This movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr Freeze (“you ah not sendink ME to der cooler!”) killed the Batman franchise for a decade, but there’s a charm to its innate stupidity, with its garish sets and costumes and absurd twists.
Batman & Robin was the third sequel to the 1989 Tim Burton blockbuster, which starred Michael Keaton. Both Burton and Keaton left the franchise at the same time and were replaced by Joel Schumacher and Val Kilmer, respectively.
Schumacher retained the dark, brooding atmosphere of the Burton films while bringing in some of the colourful campiness of the 60s TV series.
Mr Freeze is torn between world destruction and curing his wife, Nora (Vendela K. Thommessen), who is kept in suspended animation. Poison Ivy (Uma Thruman) is bent on exterminating mankind so as to leave the Earth a safe place for her beloved plants to grow.
She uses poisoned lips to kill unlucky men captivated by her pheromone-laden perfumes and drags around a muscleman helper called Bane (wrestler Jeep Swenson).
Meanwhile, Wayne Manor welcomes Alfred’s niece Barbara Wilson (Alicia Silverstone, fresh from Clueless), who eventually becomes Batgirl. With typical mood-breaking witlessness, Batman deadpans that she might want to give herself a more PC name.
Kilmer was an adequate replacement. George Clooney donned the cowl and cape for Batman & Robin and was better than Kilmer, but Keaton was still far and away the best.
Plans for a follow-up movie (called Batman Triumphant) were shelved in the wake of the dismal performance of Batman & Robin at the box office.
Mr Freeze/Dr Victor Fries
Poison Ivy/Dr Pamela Isley