Urban Cinefile
"We pushed Turner on price...and they got a bit pesky, so every time they got pesky with us I put the price up another million."  -Southern Star boss Neil Balnaves on the sale of Hanna Barbera to Ted Turner's company
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Saturday February 1, 2020 

Printable page PRINTABLE PAGE



Batman (Clooney) and Robin (O’Donnell) battle Mr Freeze (Schwarzenegger) who plans to freeze Gotham city in a devilish plot. Poison Ivy (Thurman) has her own nasty agenda, but the caped crusaders, with a little help from a feminist Batgirl (Silverstone) triumph over evil yet again, and save a dying butler in the process.

"Clooney is the best Batman in the worst Batman film; shame. He has both the charisma and the right personality as well as the looks. The other outstanding element is the production design, a gothic Gotham with a vaguely familiar mood from the first Batman film, with a few imaginative flourishes, and a welcome zaniness in the sets and costumes. That was the good news. Part action-with-wannabefunny-lines, part maudlin melodrama, part morality lesson, not only does the film suffer from severe schizophrenia, it manages to be dull as well. Jump cut action sequences become a blur of batshit, the central cast (Clooney excluded) overacts badly as if trying to ham it up but fails to be either camply funny or to create the credible caricatures that the bad Jack Nicholsons and Danny de Vitos delivered. Uma Thurman’s Poison Ivy would not pass an audition at NIDA, and Arnie matches her in acting incompetence; perhaps he’s being gentlemanly. Much of the intended humour falls flat, needless to say, and the action becomes ho-hum we don’t give a damn. What’s left? The silly attempt to enlarge the butler’s role with a diseased plot device? By the end it seems clear that this is not just a B film trying to be a blockbuster, but that it’s a bad B film, to boot. And too long."
Andrew L. Urban

"Batman and Robin will undoubtedly do big business, irrespective of what the critics say. The film is colourful with larger-than-life villains, good special effects and big stars. But a big budget alone doesn’t necessarily make a good film, or a satisfying one. While boasting excellent sound and an oomphy music soundtrack, the script is cluttered, filled with cliches; the direction is B grade, and so are some of the performances. Mr Freeze as a character is a good idea, but sad to say, Schwarzenegger is disappointing: the bulk of his costume and props seem to hinder his performance. Arnie does warm up (pun intended) as the film progresses, but he does not have the richness of previous Bat-villains in earlier films. Enticingly eve-il here, however, is the gorgeous Uma Thurman as the sensual Poison Ivy, her flame-coloured tresses coiffed with devil’s horns, and her shapely form poured into a remake of Jim Carrey’s lime green jump-suit. She is an alluring femme fatale, complete with bewitching powder and the kiss of death. Her side-kick, Bane, comes straight out of Frankenstein, looking a little like the Incredible Hulk and making noises like Star Wars’ Chewy. George Clooney, darkly handsome and charming does well with the limited range of his Batman role. While introducing Batgirl may be a good idea, there isn’t enough time to properly develop this; the film is already too long. In this fable, the only real person is loyal butler Alfred, who gives a heartfelt performance. The effects are quite spectacular, but aren’t enough to lift our spirits into that fantasy Bat world of the DC comic characters. It could be so much more."
Louise Keller

Email this article

George Clooney, "The best Batman in the worst Batman film.."

Chris O'Donnell "pouts and postures his way though the film"


CAST: Arnold Schwarzenegger, George Clooney, Chris O’Donnell, Uma Thurman, Alicia Silverstone, Michael Gough, Pat Hingle, John Glover, Elle Macpherson, Vivica A. Fox, Vendela K. Thommessen, Elizabeth Sanders, Jeep Swenson

DIRECTOR: Joel Schumacher

PRODUCER: Peter Macgregor-Scott

SCRIPT: Akiva Goldsman (bassed on Batman characters created by Bob Kane and published by DC Comics)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Stephen Goldblatt

EDITOR: Dennis Virkler

MUSIC: Danny Bramson


RUNNING TIME: 130 minutes



© Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2020