Bats lived up (or should I say down) to my expectations. Fully disappointing in every fashion, Bats is the John Ritter of movies. It is phony, irritating and something Hollywood should have never put on the screen. It’s not actually a movie; it is a collection of every cliché known to man wrapped around a story that makes Piranha II look like a National Geographic documentary.
Bats has to be the most unoriginal movie ever made. Even if you haven’t seen the movie, you already have seen most of it. The opening scene demonstrates this: A teenage couple is alone in a car at night discussing their relationship while unknown monsters (big bad bats) lurk outside. What kind of producer would pick up a script, read the first setting and then say, “This is great!” “It’s new, fresh and original!” “Let’s do it!” Obviously the producers (other than the writer/producer John Logan) are not very discriminating.
The attempt at hiding the done-before writing behind technical terminology is hilarious. How many times can you say chiropterologist in one movie? According to John Logan, the more the better. I wonder what he was sniffing when he wrote this comment on a refrigeration unit that will freeze all the bats:
“It delivers Freon, CO2 and pure oxygen at superhuman velocity.”
What the? Does this mean we should use terms like “nifty trajectory” or “mondo coefficient of friction”? Even if we did; superhuman velocity? What does that mean?! Beyond that, what is the difference between oxygen and “pure” oxygen is supposed to be? And, wait… isn’t Freon illegal? This character then goes on to say that the refrigeration unit could turn Cairo into icicles in three days. This just gets better and better. To put things in perspective, I ran some numbers (guess what this nerdy author’s job is). Using rough numbers, assuming the unit is 100% efficient and assuming we freeze Cairo only to 100 feet in the air (even though the tallest building is over 600 feet) this refrigeration unit would require about 620 megawatts of power. That’s almost half the power output of Hoover Dam. I don’t recall seeing any generators near the ridiculously small fridge, let alone a hydroelectric power plant.
The technical incompetence in Bats is dwarfed only by the idiocy of the story. There is no story, really. Apart from people fighting with bats, the following is the only information given in the film about why there are bats:
A scientist has altered some bats to be intelligent, communally cooperative and omnivorous. Why? Because he’s a scientist.
I kid you not; this is the entire story presented in the movie. No details, no motivations, no purposes. Van Damme’s The Quest had more thought put into it than that!
My favorite part of this movie was when the main characters fortified an old school to take a stand against the bats. This was the cheesiest preparation/modification scene in movie and television history. This sequence looked like it came straight out of The A-Team (except The A-Team was cool, in its own way). I could just hear the military snare beating away as they welded chain-link over the windows. I started wondering when B.A. Baracus was going to show up with the van.
As bad as Deep End of the Ocean is, this movie must be awarded “Worst Movie of 1999”. The directing in Bats was considerably better than that of Ocean, but the writing is unforgivable. To summarize the worst movie of 99, Bats serves the same purpose in life as mosquitoes: none. I would beat my head in with a brick, pour Tabasco sauce in my skull and serve my brain to a pack of rabid badgers with a rusty ice cream scoop rather than watch this film again.
Back to Movie Reviews.