Nov 16, 2017
Batman & Robin (1997) (part 6 of 13)
After a pointless flyover of Gotham, we cut to the botanical gardens, where some dancers are putting on their own pathetic version of the Lion King musical. There are dancers everywhere, with some swinging over the crowd on vines, and all in all it’s even lamer than the “Satan’s Alley” show from Staying Alive. The crowd is having a great time as an emcee takes the stage, followed closely by Batman, Robin, and Gossip Gertie. The emcee then totally disses Batman and Robin by introducing the real guest of honor, namely a big diamond hanging on a necklace. It’s carried out in a frame by Commissioner Gordon [?]. I might be wrong, but isn’t he the police commissioner? Doesn’t he have better things to do than help auction off a diamond?
Batman and Robin make some quiet asides to each other to remind the viewers just waking up that this is supposed to be a trap for Mr. Freeze. Off in a corner, two people dressed in big fur ape suits, one pink and one purple, start shoving dancers around. No one notices, because there’s currently some kind of white slavery auction going on. Well, I guess technically they’re auctioning off dates with beauty queens to raise money or something, but imagining it’s a white slavery auction makes it that much funnier.
Suddenly, everyone stops what they’re doing as some Egyptian-sounding music is piped in, while the person in the pink ape suit stands high up on a platform and gyrates. Everyone in the room just stares, completely transfixed for no apparent reason. Unless they think it’s Grape Ape. In that case it would make sense.
Eventually, the Pink Ape strips off pieces of costume, revealing Pamela Isley underneath in Hot Chick mode. So, where did the Egyptian-style music come from? Did Isley bring her own soundtrack? She removes the ape head to reveal that she’s now wearing a mask that only covers her eyebrows, which may be the weakest disguise ever thought of since Clark Kent’s glasses. She then blows into her palm, causing pink and purple dust that looks exactly like Lik-M-Aid Fun Dip to float all around the room.
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Everyone inhales deeply (including Batman and Robin, who really should know better) and instantly they’re all even more engrossed in Isley’s dance. She sheds the rest of her ape costume and turns around to shake her voluptuous rump for them, because Batman’s anaconda don’t want none unless you’ve got buns, hon. She gives them all a little wink over her shoulder, then stagedives to be caught by a whole bunch of tan muscular dudes that are only wearing loincloths.
These guys then start laying down on their stomachs one after another to provide a walkway for her [!], as Isley steps on all of their backs. Don’t ask me who these guys are or where they came from, but they turn out to be even lamer than the hockey henchmen by not even participating in the big fistfight that’s about to break out.
Eventually, Isley reaches the stage and stands between Batman and Robin. The emcee breathlessly asks who she is, and she says into the microphone, “Poison. Poison Ivy.” The crowd delights in this. Then she points her palm at Batman, takes a deep breath, and blows more Lik-M-Aid powder in his face. As you would expect, Batman just stands there and inhales all of it. I guess he’s just lucky she’s not Anthrax Ivy.
She rubs up against Batman and tells him to “send Junior home” because she’s got some “wild oats to sow!” [?] If this is supposed to be a plant-related pun, they are really, really reaching now. Then she slides over to Robin, saying that “On the other hand, youth does have its advantages!” She calls Batman “geriatric” and tells Robin that “My garden needs tending!” Ew. No thanks.
She grabs the diamond from Commissioner Gordon and puts it around her neck, then announces to the entire crowd that “some lucky boy’s about to hit the honey pot!” Okay, that’s the second plant-themed allusion she’s made to her genitalia in about half a minute. This is a witty script, no? She then basically offers her body to the highest bidder, and the men all start yelling out dollar amounts at a feverish pace. If you’re wondering why Ivy is attempting to become the highest-paid prostitute ever, keep watching.
Eventually, Batman tops them all with a bid of one million dollars. Robin then outdoes this with a bid of two million, leading to the two “humorously” bidding against each other and incrementing the bid by a million each time. When Batman gets to five million, Robin reminds him, “That’s a utility belt, not a money belt!” Huh?
When Batman gets to seven million, there’s a cash register noise on the soundtrack [!], and Batman whips out a credit card [!!]. Ugggh. You have got to be kidding me. The card has a Bat Logo on it, and the credit card company is called “GothCard”. Also, the expiration date states the card is good through “forever”, in some sort of dopey allusion to Batman Forever.
No, my friends, the pain is not over just yet, because soon Batman quips, “Never leave the cave without it!” Please, may I be shot now? By the way, this little impromptu “auction” existed only for the purpose of the stupid credit card joke. There was no other reason for Ivy to offer her body to the whole crowd like that. You know, I’m beginning to think that maybe this isn’t that great of a film.
With that inanity complete, the Freezemobile suddenly bursts through a wall with its Ice Cannon blazing. Freeze wastes plenty of time freezing random nobodies instead of just aiming the damn thing at Batman and Robin while he still had the element of surprise. He pops out of the Freezemobile and yells, “Alright, everyone! Chill!” Yuk yuk. He then repeats “Chill!” a few more times while blasting people with his handheld Ice Cannon, and believe me, it just gets funnier and funnier each time.
Batman uses a Bat Whatever to knock the Ice Cannon from Freeze’s hand, so Freeze sends out his hockey thugs to retrieve it. Why doesn’t Freeze just duck back inside the Freezemobile and use the vehicle’s Ice Cannon instead? Yes, that was a rhetorical question.
More useless fighting erupts as Batman uses what looks like a neon-lighted sombrero as a shield against goon punches. Robin picks up one of these sombreros and tosses it like a Frisbee, knocking a thug off his feet. Meanwhile, Freeze is still wasting his time beating up on redshirt security guards. He finally gets his Ice Cannon back, so he grabs a vine and swings on it. This somehow allows him to go flying up from the floor and through the air to end up on stage face to face with Poison Ivy. Um, yeah, that could happen.
He looks at her and guesses that she calls herself “Plant Girl”. (If the character hadn’t come from the comic book, you better believe this is what they would have called her.) He then guesses “Vine Lady” and “Garden Gal”, before finally telling her to hand over the diamond, “or I’ll turn you into mulch!”
Freeze then just stands there as she slowly unfolds her palm and blows into it, filling his nostrils with Lik-M-Aid. He recognizes it as “pheromone dust”, but reveals that he’s immune to it. Apparently, it doesn’t work on “the cold-hearted”, or in Arnie-Speak, “deh code-hahted”. He rips the diamond off her neck, calling her a “clever little clover”. Although, all she did was stand there, which isn’t what I would call particularly clever. So why did he call her that? Because it’s a “funny” pun, that’s why.
Anyway, Freeze heads back to the Freezemobile while Batman and Robin continue to pointlessly fight thugs. One goon lifts up a neon sombrero, which I guess is really a waiter’s tray after all, and holds it in front of his face. Batman punches the guy right through the tray which, I kid you not, is accompanied by a blare of horns [!!] straight out of the old TV show. Man, Adam West should sue.
When Freeze gets into his Freezemobile, he gives them a thumbs up and pronounces it to be a “cool party!” He plows through a wall, and Batman and Robin, for some reason, just stand there and watch him go. Batman tells Commissioner Gordon to start thawing people out, while Robin just stares lustfully at Poison Ivy, who makes a kissy face at him.
Before Commissioner Gordon gets down to business, he feels obliged to first inform Poison Ivy that Freeze is “one of the most sinister men in Gotham!” After he leaves, Ivy questionably deems Freeze to be, not a man, but “a god!”
Then she finds a snow globe that’s sitting… um, somewhere, with a miniature cityscape of Gotham inside, and she starts shaking it. This is clearly a WE ARE ESTABLISHING THIS OBJECT SO YOU WILL REMEMBER IT LATER kind of moment. The person in the purple ape suit suddenly shows up and Ivy declares, “Enough monkey business!” The ape head comes off and it’s Bane. So, where was he while all that ass kicking was going on? Some super-soldier. Ivy tells him they have work to do, and Bane growls, “Monkeeyyy worrrk!” Yes, it is, but someone had to act in this movie.
We get yet another pointless flyover of Gotham, this one revealing that there’s actually a huge, skyscraper-sized statue of a guy right in the middle of the city. (Gee, will this be important later?) Why would anyone put a statue here? The Statue of Liberty, for instance, sits in a harbor. This is so that people can see it. Why would you wedge a statue between a bunch of tall buildings so that only the people who work in them would even know about it? Oh, right. Comic Book Movie.
Freeze comes barreling down a bridge, closely followed by two henchmen each in their own mini-Freezemobiles. We zoom in on one of the henchmen, who lets out an Evil Laugh because he’s evil and he likes to laugh. The bridge just “happens” to pass right by the giant statue’s head, so Freeze blasts it with his Ice Cannon. This allows him and his henchmen to drive off the bridge and pass right through the back of the statue’s head. Meanwhile, the Batmobile and Redbird are close behind in hot pursuit.
We see more flagrant defiance of gravity as Freeze and his henchmen drive down the statue, easily handling impossibly steep angles. Batman and Robin follow, as the chase continues down the statue’s arm, heading for the statue’s fingers. Batman radios Robin that he can’t make the jump, but Robin insists that he can. They bicker for a while, until Batman tells the Batmobile to access “Redbird control codes” and disable Robin’s motorcycle.
Freeze and his henchmen all make stunt jumps off the statue’s fingers which (luckily for them) just happen to be pointed upwards. Batman follows, but Robin, with his engine disabled, just slides out of control and nearly falls off the statue’s hand and kills himself. Gee, thanks, Batman! As the Batmobile makes the jump, Robin stands on one of the fingers and screams his head off. I guess this is supposed to be “dramatic”.
The Freezemobile makes the jump and lands on the roof of a nearby building. His henchmen, however, are not so lucky, and go crashing directly into the building. Remind me why these guys work for Freeze, again?
As the Batmobile spends the better part of a minute sailing through the air, we see Freeze quip that “It’s a cold town!” and blast the Batmobile with his Ice Cannon. Then we cut to Batman inside looking all shiver-y, so he hits an “eject” button and goes flying out of the car. As he hovers in the air, we see he’s now roughly about 450 stories up.
The frozen Batmobile, however, still lands safely on the roof of the building. So what did Batman eject for? Anyway, Freeze looks at the Batmobile and starts laughing triumphantly. An instant later, he turns to his windshield and sees Batman flying directly at him [?]. Guys, Superman is the one who can fly. Not Batman. Remember?
Anyway, Batman crashes through the windshield, and in a weird moment, we’re spared seeing the two of them duke it out, which would be really awkward in those costumes, anyway (but which we will still be seeing later, unfortunately), and we simply cut to Batman’s cloak pulling back to reveal a subdued Freeze lying on the ground. Batman stands over him, with obvious rods planted in the seams of his cloak that allow to him to spread his wings like, well, a bat, actually.