Review Detail

9.2 17 10
batmandeepfreeze_front
FanFix June 22, 2022 1883
(Updated: November 15, 2022)
Overall rating
 
9.4
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
This is absolutely a fantastic fanedit, even without rating it on a curve for level-of-difficulty. Does it turn Batman & Robin into a good movie? Oh god no.

Does it make Batman & Robin watchable? Surprisingly: yes!

My thoughts on this film and exactly what the hell Joel Schumacher was doing with it are here: https://boxd.it/3qY4bl but suffice to say that it's one of the worst comic book movies of all time. When you wonder why people aren't raging in the streets at the sloppy efforts DC comes out with all the time now, it's probably in large part because we all know just how much worse it can get. This.

But we also know how much better it can be, like Batman: The Animated Series. Seeing that MusicEd's goal was to make this film more like that show was very intriguing to me...and he mostly pulls it off! I honestly NEVER would have drawn the comparison, but changing the movie to black and white showcases the intense lighting that Schumacher used, and actually gives this a rather appropriate, almost Gothic/expressionist look like often used in the animated series. The bizarre building architecture suddenly looks less like studio excess and more fitting to a weird, heightened 1940s aesthetic. Poison Ivy's entrance hearkens back to Fritz Lang's Metropolis and Mr. Freeze's tech looks like something from Lost In Space. The massive rescoring of the film places it more in tone with the series as well, as do the opening credits which I actually found really impressive... God help me, it almost all works!

That said, this is one of the worst scripts ever written, and a lot of the dialogue is still cringey. Despite all the cuts, Arnold speaks almost exclusively in bad puns, so many are still included, like “The iceman cometh!”, “Freeze in Hell, Batman!”, and “Adam and Eve-il…” <eyeroll> Clooney is still as horribly-miscast as him, Silverstone and O'Donnell's storylines are still underbaked and annoying more than fun, and there's honestly just a lot of really inconsistent acting here. The whole affair still has jarring tones at war with each other and plot pieces strung together on the thinnest of margins. It's written down to kids far more than the worst Batman cartoon.

My favorite exchange made me actually *guffaw* at the end, where Batman says-
"The satellites COULD be reconfigured but it would take a computer genius to --"
Robin: "I'm on it!"
Batgirl: "No, I'M on it!"

Ah, this movie is just full of geniuses. ;) However, as dumb as it is, it's a vast improvement over the theatrical version, something which was almost physically painful for me to watch even 5 minutes of at a time. Cutting Bane out of this film works amazingly well, as do most of the other plot alterations. The cuts do leave some slight logic gaps in the narrative, where it really feels like people (especially Batman) just suddenly know things or have decided things and we've missed that whole process off-screen. That said, I'm sure the original film wouldn't feel much different... more material would just raise more questions. It's a silly movie with very little logic to it, so what's here is actually a big improvement. Can't fault it for not being perfect.

If you're going to watch Batman & Robin, this is unequivocally the way to watch it. I still don't know that I'd recommend watching it at ALL, (a better choice would be to spend time with Kevin Conroy's work, the best Batman of all time...) but if you do, this is the way to do it.

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