I’m sure a lot of bat-fans will tell you that Batman & Robin was their least favorite movie of the original franchise, or won’t acknowledge the film exists at all. It did pretty much kill off the series until Christopher Nolan was able to salvage it eight years later with Batman Begins. Despite all of this, there’s still loads of campy fun to be had here in ultra high-definition, HDR goodness with the Batman & Robin 4K Blu-ray.
Joel Schumacher returns this time with George Clooney taking over as Batman and Chris O’Donnell returning as Robin. As with the last film, there are multiple villains thrown into the mix starting with Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze who slings out every cold pun and one-liner you can think of. Uma Thurman isn’t terrible as Poison Ivy, and ends up turning a guy into the massive villain Bane (Jeep Swenson, who sadly died not long after filming) who helps her out and Mr. Freeze once all three of them band together.
Of course, this means Batman has to get another player on his team, which comes in the form of Batgirl (Alicia Silverstone), so it’s three against three action. They’ll have to save not only Gotham from the villains, but also save the life of Bruce’s ever faithful butler Alfred who has a deadly disease that only Mr. Freeze can cure, making for one crazy dilemma for them to overcome.
As with Batman Forever, I had a good time watching this final 1990s Batman adventure, though nowhere as much as I did with the first two Batman films. It really does help to leave your brain at the door and simply enjoy the goofiness and campy feel this movie has going for it. The cast is decent and does a good job given what they had to work with, though I feel bad for Arnold’s Mr. Freeze spouting bad puns and one-liners about cold things that would make a brick cringe.
Also as in the previous films, the 4K HDR treatment looks and sounds great here, especially with all of the wild neon colors plastered throughout any given time throughout the movie. The Dolby HD audio is also awesome, as every so-so line and action sound comes roaring through nicely. Then there’s the special features that give us the usual behind the scenes look and making of the film, the special effects, costumes, casting of the heroes and villains, and more that’s sure to keep the bats in your belfry happy.
Batman & Robin may not be to most popular film in the franchise, but there’s still a nice amount of campy fun to be had if given the chance. A good cast works with what they’re given, and the 4K HDR enhancements and special features help make this a release worth taking a look at. If nothing else, there’s enough comedy here (whether intentional or not) to make this final 1990s-era Batman worth a few rewatches with like-minded friends.