Batman and Robin (film)

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to: navigation, search


"Hi Freeze, I'm Batman."
George Clooney, as Batman, complete with Head Bob

Batman & Robin is the film which put Batman on ice, metaphorically and literally.

After the box-office success of 1995's Batman Forever, a sequel was inevitable. Audiences which gave Batman Returns the cold shoulder for its darker tone eventually warmed up to Forever for its Lighter and Softer take on the Batman mythos. What did Warner Bros do for this sequel? It secured an All-Star Cast, turned the Camp Up to Eleven, and threw a $125 million budget behind the film's production. They also rushed the production schedule and put most of the emphasis on toy-friendly promotional tie-ins. What came out of this situation is a film many people love to hate to this very day.

Also, Batman has a Bat Credit Card.

The film is not to be confused with Batman and Robin -- the sequel to the first Batman film ever made (The Batman) -- or the Grant Morrison comic series of the same title, or the Frank Miller series All Star Batman and Robin

Tropes used in Batman and Robin (film) include:
  • All-Star Cast
  • Alternate DVD Commentary: A Riff Trax has been made, with all the gags submitted by fans of the site. This was also the first of the Batman films DVD Podblast took on.
  • Adaptation Dye Job: Batgirl is a blonde here rather than a redhead. Of course, this Barbara is also Alfred's niece, instead of Jim Gordon's daughter, so she's not exactly the same character.
  • The Anti-Nihilist: There's actually a surprisingly deep quote in this movie which captures the existential nature of Batman's character

Alfred: "Death and chance stole your parents. But rather than become a victim, you have done everything in your power to control the fates. For what is Batman if not an effort to master the chaos that sweeps our world, an attempt to control death itself."

Mr. Freeze: "Surprise. I am your new cellmate, and I've come to make your life a living hell. Prepare for a bitter harvest... winter has come at last."

  • Batman Cold Open: Surprisingly averted.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty: Contrary to popular belief, Mr. Freeze never said "Ice to see you!", not even once, in the movie. Although he does make every single other ice-related pun you could possibly imagine.
  • Billing Displacement: Arnold Schwarzenegger is the top billed actor, not the one playing Batman. This is the second time it happened in the quadrilogy, with Jack Nicholson getting top billing in the 1989 film.
  • Big Bra to Fill: Batgirl, definitely. Poison Ivy to a lesser extent, as Uma Thurman actually has a decently sized bust line, but her tall and skinny figure is way off the curvaceous comic-book version.
    • What annoyed some fans is that in the comic books Batgirl doesn't even have that big of a bust; it was just for the Male Gaze.
  • Big No: Robin delivers one when Batman disables his Redbird controls out of concern for the "Boy" Wonder's safety.
  • Bizarrchitecture: The Gotham Observatory is situated at the top of a giant fortress wall, with a statue holding up its hand...to hold the observatory.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Mr. Freeze, despite being armed and fully powered, actually goes so far as to say "I'll kill you next time!" when Batman is stopped, panicked, and off-balance, and right after he has just shot Robin anyway. The question of "Why not just shoot him now?!" is never addressed.
  • Brain Uploading: In one very confusing bit in a movie full of them, it turns out that Alfred has his brain already uploaded to the Bat-Computer. While this may seem prudent considering his imminent death, we are given no hints about this beforehand and it's only to justify Barbara having a pre-made Batgirl suit ready for her.
  • Camp: Following in the footsteps of the previous film, Batman Forever, and turned Up to Eleven. It backfired spectacularly, and completely discredited (heh) the idea of a silly, light-hearted superhero flick.
  • Captain Obvious: After Robin and Batman have fought for a second time they talk about Poison Ivy and Batman, the world's greatest detective gives us:

Robin: "I can't believe we were fighting over a bad guy.
Batman: "Bad: yes. Guy: no."

  • Cardboard Prison: Arkham Asylum, as usual. For starters, at least according to the last scene, the cells are unisex.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy. Batman, however, is a Card-Carrying Hero.
  • Charity Ball: Batman and Robin has attended it.
  • Clothing Damage: The chemical cocktail that Pamela Isley falls into not only turns her into Poison Ivy, it tears up her formerly frumpy clothes to make her sexier, naturally leaving enough clothing to keep her PG-13.
  • Composite Character:
    • An odd case of Mr. Freeze being a composite of the Batman the Animated Series interpretation that brought the character out of obscurity and the 60s TV series that originally named him. Someone decided it would be a good idea to mix the tragic backstory of the former with the cackling, pun spouting mad scientist of the latter.
    • Bane here is closer to a character from the comics named Ivan, later known as Ivor. Like the Bane, Ivan doesn't speak much except for short and simple sentences. The scene where Ivy disguises herself with a wig and Bane/Ivan drives her from the airport comes from 1981's Batman #339. Just like Bane, Ivan is turned into a powerful half man, half plant (as evidence in 1982's Batman #344)) that's enhanced with a formula that is based on Ivy's (which she developed to create carnivore plants).
    • Barbara Wilson/Batgirl is a composite of Barbara Gordon and Alfred's niece, Daphne (who first shows up in 1969's Batman #216).
  • Continuity Nod:
    • A quick eye will spot the uniforms of The Riddler and Two-Face in the closet at Arkham Asylum, a nod to their Batman Forever incarnations. Meanwhile, there's a callback to the previous film's "Chicks dig the car" line.
    • A more subtle callback to Forever can be found in the infamous Bat Credit Card scene. Take a close look at the card - its "good through" date is Forever.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: Mr. Freeze is trapped by an "ice beam" in Arkham Asylum, however it only seems to work in the area immediately surrounding his bed.
  • Conveniently Cellmates: At the end, former partners Poison Ivy and Mr. Freeze are put in the same cell.
  • Cosmopolitan Council: The super serum auction, the "Un-United Nations", has one of these, each displaying their own national stereotype. Please note the Token Evil American in the trope page.
  • Costume Porn:
    • Perhaps literally.

Joel Schumacher: "I had no idea that putting nipples on the Batsuit and Robin suit were going to spark international headlines. The bodies of the suits come from ancient Greek statues, which display perfect bodies. They are anatomically erotic."

      • Which begs the question of why Batgirl's suit had no nipples - females certainly did in Greek statues.
    • The metallic armor Mr. Freeze sports also counts - There were only two of them, handmade by a Tinsmith with individual working pieces and weighing in at about one-hundred pounds each! There were likely pragmatic reasons for casting Arnold Schwarzenegger... somebody had to wear this thing.
  • Crazy Prepared: How prepared is Batman? He has pop-out ice-skates in his boots and a Bat-zamboni to drive around in.
  • Crowd Hockey: Literally, when Mr. Freeze is trying to steal a giant diamond and the heroes and henchman play actual hockey (complete with sticks and skates) to get it back.
  • Crusading Widower: Mr. Freeze.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Mr. Freeze decides to build a giant freeze ray out of several dozen very large and valuable diamonds in order to hold the city hostage for money rather than, well, fencing the diamonds over the black market.
    • Or perhaps sell the schematics of his fully operational freeze ray for a cool couple of million.
    • Or perhaps he could take the ransom, and then dismantle it and sell the parts? Or even the whole thing to someone else with world domination plans.
    • OR maybe just market the cure for stage one of Mac Gregor Syndrome, which would further fund the research to combat stage two and/or inspire other medical scientists to help seek a cure for it, which was the entire motivation behind getting the ransom money in the first place.
  • Declarative Finger: "You LAWYE!"
  • Designated Girl Fight: It's brought up in The Agony Booth's recap that Batgirl's presence may be (besides merchandising) so somebody could actually fight Poison Ivy, all because of this trope. The male good guys were incapacitated in Ivy's lair.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Mr. Freeze, at least thrice:
    • After Ivy fools him into thinking that Batman pulled the plug on his cryogenically frozen wife. ("If I must suffer, humanity will suffer with me!")
    • After Batman defeats him in hand-to-hand combat, smashing his protective glass helmet (without which he will die) and leaving him lying on his back and cringing under a beam of sunlight. He decides to kill Batman along with himself, pressing a button on his glove that triggers the bombs that Bane had earlier placed around the observatory and screaming "FREEZE IN HELL, BATMAN!"
    • And once more after the bombs fail to kill anyone, including himself. ("Go ahead....Kill me too....just as you killed my wife.")
  • Did Not Do the Research:
    • Much like Batman Forever, this film has a very loose grasp of actual gravity, physics, and astronomy.
    • It's impossible to scream with frozen lungs, just like just about every other lung related aliment.
      • Hell, at one point, Freeze is seen smoking a cigar. Cigar smoke is hot. That thing that Freeze can't have near him without searing pain?
    • The little heaters that Batman places near people who've been frozen are shown making the ice boil and turn into steam. A sudden temperature change of that magnitude would not only send a person into shock, but it would basically boil the person alive.
  • Double Entendre: Half of Poison Ivy's dialogue. And all of George Clooney's during his promotional work.
  • Double Standard: Both in universe and in audience reactions, in regards the presence and absence of "bat-nipples" in the character suits.
  • Dull Surprise: Alicia Silverstone's reaction to everything. George Clooney also doesn't show a lot of variety in emotion, mostly because he seems to realize what kind of movie he's in and acts accordingly.
  • Dumb Muscle: Bane.
  • Efficient Displacement: Early in the film, Robin crashes through a wall in his motorcycle, leaving a hole in the shape of the movie's Robin logo.
  • Evil Is Hammy: In typical Batman fashion.
  • Evil Makeover: Poison Ivy. Apparently knocking a nerdy scientist into an undisclosed combination of chemicals will cause her to turn into a hot chick.
    • To be fair, this is Batman. Half the villains he fights were created when someone fell into chemicals or had chemicals spilled on them.
  • Fan Service: Batgirl suiting up with prominent shots of her crotch, boobs, and ass. Though strangely, despite most people expecting it, her costume is the only one to not have the "bat nipples" (or at least not nearly as prominently), likely due to concerns over the film's rating. The suit-ups of the men include their manly chests and their manly sculpted butts, so there's enough suit-up service to go around.
    • It actually makes sense that the Batgirl costume wouldn't have nipples, since it was designed by Alfred. If it did have nipples, it certainly would raise more than a few questions about the old man.
      • The fact that Alfred designed Batman's and Robin's suits with nipples doesn't raise any questions?
  • Feather Boa Constrictor: Poison Ivy when she revives at the start of the film.
  • Form-Fitting Wardrobe: Including the nipples.

Poison Ivy: There's something about an anatomically correct rubber suit that puts fire in a girl's lips.

  • Floating Head Syndrome: The primary poster as seen above.
  • For the Evulz: Mr. Freeze seems to fall into this at times. It's about the only explanation for choosing to spare Batman after freezing Robin early in the film.
  • Franchise Killer: Killed the Tim Burton / Joel Schumacher Batman franchise, anyway, though a license like Batman never completely dies.
  • Freak Lab Accident: The origin for both Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy, although the latter wasn't really an "accident."
  • Gaia's Vengeance (The human version): Poison Ivy, eco-terrorist.
  • Girl of the Picture: Unlike the other three films, in which Bruce's Girl of the Movie was a main character for that film, Julie Madison is a minor character who exists entirely to create minor tension as Bruce deals with Poison Ivy's pheromones infecting him outside of battle. Bruce's extreme reluctance to marry her led to many jokes by comic fans that she was a beard. She was supposed to have a bigger part, including being murdered by Poison Ivy late in the film, but her scenes were cut from the script.
  • Glamour: Poison Ivy.
  • Harmless Freezing: Played straight, though a confusing example early in the film has Robin frozen solid and Mr. Freeze telling Batman he has eleven minutes to save him... yet despite this, Robin is perfectly fine when defrosted.
  • Hollywood Science: Loads of it.
  • Human Popsicle: Mr. Freeze's wife.
  • Blizzard of Puns: Any scene with Mr. Freeze - ice puns are the majority of his dialogue.
    • Poison Ivy and the Dynamic Duo don't exactly use them sparingly, either.
    • Unlike the other characters, Freeze/Arnold actually manages to make the puns sound like dialogue.
  • An Ice Gun: Of course, given that Mr. Freeze is also...
  • An Ice Person: He actually made this pun, too.
  • Incurable Cough of Death: The vaguely-defined McGregor's Syndrome (see Soap Opera Disease below) has this and general weakness as the only visible symptoms. Until death, at least.
  • Informed Attractiveness: "Poison Ivy is the most beautiful woman in the world." Really? Then again, she was using her pheromones.
  • In Name Only: Many of the new characters introduced this film, Barbara in particular.
  • Institutional Apparel: Old school stripes for everyone at Arkham.
  • Juggle Fu: A segment in the museum in which Batman rescues a vase.
  • Kiss of Death: Poison Ivy's method of killing people.
  • Kung Foley: Again, in fine Batman tradition - you cannot do anything quietly in a fight scene.
  • Large Ham: Arnold Schwarzenegger and Uma Thurman. (also, John Glover in his minor appearance as Dr. Woodrue) See Evil Is Hammy above.
  • Lighter and Softer: Easily the lightest and softest film in this whole series.
  • Lock and Load Montage: Performed several times to show our heroes suiting up and even including a shot from behind of the Dynamic Duo pulling up their pants.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Mr. Freeze's main motivation is finding a cure for his sick wife.
  • MacGuffin Melee: Batman and Robin play literal hockey with a diamond Freeze is trying to steal.
  • Mad Scientist: Mr. Freeze and Dr. Woodrue. Depending on how one wants to stretch the definition, maybe also Pamela Isley.
  • Man-Eating Plant: Poison Ivy seems to have one... though the movie can't make up its mind. She enters the scene sitting in it leisurely, yet when she is later kicked into the plant, she screams as it eats her. Though she later appears unharmed in prison...
  • Manipulative Bastard: Poison Ivy, considering the fact that she manipulated Mr. Freeze into believing that Batman killed his wife.
  • Merchandise-Driven: Like any superhero movie. This one also dropped at the height of the original franchise's fame, so it was practically inescapable that summer.

Poison Ivy: I'm a lover, not a fighter! That's why every Poison Ivy action figure comes with [Bane]!

    • Show Accuracy, Toy Accuracy: The Batgirl and Bane figures do not look anything like the versions seen in the movie. The Batgirl figure doesn't anything like any version of the character, but instead resembles an outright Distaff Counterpart version of the movie's version of Batman. At least the Bane figure resembled the comics version of the character.
  • Mishmash Museum: The Ancient Greek sculpture/Dinosaur/Big-freakin' diamond exhibit.
  • Mood Whiplash: The movies see-saws between stupid super-hero antics and bad acting, and the plotline about the importance of family, featuring Micheal Gough's touching performance as a dying Alfred. The mood whiplash is extreme.
    • Also worth mentioning is a scene with Mister Freeze, of all people. During a calm moment in his cell, he carves and small ice sculpure of his wife and puts together a makeshift "music box" using a large alarm clock.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Poison Ivy, sent to retrieve Freeze's comatose wife, pulls the plug on her instead.
  • Mythology Gag: A reference to Superman early in the film when Batman complains "This is why Superman works alone." This was possibly an attempt to mirror a joke that referenced Metropolis in Batman Forever.
    • Jason Woodrue was the name of another plant-themed supervillain -- the Floronic Man, effectively an evil version of Swamp Thing. His presence is probably in reference Batman: Shadow of the Bat annual #3, which was published a couple of years before and established Poison Ivy's Post-Crisis on Infinite Earths origin, revealing Woodrue played a role in it.
    • Julie Madison is the name of Bruce's first love interest in the Batman comics, a socialite engaged to Bruce that eventually became an actress and ended her engagement because she wanted Bruce to do more with his life than be a playboy.
  • Nostalgic Music Box: In the form of a snowglobe.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Barbara was born and raised in England yet never displays even a hint of an accent.
  • No Fourth Wall: Batman, Poison Ivy and Mr. Freeze all break the fourth wall at least once during the film. In fact, Batman's first line is a quip into the camera.
  • No OSHA Compliance: The lab Mr. Freeze worked in (before becoming Freeze) seriously needs a safety inspection. He gets knocked into a vat of liquid nitrogen, which horribly mutates him, but didn't really pose enough of a risk to warrant a decent railing. And don't even get started on the electronic equipment that randomly crapped out and sent him flying into the vat.
    • It gets worse-- there was a railing on the opposite side of the catwalk. But not on the side that has the vat of liquid nitrogen!
    • Frankly, you could argue that nearly every building in Gotham City fits this trope, since they all appear to be much wider - even absurdly so - at the top than at the bottom and clearly can't maintain integrity in the face of even minor explosions or collisions.
  • Oxbridge: Barbara studied there.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Poison Ivy seems to think gluing things to her eyebrows is a mask.
  • Perpetual Smiler: Whether he's explaining that life-long butler and friend Alfred is dying, or trying to thaw out the entire city with less than 10 minutes before they all die, it seems George Clooney was never without a grin on his face.
  • Pungeon Master: Mr. Freeze gets most of these. Poison Ivy does this too, though half of hers are also thinly veiled innuendos.
  • Shout-Out: In one scene, you can see gang members who wear the same outfits as the main characters from A Clockwork Orange.
  • Skunk Stripe: Dr. Woodrue has one of these.
  • Sky Surfing: Early in the film, Batman and Robin surf debris to the ground when they escape Mr. Freeze's rocket. And Robin even shouts "Cowabunga!"
  • Soap Opera Disease: It gets a name, McGregor's, but nothing else besides its fatality and multi-stage process is established. Oh, and it's named for Peter McGregor-Scott, the film's producer, though film producers aren't usually known to be toxic.
  • Somewhere a Paleontologist Is Crying: Mr. Freeze, it seems, knows absolute zero about what killed the dinosaurs.
  • Spandex, Latex, or Leather: What was the material they chose for the costumes? Go on, take a wild guess...
  • Super Serum: Venom, Bane's source of power.
  • Supervillain Lair: Mr. Freeze has his lair in a giant ice cream factory in the middle of the city in plain sight. Poison Ivy just takes over an abandoned Turkish Bath, but converts it into a violent garden to make it more suitable for her. And when Mr. Freeze moves in, he naturally decks out his own room in his thematic trappings.
  • Tainted Veins: Bane when given the Venom injections. Poison Ivy's kisses create the same effect on the people she poisons, though as Venom was one of the things she was poisoned with, it's a similar effect.
  • Take Over the World: Ultimate goal of Poison Ivy, and later the goal of Mr. Freeze with a little prodding. Let's break down the eventual plan: 1) Freeze Gotham city using a giant telescope as a laser. 2) Freeze the rest of the world...somehow. 3) Unleash a strain of carnivorous plants to 4) Unfreeze the world so Ivy and Freeze can repopulate the globe together as Adam and Evil.
    • Both of them have something in common: they're Omnicidal Maniacs. Neither have a high opinion of humanity. (Well, Victor Fries does have one person he loves.)
  • Test Kiss: Robin lets Ivy kiss him to find out if they're really in love or if Batman's telling the truth about the pheromones and her Kiss of Death. Good thing he was wearing fake rubber lips when she did.
    • Though it begs the question of why Poison Ivy didn't (a)just spit at him, poisoning him anyway, (b) slap one on him again after he took them off, or (c) just use a little tongue.
  • Third Line, Some Waiting: The Batgirl plot happens, for the most part, independently from much of the film.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Mr. Freeze was tricked by Poison Ivy into thinking that Batman killed his wife.
  • Underwear of Power: This is obvious in Batman and Robin. But also exclusive for the first time in Batgirl as previous versions do not feature panties on her costume.
  • The Vamp: Poison Ivy. Yes, making her a camp vamp.
  • "The Villain Sucks" Song: "Poison Ivy" by Meshelle Ndegeocello is actually a cover of an older song, but is still fitting.
  • Villain Team-Up: Repeating the previous films' formula, though with less successful results.
  • Virtual Ghost: Alfred to Barbara in the Bat Cave, despite not being dead.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Poison Ivy technically wants to save the environment. On the other hand, it's pretty obvious that she really just sees plants as more valuable than people and just wants a planet with all the humans dead except herself (of course). This is consistent with every other interpretation of the character as well.
  • Whammy Bid: When Batman and Robin start a bidding war over Poison Ivy at the bachelorette auction, Bruce comes on top by whipping out $7,000,000 with his Bat Credit Card.

Batman: Never leave the cave without it.

  • What Could Have Been: Patrick Stewart was a candidate for the role of Mr. Freeze. PATRICK. STEWART.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The "mystery bidder" and the former tenants of Poison Ivy's hideout.
    • Also, Bruce Wayne's girlfriend. She only has two short scenes, both of them are about Bruce's adherence to his bachelor lifestyle, and then she is never mentioned again and has no bearing on the plot whatsoever. The real reason she doesn't show up later in the movie is because Poison Ivy shanks her in a deleted scene.