Batman & Robin (1997)

Director Joel Schumacher
Written by Akiva Goldsman

Arnold Schwarzenegger, George Clooney, Chris O’Donnell, Uma Thurman, Alicia Silverstone, Michael Gough, Pat Hingle, John Glover, Elle Macpherson, Vivica A Fox, Jeep Sweenson.

Where to begin?

Batman and Robin find themselves up against Dr Victor “Mr. Freeze” Fries, who wants to freeze Gotham City, so he can live comfortably following an accident where he fell into liquid nitrogen trying to find a cure for his wife’s incurable illness. They also have the antagonist Dr Pamela “Poison Ivy” Isly, who after being ‘killed by her boss, wants the world to be overrun by… plants?

The pulp noir aspect of Gotham is turned up to eleven from the preceeding film, and is overused. Gotham City has been enlarged even more, and is would be pure nightmare to live in with the over the top large statues and buildings (that can be driven on or up).

Almost everything in this movie is over the top ridiculous. The overacting is just painful to watch, and the motivations of the antagonists don’t make sense at all. The character assassination of Bane is just criminal for what he should be to what he is.

The script is just laughable with so many puns that it is just cringeworthy. It is more camp than the 60’s Batman tv show and movie, but without being self aware that it is camp.

There is only one upside to this film, and that is the late great Michael Gough as Alfred, and his fatherly role to Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson, and his newly arrived niece Silverstone. It is especially touching when he faces his mortality, and some scenes between Gough and Clooney are quite touching.

1.5/5 (saved only from a lower score from Gough as Alfred).


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