Batman must battle former district attorney Harvey Dent, who is now Two-Face and Edward Nygma, The Riddler with help from an amorous psychologist and a young circus acrobat who becomes his sidekick, Robin.
Batman and Robin are back working side-by-side to stop the villains of Gotham City, but is there tension appearing between them, especially when one villainess who calls herself Poison Ivy can make anyone fall in love with her...literally. Along with Poison Ivy, the icy Mr. Freeze is freezing anything which gets in his way from achieving his goal. Written by
Director Joel Schumacher first realized that George Clooney would make a good Batman after drawing the famous cowl over Clooney's face in an advertisement for From Dusk Till Dawn (1996). (This was unbeknownst to film critic Roger Ebert, who wrote in his negative review of this film and then later stated on Siskel & Ebert (1986) that "It doesn't matter who plays Batman; I think they cast Batman based on the chin," referring to what he saw as lack of development of Batman as an interesting character in any of the Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher films.) See more »
Freeze smokes a cigar in one scene, which, given the state of his altered biology, he shouldn't be able to do. See more »
[checking out the Batmobile]
I want a car. Chicks dig the car.
This is why Superman works alone.
See more »
The opening Warner Bros. logo re-shapes itself to form an ice-covered Batman logo. See more »
Don't get me wrong, the old Adam West Batman TV show was certainly funny, and given the times, a more accurate representation of what Batman was trying to be wouldn't have succeeded nearly as well. But the show still betrayed all the emotion and grimness of Batman's themes.
In Batman & Robin, Schumacher seems to be getting back to those roots. He treats the entire Batman franchise like a joke. Even if it was funny, this would be betraying the name of Batman. But here, seeing as it's NOT funny, it only succeeds in becoming the worst of the Batman movies, and, arguably, the worst films ever created. And I'm taking into account Plan 9 From Outer Space, Gigli, and You Got Served.
George Clooney just plays George Clooney. Which is the road he usually takes, but this suave, dashing, and charming Batman seems more like Mystery Men's Captain Amazing than the crimefighter of legend.
There's Chris O'Donnell, the angst-ridden Robin trying to break out of Batman's shadow. The only thing he ever really does is act like a child.
Alicia Silverstone. Wow. I seriously wonder what makes someone say, "Hmm, who should we get to play Batgirl . . . I know! Alicia Silverstone!" No offense to Alicia, but she's out in right field on this one. Her tough-girl performance is sprinkled with reminders of her Clueless days. But all that aside, she actually does very little.
Now, onto the villains. Uma Thurman, who we know CAN act, is hamming it up to ridiculous proportions. First, when she's playing the nerdy Dr. Pamela, she exaggerates that to a level I thought impossible. And then she inexplicably turns into an extremely sexualized villainess whose plan, by the way, would kill all the plants she advocated protecting.
Arnold seems like the worst possible choice for Mr. Freeze. I mean, of all the Batman villains I could see him playing - Bane, for christ's sake - Mr. Freeze is not on that list. He possesses none of the emotionless, calculated, and cold (no pun intended) sociopathy which makes Mr. Freeze such a good character.
And then, all that aside, they're handed ridiculous catch phrases and cliches they're expected to say with any level of sincerity? At one point Mr. Freeze says "chill out." Of all the ways it sounds, menacing is not among them.
Seriously, I'd have more respect for Schumacher if I discovered that he hated Batman, and had intentionally ruined it with this garbage. Then, this might actually be just his own personal joke. Instead, it borders on a travesty of good cinema. I only wish that 0 stars was a selectable option at the imdb, for this film ALONE.
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