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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Note: This is a second version of my review for this movie. It is my
second review for this site.
I realize that this film is lambasted, ridiculed, and used as the butt of many jokes. But there's good reason for that, and you already know what it is: this movie is horrible and deserves to be ridiculed. The world would be a much better place if this movie was never made. In fact, was it even necessary for this film to be made in the first place? I''l just get this over with quick and not waste your time.
The Positives: -Well, Uma Thurman still has a career, but other than that I've got nothing.
The Negatives: -The plot, the numerous holes in the plot, Arnold Schwarzenegger's endless supply of bad ice-related puns, Bane, Robin, Batgirl, the cartoon sound effects supposedly borrowed from the 1960's TV show, the costume designs, the bloated sets, the painfully bad jokes... need I go on?
My 3 choice words: Horrendous, Bataster, Painful
The much-maligned Batman and Robin, while doubtlessly the worst of Batman movies, does not deserve its abysmal reputation. It does feature some incredibly cheesy lines, stupid jokes (esp. the one about the Poison Ivy action figure), and a plot that's somewhat improbable even for a children-aimed comic book. While I prefer the "brooding Batman" side of the Caped Crusader, I have no compunctions against the light-hearted approach, and Batman and Robin is over-the-top enough to be funny. The film's got some nice displays of acting from Michael Gough and Arnold Schwarzenegger - his talents as an actor are vastly underrated, and, while too clownish as Mr. Freeze, Schwarz puts on a convincing and compassionate display of Dr. Fries' affection for his wife. The rest of the cast are somewhat wooden (Clooney, Silverstone) or irritating (O'Donnel, Thurman - she can really do better than play a sexually frustrated plant-woman), but their flaws don't warrant mud-slinging. The effects are astounding if repetitive and ostentatious, and don't fail to impress even by today's standards. In a nutshell, this movie could have been so much better, but still can be taken at face value. In no way a masterpiece like Batman Begins or Batman Returns, Batman and Robin is a decent superhero flick down on its luck.
I think that this is one of the best films out of the Batman Movies. OK so George Clooney wasn't the best Batman (Micheal Keaton was) but the other villains in Batman Returns - Penguin and Catwoman were just pointless. Poison Ivy has got to be the 3rd best villain behind Joker and Riddler. Anyone who says that Joel Schumacer butchered it needs to watch it again. Mr Freeze could have been made better but I don't think it was that bad. Arnie Swartzenneger played him well. And Chris o Donnell and Alicia Silverstone were good sidekicks although she could have had a better name than BATGIRL. That was pretty lame. So the Best Batman was the original but this one is no where near as bad as everyone makes out.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I'm going to do something different with this review. Let's go through
the movie together, and list the good and the bad.
The good: "I'm afraid you'll have to die." That was just... funny. A lot of it is just funny, but not funny enough to justify sitting through the thing. Umm, yeah... that's about it.
The bad: Butt shots. Robin's suit looks too much like Batman. He's supposed to be the opposite of Batman, which is why he was so brightly colored. "Try and bring this one back in one piece" wtf? How many has he destroyed? It's not like they can just make another one just like that. Bat-shaped paraphernalia all over the place. Having a bat emblem over that little screen thing just doesn't make sense. It's kind of like what they parodied in Spaceballs with "Spaceballs the toilet paper" or "Spaceballs the flamethrower". Not every tool needs a bat-emblem on it. The police are right out of an Austin Powers movie. Robin made a Robin-signal shaped hole in the wall when he blew through. Yeah right. The hockey team from hell. Yes, both Robin's remark and the "team" itself. The ice skates. Stupid idea, but also, they would've had to have been in their feet. The ice age didn't kill the dinosaurs. The soundtrack is right out of an Austin Powers movie too. So is that rocket. All it needs is two ball-shaped fuel tanks. Those surfs wouldn't give enough wind resistance to slow one to a safe velocity in a fall. Why would Freeze send the rocket back to Gotham and destroy it? Just because he's... EVIL!!! BWAHAHAHAHAHAH!! The water glowing red when Batman heats it up. Because contrary to popular belief, water really does glow when heated. Uma's acting sucks, especially as Pamela Eisley. Horribly. I would never have guessed Bane was a Batman villain outside of this movie, let alone intelligent. He was just a big lug in this. Batman's reaction to Robin accidentally getting himself frozen. Alfred not telling Bruce he's dying. Alfred's not that stupid, and he most certainly trusts him enough. Nah, Uma's acting sucks as Ivy too. Her lines really suck. Everyone's lines really suck. Random black girl in Freeze's secret volcano lair. Really, what's the point of some random girl saying how hot she is between the legs for Freeze? Half hour into it and still no good lines. One or two funny lines (even though they were supposed to be taken seriously), but no good lines. "I don't suppose they have fax machines on elephants... tee hee" Blonde Batgirl. Why would a reporter ask Bruce about his relationship in front of millions of people? They're introducing a telescope, not gossiping over a $3.50 breakfast at Denny's. Everything else. I'd finish this but I seem to be having a hard time finishing this movie and keeping my dinner down at the same time.
And you know what? It still works. George Clooney steps into the batsuit,
replacing the troubled Val Kilmer, and makes the role his own. In my
Clooney is by far the best of the Batmen. Chris O'Donnell is back as
Batman's trusty sidekick Robin, and the beautiful Alicia Silverstone enters
the mix as Batgirl. Once again the caped crusader is called upon to stop
evil villains from taking over Gotham City. When are these bad guys (and
women) going to learn that you can't beat the Bat? Is it some sort of ego
trip? Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze, and Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy,
are the villains-du-jour this time out. Mr. Freeze was a scientist trying
find a cure for MacGregor's disease, the disease that took the life of his
wife. Sadly, he fell into some stuff that turned his blood cold and really
pissed him off. Poison Ivy, the botanist with a kiss of death just wants to
let plant life take over the earth. Two different people, with one goal, to
rule the planet, and get rid of Batman and Robin.
Without a doubt this movie does what it set out to do, entertain you. It has the same brooding atmosphere as the previous three. A gothic look that makes you wonder why people live there at all. Good guys vs. Bad guys in a battle for the planet. All the usual Batman melodrama, but the one thing that holds this film together is the true family feeling you get from watching Clooney, O'Donnell, Silverstone, and Michael Gough as Alfred. This movie is more about friendship, trust, and family. Before I saw Batman and Robin, I wondered if maybe having another actor play Batman, coupled with Robin from the beginning, and then throwing in Batgirl, would bring down the power of Batman, but it does the opposite. It does what really good movies do, it makes you want more. Instead of just comic book action, there is a feeling of a real family, fighting together as one, and that's what makes this Batman stand out from the rest. People you can feel for, not just root for. Watch out evil doers of the world, Batman and Robin (and Batgirl) are flying high, ready to take a bite out of crime.
By the way, when watching this great flick, please note the opening scene. The heros and villians are "supposed" to be skating on ice with iceskates. There are many cut-shots where the viewer can clearly make out 4 wheels on their feet as opposed to blades. Too funny to not mention.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I have to take exception with the first reviewer of this film. Batman
and Robin wasn't the best of the series, but it wasn't the worst
either. (That honor goes to the previous one with too overthetop Jim
Carrey as the "villian?".
Arnold Schwarzenegger did an excellent job portraying Mr. Freeze. (which surprised me; I didn't think he could do it.) And yes, Uma was over the top a bit as Poison Ivy, but it fit the character.
If the series hadn't started out with Michael Keaton is Bruce Wayne/Batman, I would have had no trouble with George Clooney's portrayal. He did look the part, but failed to exhibit the brooding and torn personality that was Batman. So far no one has done that better than Keaton.
The storyline was a bit better than the last two as well. The villains had reasons for destroying the world that one could almost sympathize with if it didn't mean the annihilation of the human race.
Now on to the bad news. I couldn't agree more with the other reviewer when it comes to Chris O'Donnell's Robin and Alicia Silverstone's Batgirl. O'Donnell just didn't look or act the part, in this movie or the last one, and Alicia Silverstone can't act her way out of a paper bag. I have NEVER seen her do a good job of acting in any movie. There are so many other young actresses that could have done the job well, why did some idiot choose her? This isn't the best of the series, that honor goes to the first batman movie. But it is probably the best of the sequels. As much as I enjoyed Michele Pfieffer as Catwoman, the way she came into being (being licked alive by dozens of cats) was ridiculous, as was the idea of Oswald Cobblepot being raised by penguins. At least the way Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy came into being had a hint of believability.
Enjoy this movie for what it is - entertaining escapism from the real world. It wasn't great, but it was good.
It's really too bad that so many nerds have taken ahold of the notion that Batman is a grim, psychologically-challenged character. While somewhat flawed, this take on Batman is more in line with the character than Tim Burton's versions. The villains are colorful, the heroes are courageous, and a lot of the dislike for this film is nonsense!!!!!!!! Joel Schumacher's take is a blend of the 1940s and 1970s Batman adventures. As far as Batgirl is concerned, he did the best he could. It is not his fault that Barbara Gordon is in a wheel chair in the comic books. Despite all that is said about the movie, I am glad it made a profit for the studio. If you want to see a good, over-the-top action pic, this is it!
Personally I don't understand why a lot of people are against this
movie. It is good and entertaining. I've watched it over 5 times and my
opinion has not changed. Infamous actors, great sound and visual
effects, enjoyable storyline...easily not to be missed. First you have
to realize that this is a fantasy movie. Simply put, never expect any
'realism', it's absolutely foolish to do that. The more it defies from
reality, the better. Fantasy movie has no limitation. Well, with so
much features to be 'unreal', this movie has it all to be a decent
Joel Schumacher has bravely changed the fundamental image of Batman series. It used to be 'dark' (hence the nickname 'Dark Knight')but in this movie it receives a significant facelift, it no longer features a bleak world. Nighttime (Dark) is still a major setting, but it is now brighter and more colorful. Batman himself is no longer helplessly haunted by his own past and lamenting on his tragic fate (hey, he's a superhero anyway, why should he do that kind of thing?), he is now grown more optimistic . And unlike its predecessors, which featured more 'serious' atmosphere (to the extent that they even resembled thriller movies), it is now significantly de-emphasized, and so far, it becomes the only Batman movie most appeal to the whole family. What a surprise with all that, but personally I am happy. Finally, a stronger and 'happier' Batman character appears...
OK, many Batman fans may curse Schumacher for his infidelity, for his attempts on 'ruining' the images of Batman. But again, do remember about the 'fantasy'. It has no limits. Batman has indeed changed, but in a positive way. Great work, Schumacher. For this reason, I regret that the sequel (Batman Triumphant, also by Schumacher and still features Clooney) was never produced, instead it receives a reboot (Batman Begins), and return to its original dark flair. Alas, I can no longer see the 'happy' Batman.
Blame it on Bob Kane - for he was who created Batman with all austerity and forlorn sides the hero is well-known for. Schumacher was just tried to grant Batman a new breathe of life with optimism and happiness this hero deserves - he is an ordinary human being nonetheless.
One simple advice for those who want to watch this movie: sit back, relax, and enjoy all this movie has to offer. Just do not bother do the 'damn,it's not the same Batman I know' thinking, just enjoy our hero on his entirely different shape. You will like it.
Hi - I'm surprised that everyone is jumping on the "I hate
movie" bandwagon. True, it was campy. True, parts of it
ridiculous. But look at the other 3 Batman movies - they weren't all that
hot either - the things I liked about this - the
relationship between Alfred and Bruce was good (this was the first time I
could stomach the Alfred character), Arnold was
2-dimensional at times, but funny as hell, they stuck Jason Woodrue in as a
character, and Clooney did good as both Bruce and Batman - Val was a great
Bruce and an ok Bat - Keaton was
the best Batman and a horrible Bruce. In any case, it really
isn't a bad flick - I have about 3000 Batman comics, read 'em all, they
haven't made A "true" Batman movie, but for the four
that they have made - I'd rank this as #2 of the 4 - first
being Batman (an 8 of 10), this one I rank a "7" and the two others "7's" as
well. Don't listen to the "HATE BANDWAGON," give it a shot, if you're a
Batman fan, you'll find a lot to like.
What 's the matter with you people ? OK I understand if English
people dislike the movie because it has many silly pans , especially
Mr Freeze e.g. " Let 's kick some ice " . But I cannot understand
European viewers have slaughtered the film so much . Alright I admit that
the jokes are beyond silly but who CARES ? This is not a comedy
is an adventure and it should be treated like that .
What 's the story ? Batman ( George Clooney ) and Robin ( Chris O' Donnell ) must face a new threatening villain , the ice - cold Mr Freeze ( Arnold Schwarzenegger ) . Dr Victor Fries as it is his real name is , was a brilliant scientist who was forced to put his wife Nora in cryogenic condition until he could find a cure for her rare disease. An unfortunate accident ( falling into a vat of freezing solution ) disfigured him irrepairably . He can now survive only under extremely cold conditions . So he has developed an armoured suit which keeps his body temperature below zero . He also invented a freezing gun which can make his victums solid ice crystals . So he begins a crusade to freeze the entire world . Halfway he forms an uneasy alliance with the deadly charming Poison Ivy ( Uma Thurman ) a mutated creature with the power of bewitching men and killing them off with a poisonous kiss on the lips. Dr Pamela Isley as she was once called was a botanist working in a lab in South America . She loves plants as anything else and hates the irresponsible humans who keep raping Earth and destroying the environment . After an accident she mutates and reborn as the venomous Poison Ivy who regards herself as an incarnation of mother - nature. She wants the plants to take over the world and wants to eliminate the Caped Crusaders in order not to be in her way !
There are many other subplots but I won 't say more . The writers did a great job wrapping the 7 - 8 subplots in a neat little package . Kudos also to the director Joel Schumacher for some really inspired action sequences ( with the exception of the ice - hockey in the beginning of the film which is very stupid ) . The freezing missile , the jail breakout and the scene in Mr Freeze 's lab where he frosts the cops .This is a major improvement over the disappointing " action " scenes of Batman Forever ( some contrived car chases , bad shot and unsatisfactory ) .
I hate it when people say " what a silly movie ! How rediculous idea the cold energy generating from diamonds . How ridiculous the alliance between the 2 villains ! Why the Batgirl character is now Alfred 's niece since she was Commissioner Gordon 's daughter ? Oh my God what a disgrace for the comic tradition !!!!!! " In a strange way these are the same people who are praising the dark like hell " Batman Returns " . ARE YOU SERIOUS ???? If so , then do you know that the Penguin is traditionally an aristocratic arch - criminal and NOT a disfigured genetically mutant ? Did you ever wonder why Catwoman wanted to kill Batman since he saved her life ? And why did she not kill her boss instantly since he was the one she hated instead of going through all this ordeal ? She could have spared herself ( and us ) from sewing up that leather costume and fighting Batman if she simply took a gun and shot Shreque . By the way did you ever wonder where the Penguin found all these rocket missiles ? And what kind of plot is THAT ? The penguin wanting to kill all the firstborn boys of the city ??? Where did they come up with this ??? The 10 Commandments maybe ?????????????!!!!!!!!
I think I have made my point . Don 't get me wrong , I LOVE Batman Returns . But these movies are FAIRY TALES and should not be taken seriously . We should enjoy them as fairy tales . If B&R has a major flaw is the total absence of Gothism . Regard it as a break from the dark 3 previous installments . That does NOT mean is campy ( despite the corny jokes ) as many suggest . It is a very good adventure . All the performances are great , Mr Freeze is terrific is his frosted Robocop -eque appeareance gives you chills ( this is not a pan ) and basically steals the show . The sets / costumes / make -ups are virtually STUNNING and groundbreaking . The climax of the Gotham city freezing is the best action sequence in the entire series and the Batman Vs Freeze final battle is simply titanic and divine . And finally the villains are not evil . They DO have motives and you end up liking them.
Don 't listen to anyone . Even you who hate it give it another chance. Forget the c**p one - liners and the absence of dark . See it for what it IS . A great roaller - coaster with much humanism and emotion.
BATMAN AND ROBIN 8.5 / 10
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