Joel Schumacher brings batty back, with a new Batman and Arnie gone bad. It’s 1997’s Batman & Robin, and it’s now on 4K Ultra HD. But, how is it? Will it grow on you, or will it leave you cold?
The story: There’s a story? Oh yeah. While Batman (now George Clooney) and Robin (still Chris O’Donnell) have a few problems getting along, they must also manage to stop Mr Freeze (Arnie – dropping every ‘ice’ pun imaginable, except for McBane’s killer ‘Ice to see you!” from The Simpsons, who were being rather prescient back in 1993) and Poison Ivy (Uma) – complete with her pet freak Bane – from turning Gotham into a rather large popsicle. Plus Alicia Silverstone gets to be Batgirl. Will the baddies prevail? Ice if!
“Let’s kick some ice!”
The 4K disc: Regardless of whether you have mixed feelings about this movie or not, there’s absolutely no faulting the transfer, as it’s superb. A native 4K presentation, there’s the finest sheen of almost imperceptible grain, and a lot of detail for the most part – digital effects shots tend towards a drop in clarity simply as the resolution of 4K outstrips the resolution that was available for such FX at the time. HDR enhancement has a ball here, with the crazy-bright colours shining, from Poison Ivy’s greens to Mr Freeze’s blue and silver ensemble, and beyond. Black levels are generally good, occasionally going a little milky, but nothing too severe.
If you want some audio wallop, then you’re going to love the Dolby Atmos mix that’s included here. Batman & Robin delivers crazy action, and every speaker gets an almost continuous workout throughout. Elliot Goldenthal ‘s score utilises those extra height speakers if you have them, as do many of the myriad sound effects throughout. Bass is also great fun… but maybe not so much for your neighbours.
As with the other three releases from this Bat-era, the only extra on the 4K disc is a commentary, in this case from director Joel Schumacher. Pop in the included Blu-ray, however, and you’ll be treated to everything from the culmination of the Shadows of the Bat documentary and a bunch of featurettes to an additional scene, galleries and four music videos – ranging from the sublime The End Is the Beginning is the End by Smashing Pumpkins (with Billy Corgan looking very Bat-villain) to the turgid Gotham City by R Kelly.
Release date: June 5, 2019
Format: 4K Ultra HD
Starring: George Clooney, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Uma Thurman
Read our review of Tim Burton’s Batman on 4K Ultra HD here.
Read our review of Tim Burton’s Batman Returns on 4K Ultra HD here.
Read our review of Joel Schumacher’s Batman Forever on 4K Ultra HD here.
Want to know what to get next? Check out STACK‘s 4K Ultra HD specifications guide.