Along with crime-fighting partner Robin and new recruit Batgirl, Batman battles the dual threat of frosty genius Mr. Freeze and homicidal horticulturalist Poison Ivy. Freeze plans to put Gotham City on ice, while Ivy tries to drive a wedge between the dynamic duo.
_Batman & Robin_ is fun in exactly one way: Fun to laugh at. It's terrible, God is it terrible, but it's terrible in that right kind of way. Doesn't stop it from being terrible, but does make it worth watching. Joel Schumacher delivers us the final nail in the lid of Batman's coffin with none other than George Clooney in the guise of the Caped Crusader, probably the worst on screen Batman we'll ever see. Clooney was actually a pretty inspired choice if you're thinking solely about the billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne, but ask any Batfan and they'll tell you: the character's true identity is Batman, Bruce Wayne is just a mask he wears. Finally, this isn't a real complaint but something that I'm going to address anyway: The Batman movie with Batman and Robin is called _Batman Forever_, but the one with Batman, Robin and Batgirl is called just _Batman & Robin_? Go figure. _Final rating:★★ - Had some things that appeal to me, but a poor finished product._
**_Easily the best of the four_** Staunch fundamentalist fanboys have declared 1997's "Batman & Robin" to be a blasphemous blemish in the superhero's chronicling, but it's easily the most entertaining of the four Batman films that came out between 1989-97. Let's face it, all four of these flicks have the same cartoony tone. They were a couple rungs above the 60's TV series in campiness, but with better costumes and a super budget. And "Batman & Robin" was the most entertaining of the four. I'll admit that I'm not a big fan of the goofy/surreal style of these movies; I prefer Christopher's Nolan's raw realistic approach in the Dark Knight trilogy ("realistic" to a point, that is). It's just that "Batman & Robin" is the most entertaining of the earlier series. Which is why I never got the whole "Tim Burton's Batman is a masterpiece" mindset. Really? Not to me. It LOOKED great, but the story was tedious. Again, all four of these films have the same general cartoony tone and there's simply no validity to the position that Burton's "Batman" or "Batman Returns" are more serious/realistic in approach compared to Joel Schumacher's "Batman Forever" and "Batman & Robin." I've seen 'em all back-to-back and they each have the same colorful we're-not-taking-this-too-serious style. For anyone to enjoy these films you have to be willing to accept the comic booky world the filmmaker's have created. If you're willing to do that, these can be fun, half-serious Batman movies. You can't watch them expecting the tone of "Batman Begins" and "The Dark Knight Rises" or you'll be severely let down. With this understanding, "Batman & Robin" is my favorite of the four. Here's why: - It has the best Batman/Bruce Wayne in George Clooney. Although Val Kilmer has the better Bruce Wayne demeanor (i.e. grimmer), Clooney just LOOKS like Wayne. In addition, he's charismatic and entertaining in the role from beginning to end. - It has the best sense of family between the inhabitants of Wayne Manor. The warmth and camaraderie of Bruce, Dick/Robin (Chris O'Donnell), Alfred and Barbara/Batgirl (Alicia Silverstone) is a pleasure to behold. - It has Alicia Silverstone as Batgirl. Nuff said. - It has Uma Thurman shining in the role of Poison Ivy. I usually don't find tall, thin women appealing (I'm more attracted to females akin to Silverstone), but I have to admit that Uma completely owns the over-the-top role of Poison Ivy and is thoroughly alluring. - Arnold Schwarzenegger is great as Mr. Freeze. Yes, every time he merely opens his mouth you know it's Schwarzenegger, but he's amusing and he has a great look and costume. - The film has heart. Although Poison Ivy is truly ee-vil and gets her comeuppance, you can't help but sympathize with Freeze's love for his wife and desire to resurrect her. Batman is able to see under his icy veneer and see a warm heart that's willing to accept redemption and make restitution. Furthermore, as noted above, you really feel the love of Bruce and Alfred and the others at Wayne Manor. - Lastly, the film is full of vibrant colors and goofy over-the-top thrills. It's just a fun movie, if you're in the mood for a half-serious/half-campfest superhero flick. I also like that Smashing Pumpkins song that plays over the end credits. The film runs 2 hours, 5 minutes. GRADE: B+