Review Detail

9.5 16 10
batmandeepfreeze_front
FanFix June 22, 2022 4582
(Updated: June 30, 2022)
Overall rating
 
9.5
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
8.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
Who knew I would ever watch BATMAN AND ROBIN again, never mind enjoy it?

BATMAN AND ROBIN: DEEP FREEZE is a fantastic edit, full stop. Music Ed gives the film an entirely new feel by removing dozens and dozens of lame jokes, adding new score sourced from the Arkham video game series, and applying a black and white colour grade.

Only a select few one-liners remain - the ones that are important for communicating plot and character, and a few that are legitimately clever. The new music works great, too. The Arkham music is recognizably “Batman” without really feeling dated in any sense, so it fits the movie well, and it blends perfectly with the original score cues that are left in. The movie’s infamous neon toy commercial sheen is removed, and the stylish lighting and gothic set design is allowed to shine instead.

Initially, I thought perhaps the editor had brightened the picture too much, but it’s honestly better for the picture to be slightly too bright, rather than too dark. The brightness ensures that none of the picture’s detail gets obscured by the black and white colour grade, and it has a fun effect: the movie now feels old-fashioned in a way it never did before, as the artifice of the sets and costumes and special effects comes alive. It feels fake, but in the best way possible.

Combine that old-fashioned feeling with the cast’s broad, 1960s Batman style acting, and suddenly I’m watching a long-lost campy Batman adventure that lands somewhere between Tim Burton and Adam West, while also feeling like something new entirely.

The editor’s choices are savvy throughout. The opening sequence in the museum is streamlined, and the entire episode onboard Mr. Freeze’s rocket is removed. You don’t even notice that it’s gone. All of the terrible scenes in South America with the mad scientist character are cut, and so is the entire Bane character, who is irrelevant to the story. The character of Pamela Isley gets a perfect introduction, and we don’t miss the explanations regarding her superpowers. She’s Poison Ivy, she’s a supervillain, get used to it.

I could go on, but suffice to say, this is pretty much everything you would want in an edit of BATMAN AND ROBIN.

The middle part of the movie is restructured extensively. I tried to keep track of all the scene shuffling, but I couldn’t, and it all played smoothly anyway. Everything clicks neatly into place and all of the character and theme development continues naturally, which is impressive. (On this note, I would enjoy reading the editor’s full list of cuts and changes, just so I can appreciate the work done even more.)

There are only a few choices that didn’t work for me.

The first is the removal of Pamela Isley convincing Commissioner Gordon to hand over the keys to the police station so she can steal the Bat signal. This is an important scene because it would establish definitively for the viewer that Pam and Poison Ivy are the same person. (Of course, we’ve all seen the movie, so we know this, but otherwise I don’t think it’s obvious until now.) This scene is also where Bruce observes who Poison Ivy is and how her love dust works. It feels strange later when Bruce knows this info without any explanation. The scene would also help break up a string of several scenes that nearly turn the movie into something you might reasonably call BATMAN AND ROBIN: MACGREGOR'S SYNDROME. I understand that seeing how Poison Ivy acquires the Bat signal isn’t important, and perhaps it doesn’t make sense for Julie to still be dating Bruce at this point, but I think the movie misses the scene for the reasons given.

The second choice is the editor keeping Mr. Freeze shouting “It’s time to feast!” right before he activates the giant freeze gun, simply because it doesn’t make much sense without the previous line about revenge being a dish best served cold. This isn’t a big deal, though, especially considering all of the other well-judged trims to dialogue.

The third is maybe more of a personal preference, but I didn’t feel the final shot of Freeze landed emotionally. The shot is obviously transplanted from a previous scene. The situation is the same, with Freeze sitting on his prison bed and gazing forlornly at an ice sculpted miniature of his wife. Even the supposedly dead guards from before are standing in the room. It’s all too gloomy - the scene would work better if it showed Freeze continuing his research in Arkham, as Batman stated earlier, but sadly there’s no footage showing that.

I apologize for running so long in this review! This is an editor at the top of his game, and DEEP FREEZE is one of the best fan edits I’ve seen in a long time. I got a chill watching it. Is Music Ed a gardener? Because he’s very good at cutting and trimming. This movie used to leave me cold, now it doesn’t. Insert plant pun. Ice pun. Trees. Winter. Okay I'll stop now.
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