Batman & Robin (1997)

batman and robin poster 1997 movie
1 Overall Score
Story: 1/10
Acting: 1/10
Visuals: 1/10

Nothing and not even funny bad

Overblown, long, and no fun

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Batman & Robin

Studio:  Warner Bros.

Genre(s):  Comic Book/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  June 20, 1997

MPAA Rating:  PG-13


Freeze, suckers!

Gotham City feels safe in the hands of its protectors Batman (George Clooney) and Robin (Chris O’Donnell).  When Mr. Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger) begins menacing the city, the Bat and the Bird could bet the only hope.  Unfortunately there is another threat in the form of Poison Ivy (Uma Thurman) and her lackey Bane (Robert “Jeep” Swenson).  With Poison Ivy causing a fight between the duo and Alfred (Michael Gough) dying of a mysterious illness, the only hope could be the arrival of Alfred’s niece Barbara (Alicia Silverstone)…and the newly christened Batgirl!


Bane…I will overact and you will like it and roar

Directed by Joel Schumacher, Batman & Robin is the fourth film in the Batman franchise that started with Batman in 1989.  Following Batman Forever in 1995, Batman & Robin was universally panned by critics and fans and is often considered one of the worst films of the ’90s.  It won a Razzie for Worst Supporting Actress (Silverstone) with nominations for Worst Picture, Worst Screen Couple (Clooney/O’Donnell), Worst Supporting Actor (O’Donnell), Worst Supporting Actor (Schwarzenegger), Worst Supporting Actress (Thurman), Worst Reckless Disregard for Human Life and Public Property, Worst Remake or Sequel, Worst Director, Worst Screenplay, and Worst Original Song for The Smashing Pumpkins’ “The End is The Beginning is The End”.

Batman Forever was pretty bad, but it had its moments and in a time where there were so few superhero movies, you’d take what you could get.  I was pretty frightened of Batman & Robin when it was coming out as a result…and my fears were more than realized.


Wait…why do we have nipples on our suit and you don’t Batgirl?

The movie to begin with is way too crowded and bloated.  If it had been a one and half hour romp, it could have been slightly more fun (stress slightly).  Instead it clocks at just over two hours with credits and drags as Batman and Robin squabble and tons and tons of one-liners are thrown up.  Schumacher says he tried to recreate the goofy ’60s Batman of TV times, but following the Tim Burton “dark” Batman, it just didn’t work.  Jokes like the “Batcard” just land flat and feel out of place.  The audience wanted a hint of danger and darkness.

Batman feels like a secondary character.  Clooney just wasn’t right for the role at the time despite the look of Bruce Wayne (though I wasn’t a fan of Val Kilmer either).  O’Donnell comes off as annoying and Schwarzenegger tries to steal the show with his patented one liners that just keep coming.  Alicia Silverstone got headlines by “putting on pounds” during the movie and sparked an offence by Schumacher who reminded the reviewers/critics she was a teen…forget any weight problems, she wasn’t good.  Despite how bad she was, I felt that Uma Thurman’s just bizarrely overacted Poison Ivy was worse (possibly because she had more scenes and Bane (the character who “broke” Batman) was a waste.


…this more than jumped the shark

The visuals also were too over-the-top.  Batman Forever attempted to blend a bit more with Tim Burton’s vision and this one didn’t try at all.  Gotham is big and bold and all the characters move unnaturally and are armed with perfectly chosen weapons to combat the environment (like lots of ice equipment).  It is in theme with the old TV series, but once again it isn’t the old series, and movie lacks the fun of the series as well (and you get butt and crotch shots).

Many of the people involved with this film have apologized including Schumacher and Clooney.  They probably should.  Batman & Robin did a lot of damage to the comic book movie which took a few years to recover.  The franchise as well ended with Batman & Robin and plans for a solo Robin movie and another Batman movie fell through.  Warner Bros. relaunched the Batman movie franchise in 2005 with Batman Begins which raised the bar on comic book movies as a whole.

Related Links:

Batman (1989)

Batman Returns (1992)

Batman Forever (1995)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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