A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this film has some frightening scenes: It deals with the illness of an elder in the family, harassment, and depicts, in the final scene, Batman and two scientists plummeting thousands of miles when a telescope is torn out of the Gotham Observatory.
What's the story?
The caped crusaders battle not one but two supervillains in director Joel Schumacher's second Batman film. When an experiment gone wrong transforms Dr. Victor Fries (Arnold Schwarzenegger) into the evil Mr. Freeze, it's up to Batman (George Clooney) and Robin (Chris O'Donnell) to stop him from turning Gotham City into an arctic wasteland. Meanwhile, another scientific endeavor goes awry, changing timid horticulturalist Pamela (Uma Thurman) into vicious Poison Ivy. The dynamic duo must also stop her from wiping out humankind in her quest to create a vegetation-only planet. Batman and Robin get some help when butler Alfred's niece (Alicia Silverstone) comes to visit and becomes the crime-fighting Batgirl.
Is it any good?
This by-the-numbers Bat-sequel is an outright rip-off of the preceding entries in the series. The introduction of Batgirl and Alfred's first step to center stage can't compensate for the uninteresting supervillains. The movie draws its depiction of Poison Ivy straight from the Catwoman section of Batman Returns, and takes its hastily forged supervillains from both Batman Returns and Batman Forever. The movie's recurrent refrain of a villain invading a high-society gala is also from Batman Forever.
Unlike its three predecessors, which wound up making the villains more fascinating than Batman, Batman & Robin succeeds in making both the villains and the heroes equally uninteresting. The villains spout nothing but pun-filled taglines, and good guys mostly spew tedious platitudes about teamwork. Even younger viewers will notice the overly simple plot, especially if they've seen the far-better-scripted animated adventures Batman and Mr. Freeze: Subzero or The Adventures of Batman & Robin: Poison Ivy.
Talk to your kids about ...
- In theaters: June 12, 1997
- On DVD or streaming: October 21, 1997
- Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, George Clooney, Uma Thurman
- Director: Joel Schumacher
- Studio: Warner Bros.
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Superheroes
- Run time: 130 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: strong stylized action and some innuendos.
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