Batman & Robin
Batman & Robin is a 1997 American Superhero film based on the DC Comics character Batman directed by Joel Schumacher and written by Akiva Goldsman.
Batman (George Clooney) and Robin (Chris O'Donnell) fail to stop Mr. Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger) from stealing a cache of diamonds. They learn that Mr. Freeze was once a scientist named Victor Fries, who became dependent on a diamond-powered sub-zero suit following an accident in a cryogenics lab while working to save his wife, Nora, from a terminal illness called MacGregor's Syndrome. Meanwhile, botanist Dr. Pamela Isley (Uma Thurman) is experimenting with the strength serum "Venom" to create mutant plants capable of fighting back against mankind in a laboratory located in South America. She is angry that her senior colleague, Dr. Jason Woodrue, used her Venom to transform a diminutive prisoner into the "super soldier" Bane. She refuses to partner with Dr. Woodrue, so he tries to kill her with animal-plant toxins and chemicals, causing her to transform into the beautiful and deadly Poison Ivy. She kills Dr. Woodrue with a venomous kiss and vows to establish botanical supremacy over the world.
Alfred Pennyworth's niece Barbara Wilson (Alicia Silverstone) makes a surprise visit from England and is invited to stay at Wayne Manor. Later, Barbara finds the Batcave and creates her own crime-fighting persona with the help of a computer simulation of Alfred. The real Alfred is suffering from MacGregor's Syndrome. He is, however, in the early stages of the disease for which Mr. Freeze has developed a cure, despite being unable to cure his wife's condition because it is too advanced. Ivy arrives in Gotham City with Bane as her henchman. She interrupts a Wayne Enterprises press conference at the Gotham Observatory where a giant telescope is being unveiled. Poison Ivy demands Bruce Wayne use his fortune to safeguard the natural environment at the expense of millions of human lives, and Bruce refuses.
Poison Ivy appears at the Gotham Botanical Gardens fundraiser, seducing everyone present with her pheromone dust, including the Dynamic Duo, who are there to protect a diamond from Mr. Freeze. When Mr. Freeze crashes the event, Poison Ivy is instantly captivated by his "ruthless charm". Mr. Freeze is captured by Batman and detained at the Arkham Asylum, but is soon broken out by Poison Ivy and Bane. She turns off Nora Fries' life support and makes Mr. Freeze believe Batman did it, persuading him that they should destroy Batman along with the society that created him. They plan to turn the observatory's new telescope into a giant freeze ray to kill all of humanity and allow Poison Ivy's mutant plants to take over the world.
Meanwhile, Robin is under Poison Ivy's seductive spell and is rebelling against Batman. Robin goes to meet Poison Ivy at her garden hideout, where her venomous kiss fails to kill Robin because Batman had persuaded him to coat his lips with rubber. Poison Ivy tries to drown Robin in her lily pond and entangles Batman in her crushing vines, but they are able to free themselves when Batgirl arrives and traps Poison Ivy in her own floral throne. Batgirl reveals herself as Barbara and the three crime-fighters arrive at the Observatory to stop Mr. Freeze, who has already frozen all of Gotham. Bane attacks Robin and Batgirl, but they incapacitate him and revert him to his original human state. Robin and Batgirl save Gotham by using the observatory's satellites to reflect sunlight from outer space to thaw the city.
Batman shows Mr. Freeze video proof that Poison Ivy pulled the plug on Nora and reveals that he was the one who saved her. He reveals that Mr. Freeze will be allowed to continue his research at Arkham Asylum to cure Nora. Batman asks Mr. Freeze for his cure for the early stages of MacGregor's Syndrome for Alfred and Mr. Freeze atones for his misdeeds by giving him two vials of the medicine. At Arkham, Poison Ivy is joined in her cell by Mr. Freeze, who vows to exact revenge on her for what she did to his wife. Back at Wayne Manor, Alfred is cured and Bruce invites Barbara to live with them, joining Batman and Robin to fight crime as Batgirl.
Why It Sucks
- While the premise of Batman and Robin going against Poison Ivy and Mr. Freeze sounded very original, it was sadly ruined with a horrible execution turning the Batman film series into a dead horse.
- Unbelievably bad one-liners and puns from Arnold Schwarzenegger's Mr. Freeze.
- Chris O'Donnell's acting is that of a spoiled brat and an all-around moron and his character Robin spends most of his screentime whining and complaining.
- Blatant disregard for physics (i.e. characters being able to safely jump from dangerous heights).
- The film has lot of plot holes everywhere.
- Why can Mr. Freeze smoke a cigarette given the state of his altered biology?
- Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy do not seem very compatible as partners because he wants to freeze the world and she wants plants to roam the world. Plants can't survive in freezing temperatures.
- Ms. B. Haven shows no ill effects from wearing a skimpy outfit in Freeze's frozen hideout.
- After the scene where Mr. Freeze takes out two vials with blue liquid in them, we see that they fit perfectly into Alfred's IV stand in the Wayne Manor. Unless they were both made by Wayne Enterprises, it's not possible to fit it in the IV stand that perfectly.
- It creates of countless of product placements, such as the Apple (Mac) computers.
- The acting on everyone's part (especially George Clooney as Batman) is very poor.
- Some of the villains that were never good as they were in the comics books for many reasons:
- Bane is portrayed as being incredibly slow-witted, in stark contrast to his comic book counterpart who has genius-level intellect.
- The first two films had a very dark and serious tone, and while the third film was a bit lighthearted, it had its dark moments as well. This film, however is way too colorful and campy almost '60s style. In fact, the whole movie feels more like a feature-length toy commercial than an actual Batman movie.
- Batman himself, despite being very rich, has "A BAT CREDIT CARD!"
- Numerous unnecessary homoerotic innuendos, like the camera zooming in on everyone's buttocks and crotches during the opening sequence, and as well as Batgirl's dress up sequences showing her breasts and buttocks as well (there is an interesting theory that they are in the film due to Joel Schumacher being homosexual).
- Most of the Batman fans thought that George Clooney made a poor Batman and Clooney himself even admitted that he despised playing Batman. Years after starring in this film, he refuses to talk to people about how awful he felt playing Batman and most people don't blame him for being unhappy about it.
- Scientific inaccuracy: Upon creating Bane, Dr. Jason Woodrue stated that the limbic system is the most primitive part of the human brain (actually, reptilian brains are more primitive than even the limbic system)
- It nearly killed the Batman franchise until Christopher Nolan successfully rebooted it with the Dark Knight trilogy.
- Michael Gough's performance as Alfred is decent.
- While the film mostly treats Mr. Freeze as a joke, it keeps his sympathetic backstory from the classic Batman: The Animated Series episode "Heart of Ice" intact.
- Mr. Freeze is quite intimidating in some scenes, such as his very first freezing of a man (before a corny one-liner kills the mood), his enraged breakdown after learning his wife is apparently dead, and his last scene where he threatens Poison Ivy in Arkham Asylum.
- Some of the action scenes are pretty decent, though not as good as the first three Batman films.
- There are a few good cinematographies throughout the entire film.
- Almost all the vehicles in the film look really cool.
- The special effects are good, especially since most of them are practical with a small touch of CGI.
- The outfits are nicely done (if it weren't for the fact that they put Batnipples and Batasses on the superhero suits).
- The late Joel Schumacher apologized to angry Batman fans for ruining the film's franchise
Batman & Robin was universally panned by critics, audiences and fans alike, and is considered to be one of the worst movies of all time. The film holds an 11% on Rotten Tomatoes with a critic consensus that reads "Joel Schumacher's tongue-in-cheek attitude hits an unbearable limit in Batman & Robin resulting in a frantic and mindless movie that's too jokey to care much for."
Batman & Robin opened up at #1 on its opening weekend with a gross of $14,612. It would later make a domestic gross of $107,325,195. In overseas box offices, it made $130,881,927. Overall, Batman & Robin made $238,207,122 against its $125 million budget and was a box office disappointment.
Awards and nominations
Batman & Robin was nominated for 10 Golden Raspberry Awards including Worst Picture, but it only won one for Alicia Silverstone as Worst Supporting Actress. Despite the nominations, Batman & Robin won a Kid's Choice Award for Alicia Silverstone as Favorite Actress.