Batman and Robin (1997 movie)

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Template:Infobox Movie Batman and Robin, directed by Joel Schumacher, is the fourth instalment in the comic book-inspired film series than began with the 1989 Batman movie and continued with sequels Batman Returns (1992) and Batman Forever (1995). Released in 1997, it starred George Clooney in his only appearance as Batman and Chris O'Donnell returning as Robin, and introduced Batgirl (Alicia Silverstone), explaining her sudden existence by making her a niece of Bruce Wayne's butler Alfred (Michael Gough). The villains in this movie are Poison Ivy, played by Uma Thurman, and Mr. Freeze, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger (who received top billing for this film).



The film was neither a critical Template:Ref nor a box office success. In his review of the film, critic Leonard Maltin found that "the 'story' often makes no sense" and that the "action and effects are loud, gargantuan, and ultimately numbing."

Published financial figures indicate that the movie was made on a budget of US$125 million Template:Ref, and collected a gross of $238 million worldwide Template:Ref. Studios usually expect summer movies – particularly those in a highly successful series – to earn more profit than that, and Warner Bros. suspended the series after four films. The film was derisively dubbed Batman on Ice by some critics Template:Ref Template:Ref Template:Ref. George Clooney was himself severely embarrassed by the film, and has repudiated it publicly a number of times.


The impact of this film was multifold. All the principal performers involved, especially George Clooney, lost credibility for some time as serious actors. Schumacher found his already debatable artistic reputation all but ruined, and Warner Bros. was the focus of much derision for producing such a poorly received blockbuster film. A major credited source of this criticism was the website, Ain't It Cool News, giving new credibility to the internet as a rising force in movie marketing.

Fans of the successful animated television series, Batman: The Animated Series complained that they suspected that the reason that the direct-to-video film Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero (1998), which was produced by the TV series producers, was delayed because of the Schumacher film. This, they contend, was because the Warner Brothers management knew it was superior to the live action and decided to delay it to prevent unfavourable comparisons to a film they had more financial stake in. This allegation, plus the fact that the scenes that Batman fans generally thought were the best in the film were largely taken from the animated series, convinced many Batman fans that the Animated Series producers should have been responsible for the live action film series.

Many fans were also upset at the inclusion and depiction of Bane in this movie (played by the late wrestler Jeep Swenson). Their complaint was twofold. He was depicted as a brainless bodyguard for the main villains. Also, despite the trend of partnering up Batman villains begun in Batman Returns, many fans agree that given Bane's importance in the books, he should appear as the only main villain in a Batman movie.

However, it has since been argued that the film's dismal failure was, in the long run, good for the future of comic book films, as the comedic angle taken to the source material by the makers of the film was so widely vilified that other filmmakers would be encouraged to treat the source material with more seriousness in their own films. This revised attitude has lead to successful and acclaimed film adaptations such as Blade (1998), X-Men (2000), Ghost World (2000), Spider-Man (2002), Road to Perdition (2002) and Daredevil (2003).

Batman and Robin marked the end of the Tim Burton series of movies, although Burton himself was not involved in this production. A relaunching of the series began in 2005, with Batman Begins.


  1. Template:Note Template:Web reference
  2. Template:Note Template:Web reference
  3. Template:Note Ibid.
  4. Template:Note Bond, Jeff. Batman on Ice! (!.asp). Film Score Monthly. June 27, 1997. Retrieved June 20, 2005.
  5. Template:Note Rainer, Peter. Batman on ice ( Dallas Observer. June 19, 1997. Retrieved June 20, 2005.
  6. Template:Note Batman & Robin ( Austin Chronicle. June 20, 1997. Retrieved June 20, 2005.

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