Batman & Robin
"And then there were three!"
Rounding out the “first four” Batman movies is 1997’s Batman & Robin, continuing the two-villain formula started in Returns. This time we have Mr. Freeze who is trying to sell a diamond for a freeze generator he’s inventing. He is confronted by the Dynamic Duo of Batman and Robin and a random hockey game breaks out. Mr. Freeze escapes via rocketship and traps Batman in ice cuffs as he tries to stop him. Mr. Freeze says that as the rocket reaches 30,000 feet, Batman’s heart will freeze (despite being inside the rocketship and typical commercial flights fly at 35,000 feet). Robin managed to stow away on board and free Batman. They escape the runaway rocket by blowing the emergency doors and riding the doors like surfboards to the ground without parachutes. On the ground, Mr. Freeze freezes Robin and escapes via… ice tank?! Batman thaws out Robin and they go home…
Wow. Just wow.
Dr. Pamela Isley is working on enhancing plants with the venom of animals, I think? Anyway, her partner, Dr. NameIsntImportantAnyway, is stealing her research to create super-soldiers to sell on the black market to militaries. She witnesses the creation of Bane and gets caught. Dr. Whoever tries to kill Isley by knocking her over into a table of venom samples but fails. She gets up and declares, “my blood is replaced with aloe, my skin with chlorophyll, and filled her lips with venom.
…her skin isn’t green.
Alfred, the Wayne Manor butler, is ill and his niece Barbara comes for a surprise visit.
Mr. Freeze’s goal is to hold Gotham City for ransom that he can use to fund his research into MacGregor's Syndrome, the disease that threatens to take his cryogenically frozen wife (and coincidentally, Alfred). Isley, now Poison Ivy, just wants to rid the world of humans and save Mother Earth.
Wow… just wow…
This movie was… a lot, and only some of it was entertaining. Taking a point away for Story, Ending, and Enjoyment, this movie gets a 7.
There’s a lot in the story that doesn’t make sense right away. The pheromone dust… comes from where again? Did she make that? Is that a byproduct of the transformation? Who knows? Also, she confronts Wayne as he’s dedicating a new telescope to the Gotham Observatory and when her proposal is rejected, she’s escorted out by police and yet reveals her whole ass evil plot right there. If she’s being escorted, there should be a cop right next to her.
Also, the way that Mr. Freeze intends to freeze Gotham is with the aforementioned telescope. The way they (Batman, Robin, and Batgirl - yes, Batgirl, I’m getting there) thaw out Gotham is with…the satellites in space that are a part of the telescopes array…but they walk away from the new heat ray before turning it off…Gotham should have cooked.
Oh yeah, Batgirl.
Barbara came to see Alfred to take him away from his life of servitude. She also likes street racing with Wayne’s motorcycles that she steals at night. She learns about Batman and Robin and sneaks into the Batcave. There, she encounters the AI Alfred who anticipated Barbara discovering the Batcave and made her her own whole-ass Batsuit… while being nearly bedridden for the majority of the movie? Nah, I’m not buying it.
The movie is a fun watch if you completely suspend belief. As a comic book movie, there is some inherent suspended belief, but as I said in another Batman review, Batman doesn’t have “superpowers” so you still have to ground a lot of story in reality. What really killed the movie for me were ALL the DAMN CLICHES! If you took out all the cliches, the movie would be 10 minutes long including credits. Some are expected, but this was overkill; trying so hard to be funny, that it was no longer funny.
7 it is.