Plot: What’s it about?
Victor Fries has been through a lot in his life, including having his wife on the brink of death, but he is determined not to lose her. In order to do as he plans, he dons a special armored suit and brandished cold based weapons, the kind that leave the victim solid as a rock, a frozen rock, that is. When he puts on these materials, he is no longer Victor Fries, he is Mr. Freeze and as this persona, he is known as a villain with immense powers. He is able to keep his wife alive, thanks to a special encasement, but unless he finds a cure soon, even that won’t sustain her. But when a submarine crashes into his lair and shatters her protective casing, Mr. Freeze is forced to seek out an instant solution, after dealing with the submarine’s crew, of course. In order to revive his wife, Mr. Freeze needs an organ transplant with matching AB traits, though no deceased individuals in Gotham City can provide that. As that is a rare order, he decides to call upon a living specimen instead, who happens to be Barbara Gordon. Of course, Gordon is really Batgirl and that means big trouble, as Batman & Robin have to race to try to save her. Will they arrive in time to end Mr. Freeze’s plans, or will his wife return, in exchange for Batgirl’s life?
Although the character was wasted in the abysmal Batman & Robin feature film, Mr. Freeze is one of the better villains in the comic book, as well as Batman’s animated series. But in Batman & Mr. Freeze: Subzero, we’re not shown the best use of the character and as such, I think most fans will be let down here. I’d seen this before and had hoped some time off would enhance the next viewing, but I was still not too pleased. I think fans of the animated series will be well served here, but this seems aimed at a different, younger audience, which is kind of strange, since the series meshes well with an older audience. Even so, it is cool to see Mr. Freeze back in action and since he is the prominent figure here, that’s even better. The animation is on the level with the animated series, though some laughable computer graphics are sometimes used, which look out of place and lower the impact of the scenes. In the end, I recommend this as a rental to fans of the series, but even then, keep your expectations on the low end.
Video: How does it look?
Batman & Mr. Freeze: Subzero is presented in a full frame transfer. I’ve seen this shown in a 1.66:1 widescreen format and it looked excellent, but Warner has opted not to include that option, which is a let down. I am unsure of what the intended form is however, so I won’t be overly harsh on this full frame only edition. The image is very good, with a clean and sharp overall appearance, with minimal defects to report. The colors look bright & bold, with no problems to be seen, while black levels seem stark and on the mark also. I still Warner should have given us a widescreen option, but even so, this is a solid looking presentation.
Audio: How does it sound?
The included audio track is good and has plenty of presence, but the mix sometimes seem off balance, which lessens the experience. Some scenes have nice overall depth, but others are out of synch at times and poorly mixed, which makes them hard to watch, since the audio is kind of loopy in those sequences. All in all, I’d say this is a good audio treatment, but with some more time & effort, it could have very, very good. This disc also includes French, Spanish, and Portuguese language options, as well as subtitles in English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes a list of cast & crew members, a musical montage of sketches, a brief look at how Batman is drawn, a worthless Mr. Freeze game, and trailers for this and other Warner animated releases.