet of cable are stored in the batarangs , why the character's arms aren't ripped out of their sockets when they accomplish a one-armed batarang save after falling hundreds of feet ( while holding on to another person no less ) , or where the moisture comes from when freeze's weapon creates tons if ice .
that's all traditional comic book stuff .
but why does batman spring a trap for freeze at a public charity event that endanger the lives of hundreds of by-standers ?
why is there a big switch clearly marked , " heat " in mr . freeze's lair ?
why do countless bumbling police officers even try to take on mr . freeze hand to hand ?
why does alfred encourage silverstone to become batgirl and even go so far as to have a suit made for her ?
why do batman & robin take 10 minutes to bicker before leaving the batcave in response to an emergency ?
and since it established early on that ivy is using pheromones , why don't they wear masks to filter it out ?
i could go on and on .
" batman & robin " is a braindead , pointless , garish , loud film that should still reign as the " worst film of the year " by the time 1998 rolls along .
note to warner bros . -- if you're going to make another batman film , please replace schumacher with nearly anyone .
because it could actually get worse than this .
what schumacher does not understand is that " comic book " doesn't automatically equal unbearable idiocy .
the true equation seems to be schumacher + batman = unbearable idiocy .
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