DVD Review: Batman and Mr. Freeze: Subzero
Though it was released in 1998, it is only now that Warner Brothers has
Subzero on DVD. The film which was originally planned for a fall 1997 video release but was later
bumped to the next year. Subzero was a welcome sigh of relief for Batman
fans who were still reeling from the embarrassing "Batman and Robin".
The movie is a perfect contrast to Batman and Robin since it features four
characters from that film: Batman, Robin, Batgirl and Mr. Freeze. The only
differences being better storytelling and animation.
In Subzero, Mr. Freeze has relocated to the arctic where his only accomplices
are two Polar Bears, a 12 year old Inuit Boy and his cryogenically frozen wife
Nora. However things take a terrible turn as a Submarine surfaces in Freeze's
lair damaging Nora's capsule and causing her to suffer a relapse of her fatal
disease. Her only hope lies in an organ transplant from a similar donor.
Freeze's search leads to Barbara Gordon. Freeze abducts Barbara leaving Batman and
Robin in a race against time to save her.
Subzero is an excellent film. It is simply amazing and a wonderful follow up to Batman:
Mask of the Phantasm. The strength of the film lies in its smooth flowing story
and the superb characterizations. Batman, Robin and Batgirl are
presented the way they should be by showcasing their many talents such as their
Detective skills, Crime fighting abilities and their athleticism. Mr. Freeze is
also well written. The writers combine his hollow emotionless characterization
with that of his love for Nora making him a likeable character at times. The
story also has some well written action scenes. The best of any Batman films,
animated or live action. Subzero also makes use of several computer generated
scenes which were used for the action scenes which enhanced them a great deal. The
only drawback that most people found was that the film was too short. It would
have been great to have some extra scenes exploring Dick and Barbara's
relationship, but I digress.
DVD wise, Subzero is in standard 4:3 ratio format.
The Picture quality is crystal clear and the sounds quality is good even though it is still in Dolby 2.0. The features
are limited in this DVD. They include trailers for the other Batman DVDs and the new
Scooby Doo Movie. Other features include The How to Draw Batman and the Mini
game which also appear in the B:TAS DVD. Again these aren't really ground
breaking or worthwhile features. The saving face feature on this DVD is the
video montage that shows scenes from the movies and couples them with
storyboards and designs from the movies.
While it isn't as long as Mask of the Phantasm, Subzero is still a wonderful
movie far superior to its live action counter part Batman and Robin. The
features are lacking but the film makes up for this short coming.