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.
Poison Ivy 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, Batman, 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
- Unbelievably bad one-liners on Arnold Schwarzenegger's part.
- 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 just whining and complaining.
- Blatant plotholes.
- Slow and uninterested acting on everyone's part (especially George Clooney as Batman).
- Poison Ivy went from being a flexible scientist to a one-note villain.
- Bane is portrayed as being incredibly stupid, 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. This would be excusable if it was made in the 1960s - but not in the 1990s!
- Batman, despite being very rich, has A BAT CREDIT CARD! Which was said later to actually make sense.
- Numerous homosexual innuendos. (There is an interesting theory that they are in the film due to Joel Schumacher being a homosexual)
- Just like its predecessor, Batman and Robin's costumes have Batnipples and Batasses.
- The film has a more syrupy and comical tone than a serious tone for a superhero film.
- Most 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.
- Laughable battle scenes that try to work well but sadly don't.
- A lot of the innuendoes can be VERY disturbing at times.
- Despite being marketed to kids so they can make money off of toy sales, it is too inappropriate for kids due the aforementioned innuendos and characters occasionally swearing.
- Scientific innacuracy: upon creating Bane, Dr. Jason Woodrue stated that limbic system are the most primitive part of human brain (actually Reptilian Brain are more primitive than even limbic system)
- It nearly killed the Batman franchise until Christopher Nolan successfully rebooted it with the Dark Knight trilogy, almost 10 years after Batman and Robin came out.
- Pointless and unnecessary cameo from the rapper Coolio.
- Batgirl's family history and backstory was completely messed up.
- Michael Gough's performance as Alfred respectively 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.
- Despite the sickeningly colorful visuals, Batman & Robin is actually reminiscent of the Mall of America at times.
- Some of the action scenes are pretty good.
- 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).
- Joel Schumacher and pretty much everyone else involved in the film apologized to angry Batman fans.
- The film spawned a far better animated direct-to-video film that was made by the same people who worked on the critically-acclaimed Batman: The Animated Series.
Batman & Robin was panned by critics, audiences and fans alike. 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.