‘BATMAN & ROBIN’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
Batman, Robin and Batgirl with Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy
‘Batman & Robin’ is the fourth of the original ‘Batman’ movie series! It was again directed by Joel Schumacher and it stars George Clooney as Batman and Chris O’Donnell as Robin, Batman’s sidekick.
The film also features two villains in Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze and Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy. It also introduces Alicia Silverstone as Barbara Wilson/Batgirl (I’ll talk more on this later).
Oh dear, oh deary me! ‘Batman & Robin’ is considered to be the worst ‘Batman’ film ever made. In fact, many fans hate this movie to the degree that it’s considered the worst superhero movie ever!
I don’t think that this is the best film of the original ‘Batman’ series. But after seeing the movie twice, I don’t consider it the worst superhero movie ever. For me, that claim goes to the 2003 ‘Hulk’ movie!
Unlike the first three films’ efforts, this movie went into more comedic territory. This was due to the creative direction that director Joel Schumacher went for, but it was terribly misguided in this movie.
I’ve read and seen plenty of reviews by fans and critics on why ‘Batman & Robin’ is considered the worst movie ever. I’ve taken these arguments aboard and I have found them intriguing to discover.
Some say that this movie is essentially an adaptation of the Adam West ‘Batman’ TV series from the 60s. But for me, having seen the Adam West ‘Batman’ TV series already, I would argue against that.
The film doesn’t look anything like the Adam West ‘Batman’ TV series with its dark lighting and atmosphere and not being bright and colourful. I also found the Adam West series funnier than this!
George Clooney stars as Bruce Wayne/Batman in this movie. I must admit I found George Cloony an odd choice to play Batman and didn’t consider him to be very convincing as Batman when I saw this.
When I see him, I don’t think of George Clooney as Batman. I think of George Clooney as George Clooney. I also don’t think he put enough effort into his performance as Batman (no gravelly voice!)
This leads me onto talking about a theory I have with the original ‘Batman’ movie series. I believe that Batman/Bruce Wayne is a Time Lord in these four movies. This is the reason why I think that is.
Batman seems to change from Michael Keaton into Val Kilmer into George Clooney without anyone commenting on it. Alfred, Robin and Commissioner Gordon don’t comment it and they’ve stayed the same.
I know there were behind-the-scenes issues with actors not getting on well with the directors and such. But to put these four ‘Batman’ films in a relative state of continuity, the theory’s plausible, right? 😀
Chris O’Donnell returns as Robin in this movie. I must say, I found Robin rather annoying in the film. He complains and whines a lot about Batman not trusting him and considering him a team member.
This contrasts differently to ‘Batman Forever’, as I thought the two would have progressed beyond that stage. If this was an adaptation of the Adam West series, Batman and Robin would be buddies.
Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as Mr. Freeze, the movie’s main villain. Schwarzenegger is famous for many action films such as the ‘Terminator’ series. For me, he starred in the film, ‘Jingle All The Way’.
However, this is one of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s downfalls as an actor in the movies. Although the story for Mr. Freeze’s origins was interesting, Schwarzenegger’s performance was way over the top.
Speaking of which…the puns! Oh dear me! The puns! This is supposed to be a movie where it’s dark and serious and where many characters need to shut up! Mr. Freeze has too many ‘ice’ puns in this!
Mr. Freeze needed to be intimidating and he didn’t need to have ‘ice’ puns in order to do it. The ones that spring to mind are “What killed the dinosaurs?! The Ice Age!” and “The Iceman Cometh!!!”
Uma Thurman stars as Poison Ivy, the second villainess of the movie. I have to say, I found Mr. Freeze more interesting than Poison Ivy. It was intriguing about how Poison Ivy came to be in her origins.
But I found Poison Ivy rather hard-going, even though her seductive powers of blowing love gas into Batman and Robin to split them up was disturbing. She seemed to be an annoyance when I saw her.
There is a third villain in the movie called Bane, played by ‘Jeep’ Swenson. Bane is a major ‘Batman’ villain from the comics, but I found his role in the movie functionary as he just worked for Posion Ivy.
Alicia Silverstone stars as Barbara Wilson/Batgirl, Alfred Pennyworth’s niece. Stop! Okay, if the moviemakers want to make authentic ‘Batman’, they should get Barbara/Batgirl’s surname right here!
Batgirl was never Alfred’s niece! In the Adam West TV series (and presumably in the comics), Batgirl was Barbara Gordon, Commissioner Gordon’s daughter. Why did they have to change it in this film?!
I found Alicia Silverstone lovely in the movie and her performance as Barbara/Batgirl okay. But she doesn’t do much in the movie, apart from motorcycle racing and being Batgirl at the movie’s climax.
The film also stars Michael Gough as Alfred, Bruce Wayne’s butler in the movie. I found Alfred’s story in the movie very interesting, especially when he becomes ill and there’s a fear he might die in this.
Pat Hingle also returns as Commissioner Gordon in the film. There’s also Elle Macpherson as Julie Madison, Bruce’s girlfriend. It would have been so nice to have seen more of that relationship in this.
As for the action sequences, there are plenty of them in this movie. It’s more ‘flash, bang, wallop’ as my Dad would call it. I can’t see it echoing the Adam West TV series, as it’s too fast-paced for me in this.
‘Batman & Robin’ has been an interesting movie from the original ‘Batman’ film series. I enjoyed watching it, even after a second time. I don’t consider it to be a great movie, but I did find this entertaining.
I can’t hold the same view as everyone else for considering this to be the worst movie and I can’t say that I ‘hate’ it. I find it silly, annoying and nonsensical in places, but I don’t hold a grudge against it.
‘Batman & Robin’ was released on a 2-disc special edition DVD in 2005. The DVD special features are as follows. On Disc 1, there’s an audio commentary by director Joel Schumacher and a theatrical trailer of the movie.
On Disc 2, there’s the ‘Shadows of the Bat: The Cinematic Saga of the Dark Knight, Part 6’ documentary and the ‘Beyond Batman’ documentary/gallery. There’s also ‘The Heroes’ profiles gallery; ‘The Villains’ profile gallery; four music videos and one deleted scene.
There was going to be a fifth ‘Batman’ movie made in the original film series called ‘Batman Unchained’. This would have had George Clooney, Chris O’Donnell and Alicia Silverstone reprise their roles as Batman, Robin and Batgirl. Sadly, the failure of ‘Batman & Robin’ prevented that from happening.
‘The Batman Motion Picture Anthology’ DVD box set has been a treat for me as I enjoyed all four movies in turn. My favourites from this collection have to be the first ‘Batman’ film and ‘Batman Forever’. I found them great, fun movies to watch and they made me become a ‘Batman’ fan really.
‘Batman & Robin’ rating – 5/10
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