Batman & Robin is a 1997 American superhero film based on the DC Comics characters Batman and Robin. It is the fourth installment of Warner Bros.' initial Batman film series. The film was directed by Tim Burton and has Michael Keaton reprising the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman. This film introduces Robin (Marlon Wayans), who works with Batman to stop a new drug being trafficked into the streets of Gotham by the Ventriloquist & Scar Face.
Many years ago, a mobster named Carmine Goldstein takes in his nephew Arnold Wesker (Alex Vincent), the son of his sister that was recently murdered by the rival mob who was actually trying to kill Wesker's brother, his brother-in-law. The only companion that Arnold has is his dummy Woody, a dummy carved from the remains of the former Blackgate gallows by Wesker's father. The dummy convinces him to murder Carmine Goldstein's mistress Fiona Reilly by hitting her in the face with a hammer causing her to fall out the window to her death. then-Detective James Gordon considers Arnold a suspect, which upsets Goldstein, who orders Gordon and the police to leave once they complete their investigation.
Years later, a new designer drug called "Fever" floods the streets of Gotham City, inducing many of the city's teens and preteens to fits of homicidal rage. When Batman sees a group of juvenile Fever addicts kill Commissioner Gordon in cold blood after nearly setting a cat on fire, he takes a personal interest in stopping the drug's proliferation because Alfred reveals to him that Gordon was the police officer who comforted him on the night that his parents were murdered. Bullock informs Batman that the police last week raided a chemical plant when there was a tip about the drug being made there, however, they found nothing which is why Carmine Goldstein had his lawyer sue Gordon and the police department for harassment.
Unbeknownst to Batman, Goldstein has no knowledge what has been going on and confronts Wesker, now calling himself the Ventriloquist and referring to Woody as Scar Face. Goldstein is then killed by electrocution, leaving Scar Face free to takeover his criminal empire. Flashbacks show how a young Wesker found Woody in his backpack at school. While under Woody's influence, Arnold's teacher (Beth Grant) discovers an obscenity Woody wrote on his worksheet. Believing Arnold was responsible, she forces Arnold to stay in the classroom as punishment, and locks Arnold in the closet. Arnold frees Woody, and Woody beats the teacher to death with a yardstick. After murdering Goldstein, Scar Face sends a lackey to Tijuana on a deadly drug run.
During the case, Batman has an encounter with former acrobat Dick Grayson when he catches him stealing from Alfred. Dick was forced to live in the streets of Gotham and had to steal to survive after his family was murdered by Carmine Goldstein when he was a little boy. Dick would often save people. When Batman is encountering Dick, Dick uses his skills to escape, which leaves him fascinated that someone was skilled enough to escape him. Later that week, Batman confronts the Ventriloquist and Scarface inside Goldstein's nightclub, and warns them that their drug-running will not last much longer. Scarface is furious, but completely helpless, as neither his attorney nor his bodyguard, Rhino, can stop a well-trained vigilante like Batman, who proceeds to leave the club, but not before secretly planting a micro-transmitter inside the puppet's head. Scar Face then orders the rest of the thugs to kill the Dark Knight, only for Dick to save them and the two of them are able to escape to the Batcave.
Alfred begins to heal Bruce, however, Bruce falls asleep. This allows Dick to explore and discover the mansion above the batcave, thus revealing his identity. Bruce catches him going through photos. Throughout the film, Dick is able to get Bruce to open up little by little, but always shut off. He learns of his love with Vicki Vale & Selina Kyle while continuing to still do research on Bruce. Bruce tells Alfred of his plan to send Dick to the orphanage, however, Alfred convinces him to take Bruce under his wing by explaining how young men need guidance when wanting to seek vengeance. However, Dick angrily runs away upon learning about this.
On Scarface's orders, William Henry "Fatman" Cherry arrives in Tijuana to smuggle the latest shipment of Feverinto the United States. Unbeknownst to him, the Fever manufacturers in Tijuana have orders to kill him, and use his corpse as a "mule" to sneak the Fever past customs. Cherry realizes this far too late, and is garroted seconds later.
Two nights later, Cherry's corpse is flown back to Gotham City, with the Fever packed tightly inside. From his transmitter, Batman learns that the Ventriloquist and his gang intend to visit a local funeral parlor so they can remove the Fever. Dick returns and becomes Batman's sidekick, Robin. Batman and Robin quickly invade the funeral parlor, but accidentally inhales a dose of Fever during the ensuing fight. Under the drug's influence, Batman savagely beats and almost kills the Ventriloquist, but regains control of himself just in time because of Robin, who doesn't want to see another murder again.
Scarface and the Ventriloquist are swiftly put behind bars, with the former still defiant and the latter seeking to turn state's evidence. Upon hearing this, the puppet begins attacking its own "master". Dick and Alfred manipulate Bruce into going to a pet store where he runs into the clerk Selina Kyle. Bruce is able tot come to terms that he is a person and not just the Batman and able to reconnect with someone. The two walk off and the bat signal appears. Selina asks Bruce if he has to leave, however, he turns and looks up at Robin and tells her he finally has a 'friend'. Bruce and Selina walk off into the darkness. Robin looks up in costume at the bat signal.
- Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne/Batman
- Michael Gough as Alfred Pennyworth
- Michelle Peffeir as Selina Kyle
- Bill Murray as Arnold Wesker/Ventriloquist
- Brad Douriff as the voice for Scar Face
- Brock Winkless performed the puppetry for Scar Face
- Pat Hingle as Commissioner James Gordon
- Pat Corley as Lt. Harvey Bullock
- Marlon Wayans as Dick Grayson/Robin
- Jan Murray as Carmine Goldstein
- Dinah Manoff as Fiona Reilly