Batman & Robin (1997) starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, George Clooney, Chris O'Donnell, Uma Thurman, Alicia Silverstone, Michael Gough, Pat Hingle, Elle Macpherson directed by Joel Schumacher Movie Review

Batman & Robin (1997)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Chris O'Donnell, Alicia Silverstone and George Clooney in Batman & Robin

Mr Freeze Causes Nipple-gate

You have to say that the "Batman" movies which peppered the 80s and 90s were a mixed bag, going from amusing and gothic, to amusing and dark, to vibrantly OTT but they kind of worked. Well they kind of worked till "Batman & Robin" came along and slammed home every nail on the coffin lid terminating the series before the planned 5th movie ever came to fruition. To be honest "Batman & Robin" is easily the worst of the series as director Joel Schumacher appeared hell bent on making it the most comical Batman in the history of the super hero. Sadly intentionally cheesy dialogue isn't funny and is one of the issues which dog this movie; another is that there are so many characters that Batman might as well not appear and I haven't even mentioned the embarrassingly anatomically correct costumes yet. To put it simply "Batman & Robin" just didn't work and even now doesn't even get to the point of being so bad it becomes good.

Things are not running smoothly for Batman & Robin (George Clooney & Chris O'Donnell) as tensions mount over Batman being too protective and not trusting that his young crime fighting buddy can handle things. But they need to try and put their differences behind them as they not only have Mr. Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger - Jingle All the Way) to contend with but also Poison Ivy (Uma Thurman - The Truth About Cats & Dogs) who together plan to put pay to Batman & Robin. But on top of that there are concerns over Alfred (Michael Gough - Let Him Have It) whose health is failing him plus his niece Barbara (Alicia Silverstone) has shown up making life even more difficult in the already tense Wayne house hold.

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Uma Thurman in Batman & Robin

One of my issues with the "Batman" series was the increasing number of characters which started at the first sequel and just got worse as the franchise went on. And "Batman & Robin" is the worst of the lost because we have Batman and Robin, then there is bad guy Mr. Freeze and the equally bad Poison Ivy who brings along with her Bane. But that's not all as Bruce's butler Alfred has a bit more to do this time and through Alfred we get his niece Barbara who becomes Batgirl. It's just all too much and for well over the first half all we get is introductions to the characters and how in the cases of Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy they came to be evil geniuses with special powers. Oh there is still some Batman & Robin action but they end up almost appearing to fill in the gaps in-between delivering the bad guys and new characters.

What it means is that the actual main storyline which as expected is about Batman & Robin stopping both Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy almost feels like an after thought. It also doesn't help that to add to the chaos we have Batman & Robin at loggerheads over the lack of trust in their partnership. Plus as already mentioned you have Alfred who is not well just to add a bit more to what is already an overcrowded movie.

But that is just part of the problem and you have to say that the anatomically correct outfits don't help matters. So okay there is the fact that Batman has sprouted nipples which really look wrong but there is also the scene of Bruce suiting up and watching the latex costume mould to his butt or the blinking cod piece is just very wrong. Robin's outfit isn't any better and with Alicia Silverstone appearing as Barbara aka Batgirl, yes you guessed it we have close ups of her figure hugging outfit. I assume that Joel Schumacher was going for a more lighter tone to "Batman & Robin" but all the outfit elements just make it feel cheesy.

But it gets worse and we have the dialogue, the cliche ridden dialogue which is as cheesy as the outfits. And yes I am talking about Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze whose dialogue almost consists purely of corny one liners. Admittedly first time Mr. Freeze spouted a one liner it was amusing, second time still good fun but then on in it was painful. And if that wasn't bad enough you then have Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy laying on the sexual innuendo thick and fast as she seduces and mesmerises all around her in a very Jane Russell sort of way.

In a way you have to feel for George Clooney as he appears in his first and last Batman movie because he most certainly has the chin for the part. Actually Clooney makes quite a good Bruce Wayne oozing charm and the comedy surrounding him being a bachelor who fears the word marriage is quite good fun. He's not quite as good as Batman but then he's not helped by either the outfit or the terrible dialogue.

Aside from Clooney well to be honest all the cast from Schwarzenegger as Mr Freeze through to Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy suffer because of the campness of this final Batman. Maybe if Schumacher hadn't tried to make "Batman & Robin" so comical the casting may have worked but because it all ends up very corny their performances also feel corny, forced and in some case quite terrible.

What this all boils down to is that "Batman & Robin" does deserve the accolade of being the worst Batman movie so far and there are so many things wrong with it that there is very little which is right. It's all so corny with the incessant one liners and the anatomically correct costumes don't help either but it is also over crowded with far too many characters meaning that once it does finally get round to Batman and Robin kicking butt there is little time to do it in.