Batman & Robin was the first instance I encountered the character of Poison Ivy- or any character of her unique grandeur- and to this day it is the incarnation that I hold the most dear and I regret I have yet to see another quite like her. While many would surely question my taste I aim to put across just how much the character means to me and deliver some much deserved praise and gratitude to Uma Thurman and Joel Schumacher for bringing it my vision.
My background with the Batman comics is non-existent. In fact, background with every superhero comic was lost on me. I don't live in America and thus didn't have the chance to grow up with stories and lore. I'm a great nostalgia buff but every glimpse of every celebrated superhero originally came from cartoons and movies. Before Batman & Robin I may have caught a single solitary glance of BTAS's Ivy but I was too young to really comprehend it that well. This may help explain my adoration of this
Ivy but even if I had been lucky to have lived during the Golden/Silver Age of comic books (still a little unclear on all that jazz) I do strongly believe it wouldn't have mattered all that much- I still think I would have loved her just as much in Batman & Robin.
But rambling like this won't really tell you much about my particular adoration for the character. Let's just get right down to it.
-I'll try to encapsulate various points and elements of her character that I love and identify (or rather gush about) certain scenes and moments that define what kind of creature Poison Ivy is in the story to me and why it leaves such a strong mark on me. I may go back and forth but I'll do my utmost to keep it relevant and hopefully an enjoyable for other fans of this version of the character.-
The Root of Evil
The first glimpse we see of Ivy is masterful. It carries a surprising take/vision of the idea of death and rebirth and how the result isn't always a miracle. The thought of being nurtured by the earth itself and being corrupted in the process- or simply being good but naive and being reborn calculated and evil. It's only the beginning for someone like Poison Ivy and there's still much room to grow.
Like all (or at least most) Batman movie villains had and extravagant and inconceivable origin usually as a result of some sort of freak, "unsurviveable" accident that takes the saying 'what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger' to a new twisted, Nth level. And Ivy is no different. From what I understand in the comic books, Dr Woodrue directly was the cause of Poison Ivy's origin so at least that much remains true to the source material (but that doesn't matter to me really as I see this with a fresh perspective).
Another recurring element has Ivy's preceding alias, Dr. Pamela Isley
working in the same conditions that shape her new life- literally.
Right from the get-go you can get the feeling that Isley was never really in the greatest of mind-sets. She had more than a few screws loose. A bit of a mad scientist in her own right. But nevertheless she still had her sense of human morals when she rebels against her partner's proposal/plea for her to join him in his conquest for world domination (ironically, something she becomes quite open to in the passing of time).
Another thing I like also is when Woodrue "pounces" on her to have her join him he quite lustful and tries to force a kiss on her which she lashes out at. Interestingly, the script for the film appeared to have him as a kind of immoral, intimidating sex-pest that Isley is slightly nervous about, especially when he backs her into a wall, "his lips twitching only inches from hers"
. With just about any kind mindset someone like Woodrue imposing himself on you would be unsettling to say the least but as the situation appears to dictate Isley has no-one to run to so when she is trapped in spot where she can't get out. She's alone and vulnerable. He starts out as the menacing, dominating 'would-be' dictator lording over a shaken, meek and vulnerable "underling" (as it were), when she spurns his advances he murders her.
But, the interesting element to me within the film, is the sudden, and complete, role-reversal that occurs with Isley's "resurrection".
Later she revives as a confident, alluring and lusty siren who captivates her killer turning him into a visibly shaken, vulnerable and smitten drone and when he gives into her
advances he dies as a result. Her beauty is paralyzingly hypnotic, a fact which will remain consistant with virtually all weak-willed (and few strong) males when she arrives in Gotham. Even at the first true vision of her Woodrue is stunned, crippled by it. Even to the point he dis regards her as being "dead". I describe Ivy as lusty because is the only accurate word I can use in my opinion. Woodrue uses intimidation and Ivy uses raw sex. It's a fact that she seems to enjoy too and she is in that sense a kind lust-murderer. That combined with the fact that she already is a really fiercely beautiful the effect she has on her victims is lethal. As evidenced with Woodrue (and eventually with Robin). With unbridled confidence and flirtatious behaviour he's completely at her mercy in every sense. When Ivy is in the room, there is only her. A very dangerous foe.
It's the direct contrast in her character (like when mousy Selina Kyle turns into slinky Catwoman in Batman Returns) Pamela Isley is all about her work and her beloved plants; she doesn't care for appearences, kinship, love and sex. Even her fellow man. Not really. But when she's murdered by Woodrue and revived by the poison-doused earth itself she changes- and what a change it is!
There's a definite element of supernatural to Ivy. When she bursts forth the ground cooks with steam like she's part of a melting pot as though she quite literally has been created in the earth beneath.
The staging of Isley's rebirth on film is perfect. The setting, the choreography, acting- all of it. Revealing herself to her (first) personal nemesis is a great touch and a great chance to show her "change of heart" as she put it. The sight of Woodrue falling to his knees at the very arrival is excellent. Poison Ivy is meant to be the most beautiful woman in the world and he sees in her pure, untouched, untainted glory. It's a showcase at just how effective of a seductress she is- that the very sight of her can make you weak at the knees. And on the topic of seducing boy does she know how. Ivy is in complete control of the situation and Woodrue is left shaky and gibbering.
She overflows with a kind of dream-like charm and alluring prescence. You can see Isley is no more and she is truly reborn as Poison Ivy..
She doesn't even need to flirt with him at this point, she's almost lost in her own fantasy, in her own prescence, describing the changes in her body to Jason before turning to him to give him the first sample of the one she most fond of. It's really dastardly. She uses every advantage she has to subdue Woodrue- seductive demeanour, charming words and her own good looks to get him to the point that even prospect of a kiss with her leaves him literally crippled by his own desire. It's the sort of woman (this) Poison Ivy is and it's absolutely fascinating to watch. When they do kiss you get a glimpse of the lustful side to Poison Ivy. It never reaches this kind of sexual peak later on when she Batman & Robin with the evolution of her character and "flair" adapting to more psychologically weakening methods in her seduction but nevertheless you do get the ever-present "glint" in her eye of the beast that claims Woodrue's heart and life. The mixture of unbridled passion with a poison intent- both literally and figuratively. It's a real betrayal of (the victim's) emotions. Using every 'talent' she has to get what she wants and leaves him none the wiser until it's too late.
It's a fantastic showing of what kind of evil villainess she is and what she is capable of and though, in truth it is only a glimpse of her antics to come.
Seducing the Enemy
Throughout the film Ivy seduces and entices a number of male figures, murdering a few with a poison kiss to boot. She encounters no challenges until Batman & Robin. Despite her best efforts she appeared to have only slightly enticed the pair in their original encounter of her but her deceptive charms were enough to spark an unforeseen rivalry between the pair and she had them fighting over her.
Where as most villains or ne'er-do-wells would tend to struggle to find a chink in the Dynamic Duo's armour Ivy finds one almost instantly and it's one that she herself creates. She's not a physical character and that's why she works so well. It's deceptive. Batman & Robin are supposed to be a feared duo to contend with and usually brute force is something they are used to but when they encounter someone like Poison Ivy they are unprepared for her and succumb to her charms entirely.
It's a completely different kind of tactic. Psychological as well completely sexual. She preys on the raw emotions, the most common ones triggered by her immense beauty and it's only enhanced by her pheromone "love dust". The poison cocktail of beguiling natural beauty, a devious and cunning mind and (essentially) a seduction-fuelling drug were enough to get under the Bat and Bird's skin and get them in their most vulnerable, untouched element and divert to her own desires.
Poison Ivy's "show-stopper" at the Ball the duo attend allowed her to single-out and seduce them both with no hindrances. The element of surprise left them unprepared and ripe for manipulation. Her anonymity gave her cover and fuelled their attraction.
The con was simple. To get the pair to fall in 'love' with her. To want her so badly that they'd die for her. To have them so anamoured by her that they'd offer no resistances to her advances and to a kiss.
By their first meeting she had them on a silver platter, ready to feast but Mr. Freeze's intervention most assuredly put whatever plan she had to begin with out the window and she would have to resort to other means to do away with them. She would get chance later on but nevertheless her appearence wasn't without progress.
She left a lingering seed of intrigue and potential desire for her in Batman & Robin that remained with them well after they'd left the Ball and were alone with their own thoughts, as evidenced by Bruce's hallucinations of her (while with his girlfriend of all things) and Dick's Ivy-focused research.
In the grand scheme of things this was all Ivy needed. A way in. To get herself in their sights and in their thoughts. From there on she lets the boys conflict and fight over her and for her in Robin's case. Whittling down the resolve and resistance they once had so by the next encounter she would only have to make moves to have sway over them and have them vulnerable enough for a kiss. Her beauty is her weapon and it's the most dangerous one in her repetoir. And as time progresses it would work it's devilish magic.
Physical attraction isn't a choice- it just is. Poison Ivy is the most beautiful, most craved woman in the world. That is an influence that blurs the very lines of good and evil. It alone alters perception of her as a person and if potent enough guides her victims down a very narrow and limited path because of the simple fact that she's a very beautiful woman. Attraction to her is a dangerous trap for her victims, particularly the ones she traps and preys upon. The idea of her being an evil person, let alone a villain is almost a taboo because of it and they can never know the hidden danger she poses until their lips meet.
If it weren't for her designated "bodyguard" Ivy would have been finished as the tables turn on her to her complete, unexpected shock. She's entirely unprepared for *this* outcome.
With Batman there isn't as greater an example of what Ivy is capable as there is with Robin. Batman proved that resisting her charms is a possible feat. He's a veteran crimefighter, he's sampled the worst of what the world has to offer and faced a variety of colourful and crooked villains so Ivy's love-laced psychological approach to combat has little hold over him. But while he's safe Robin on the other hand is the younger and less experienced one and is more easily susceptible to Poison Ivy's ways.
But it doesn't stop her from trying, god no. She's nothing but eager. But all the sweet nothings and sexy sways is nothing to Batman's iron will and it all becomes uncomfortably apparent to Ivy when she makes more "pro-active" advances on the hero. She virtually mounts him and he still resists her. Not barely but fully, to the point he almost has her in custody. Therein lies Ivy's greatest weakness next to her own vanity. When it comes to the rough stuff or just an uncooperative playmate she's out of her element in every way.
Poison Ivy smothers Robin with so much seductive charm that he becomes so enraptured by her that he falls deeply and completely in love with her.
But. With Robin is where Poison Ivy's charm works a treat. Unlike his partner his inexperience and brashness leave him a lamb to the slaughter. Like when Bane saved Ivy from Batman's grasp sheer luck saved Robin's life during his second encounter with her and the seed of desire she implanted in both of them may have wilted in Batman- but it blossoms in Robin. He's the perfect target and it's with him we get a greater look at Ivy's evolution as a seductress and the further development of her evil and cunning mind along with it. She has him eating out of her hand but it's not enough. She doesn't want a boot-licking slave; she just wants to kill him. No more no less. But her seductive abilty is so pronounced, so singularly focused that is essentially what she gets from them.
As the story progresses as Ivy's devious and deadly facade continues you (or at least I) get the impression that her seduction and murder has become almost a sport. Regardless of her previous background and true intentions Poison Ivy knows exactly what to say. She realises and recognises that Robin is a loose cannon when "persuaded" and with each encounter despite what resistances he puts up it's not enough to protect him from her intoxicating charms and smouldering words. Poison Ivy is a true vamp. She goes after her prey with a single-minded focus and isn't prepared to let them leave her sights without a kiss (or without reason). She knows exactly what she's doing and exactly what to say to crack the shell to allow her to slink her way inside. There's an almost vampiric element to her and the way she seduces men. Her love-dust is hynoptic in it's appearance and while it's having a bio-logical effect on her victims it has a supernatural air to it, a pink shimmering dustcloud that put all who breathe it in into a lovestruck daze that intensifies over time and with additional dosage. It's a purely symbolic thought but again it seems to sing with Robin and his growing, nurtured lust for her.
Cycle of Seduction
Poison Ivy's greatest strength comes from interaction with the heroes. She's a manipulative and cunning villainess that compliments her highly seductive charms quite nicely. It works as a psychological area not experienced in the Batman films until this point and sets up some nice scenarios and provides a unique exploration of the twisted exploits of a completely evil villainous vamp- especially one with her "talents"- and the dangers she can inflict on unwary foes. Like a certain Boy Wonder...
Ivy's entanglement with Robin provides the means to explore just how far she can go, how deeply she can root herself and how viciously evil a femme fatale she can be. Her twisted "relationship" with him is so intense and lust-filled there are moments when you forget that the hero wins in the end, the spiral of tainted love he is suscepted to is so wild and dizzying it's the most perfectly laiden and deadliest trap and it comes in the form of a single woman. And you almost root for her.
Poison Ivy undergoes many transformations and evolutions as she runs riot in Gotham City and it's not purely aesthetic. It becomes more apparent as you watch and listen to her and with Robin you can see the fruits of her evil mind take hold of him and claim him before the final curtain.
From the beginning Robin is completely taken by Ivy. A blank canvas for her nefarious designs. When they first meet Ivy is flirtier than they come and with only a name to her face both Batman & Robin become very interested. While her self-coined lovedust worked well Ivy did her part to get the mind-racing and the heart-beating at her sheer prescence and a mere whisper of her name, Poison Ivy.
Though her night was inadvertantly cut short by the arrival of Mr. Freeze she'd accomplished something at least. The boys knew who she was and they wouldn't forget about her, if her eager looks and sultry swagger didn't, her striptease made sure of that. To top it off for Robin before he left with Batman to pursue Freeze, Ivy gave a furtive stare and blew a kiss to him when their eyes met. The clincher there is that Ivy purposefully put herself in his eyeline to do so taking advantage of being there at the right time so he couldn't help but see her. She stands next to Commissioner Gordon (almost) symbolising a divide between duty and desire and also to note a fleeting gesture of raising and lowering her eyebrows (manipulating her eyemask) seemingly bookends her interactions with Robin, for me at least as later on when at the climatic encounter with hero she greets him in a similarly flirty manner.
While it's not for a while until they meet again when Ivy breaks the "mystery admirer" pretense and comes full circle as a villainess her actions at the Ball do cause significant repercussions in the pair causing Robin to later remark that he felt like he was in love with her. A feeling that would return in full force by their next encounter...
During Poison Ivy's first outing as a villainess, namely breaking Freeze out of prison there was no indication that she was expecting or even prepared for the Dynamic Duo waiting for them at his old hideout but nevertheless she isn't at all fazed by their prescence. If nothing else she just sees as happy coincidence. One that would offer her the chance to kill two birds with one kiss. In this instance Ivy's shed her quietly erotic costume for something more full-on and flavourful allowing her to show off her physical beauty in all it's glory with bold vibrant colours as opposed to her reserved and suggestive prior outing. Along with her costume Ivy takes a more "hands-on" approach to seduction. I guess since now that the jig is up she decides to leave no holds barred. Despite feeble attempts from Robin to resist her Ivy flips it with seductive suggestion and a puff of lovedust leaving him surrendering to her
rather than her him. Ivy's new advances work like a charm and she has him vulnerable to the point of nearly locking lips with her.
Ivy has Robin on the ropes and wastes no time proving how "tender" she can be rending him helpless to her keen advances. Especially at the end when he comes dangerously close to being led into sharing a deep passionate kiss with the evil villainess.
At this point Ivy is inherently more dangerous than Bane could ever hope to be. Her first encounter planted a seed and the second bears fruit. Her enticing get-up and manner was enough to silence Freeze's guards in Arkham but with Robin it only serves to make him slip deeper in her web of lust and lies making him view her not as the villain she clearly is but as a passionate, misunderstood lover who cares for him as much he's been led to for her. While Batman has seen past her ruse Robin is tied to Ivy so intricately there's apparently little hope for him surviving another encounter with her. Her bold and luscious looks work wonders for her and make the very prospect of a single kiss on the lips completely irresistable. She's so physically attractive that she renders him almost entirely lovestruck on most occasions. The idea of duping him into such a comprising and vulnerable situation and using it to kill him is a delicious concept to her. And the punchline to it is that Robin is oblivious to her real intentions.
He believes he loves her, she's become the sole focus of his thoughts. She has seduced him so thoroughly he doesn't just want her. He needs
her. Needs to be by her side. And whats more he believes she feels the same way. It's not about good and evil anymore, it's just him and her. His sense of justice and willingness to fight evil is still present. It's just been clouded by Ivy. He's well and truly fallen for the villainess despite what better judgement he once had to the point he actually tries to fight Batman over her, to defend her honour giving her the chance to flee the scene when the time came.
With her second encounter with the pair Ivy has grown from a mere flirt to a passionate seductress. Observing the effect that she has on Robin he becomes a sort of "pet project" along with her own schemes so by the time they come full circle. Robin becomes emotionally seperated from his elder thanks to his lust for the villainess, a fact somewhat encouraged when he stopped her from kissing him. Despite his efforts to save Robin from from her it only serves to drive him to her instead and not one to let opportunity slip her by Ivy would later use it to her advantage when the time came to dispose of him. And she certainly does just that...
Poison Ivy's theft of the Batsignal is pure defiance and an act of sheer brazen-ness on her part. It's almost as though she's taunting Batman for rejecting her while suckering in Robin for a final meeting. And that is only the beginning! Ivy calling Robin marks her final act of conflict on the Caped Crusader's before she's finally captured and sent to Arkham. I really couldn't believe how perfect it was the first time I saw it. It's so dastardly in execution.
Lets take a look at the facts.
1. We have a hero, Robin, under the spell, at the mercy of the villainess, Poison Ivy.
2. The villainess is so beautiful she can render a room silent with pure awe at the sight of her.
3. The villainess is so seductive she can make (almost) any man fall irrevocably in love with her.
4. To top it off she has the perfect murder weapon; A pair of luscious, poisonous lips as irresistable as the villainess herself.
5. The hero is so enamoured by her he believes that she loves him and wants to be with him despite being at opposite ends of the spectrum (of Good and Evil). He believes in it so much he's willing to abandon his mentor, Batman, and the legacy that made him a hero to be with her.
6. She only wants to kill him with her poison kiss. Though she encourages his belief with her seduction and manipulation of him.
7. His mentor is wise to her deceptive and deadly nature but his interventions only serve to drive the hero into the villainess' arms, believing him to be jealous.
8. Poison Ivy's final, prophetic words to Robin;
"Living in the shadow of the big, bad Bat? You don't need him. You're the star! I can see it now-! Your own big, bright signal in the sky... Let me guide you... Let me kiss you..."
Earlier in Wayne Manor, in wake of their last encounter Dick Grayson told Bruce Wayne that he wanted a Robin-signal in the sky recalling Ivy's insincere proclaimations. Answering his desire Ivy changes the Batsignal from a black bat to a red bird and signals him as an act of love for him... or so he's made to think.
In reality, the signal was more than changed- it was relocated. It's not calling Robin to action but a siren's song from Ivy luring him far from the Bat's protection. Directly to the secluded privacy of her lair.
A sinister feel of deja vu is present at Robin's arrival. The supernatural "glamour" resonates from Ivy's birth with trademark sinister pink glow. Beckoning him inside with the allure of Poison Ivy herself.
A trap obviously but Robin is nonetheless overjoyed by the turn of events as Ivy predicted he would be. In the original script of the movie Ivy details to Freeze her intentions to lure Robin out in the open away from Batman, herself serving as a distraction for the pair while Freeze prepared to destroy Gotham and finally thin their ranks by having the Bird join the evil villainess in sharing a long overdue poison kiss.
This part of the story is ultimately Ivy's downfall.
Her clear vanity and single-minded devotion to her goals leave her blind to any other outcomes than her calculated and cruel murder of her foe. Her undeniable and irrevocable successes of seductive ways make her more than simply confident- it makes her cocky and brazen. While this isn't inherently unheard of with this version of Poison Ivy it showcases just how dangerous a thing complacency can be, for a villain or a hero. Especially with someone like her.
(While Robin has ultimately snapped out of it at this point my thoughts here pay tribute to Ivy's final act as a villainess before her incarceration. A brilliantly evil and very cunning plan to murder him in the sanctity and solitude of her lair. To fully express my adoration of this gambit and the scene with Robin I'm going to look at it with the idea that he doesn't have any ace up his sleeve, that's he as deluded and lovestruck as we last left him. Basically from Ivy's perspective as well as my own.)
Poison Ivy preys off the assumption that Robin is in exactly the same condition that she had rendered him and frankly there's no way I can see that Robin could have avoided being killed by Ivy without some intervention. The third time would have been the charm for her intentions. The villainess is a drug that Robin is addicted to, he needs her as much as he wants her. Even if there was some inkling of doubt that would perhaps sway him off her the pull is too strong and with the new Robin-signal Ivy has fashioned for him there is no hope of him resisting her call to join her. And as expected... he can't.
When Robin arrives Ivy doesn't make her presence known right away. It's to her advantage as it's a completely otherworldly environment she resides in and one of her own creation to boot. As with (seemingly) every encounter with the hero she has everything beautifully orchestrated, letting Robin stumble her location upon deep within the inner sanctum.
Or rather set in motion a very elaborate trap set by Ivy, having her very vibrant
plantlife- specifically the closing vine curtains- to push him further and further in and allow her to close it herself when he reached the edge of her "garden pond". It's almost as though he being hunted by an invisible stalker but truthly the real danger is at the end of the trail, where the rose petals softly fall. The subtle things like this is as important as the bolder moments.
Ivy's garden lair is a melting pot of warmth and seduction and it plays as much a part in Robin's allurement as the villainess herself. (Considering it's a paradise of her own creation it's not really that crazy a connection.) In the short time that Ivy had been there she turned a rundown Turkish Bathhouse into an indoor rainforest, a Garden of Evil of her own design. Such an a starkly beautiful, lush and clearly living environment would be enough to influence the emotional status of someone in Robin's situation (being summoned to her hideout) in Ivy's favour. Before it was an even playing field, where both hero and villain were supposedly equals, though she did quickly turn around conflicts to face each other on her
terms. Namely her dominance and his submission. With this in mind it doesn't look very hopeful for the hero when the villainess holds and plays with all the cards in her grasp- which is most of them save for Robin's remaining strength of will. In the end it's like he's been subjected to a death sentence from the powerful spell of Ivy's guise of passionate but false love for him and everybody but him can see it. He is in her
domain now and it's a tense affair. They both know he's getting closer to her and as he embarks on a nervous, building and cautious march into the unknown through the vine curtains sealing him into the vamp's den.
Then, she appears. Enticing and stunning. It's a fantastic reveal and very poetic for a creature such as Poison Ivy. A villainess whom is part-plant lays in wait for the hero inside a giant flower. An awe-inspiring floral throne fitting for the mistress of all that lives in her midst.
The best moment in the film. This what it's all been building up to. The seduction, the Robin-Signal and now this: Together, alone at last in the warm hidden comforts of her lair.
It's a magnificent entrance and the perfect seal on a masterful death trap. Ivy makes such an impact on him that she leaves him completely dumbstruck with amazement at the sight of her. Even more so than usual. It really punctuates how different and effective a villain Ivy is- that of all the emotions an evil person can invoke on their foe hers is not rage or determination but truly intoxicating passion and desire for her.
She's a Venus Man
trap. In the symbolic sense and in execution.
Regardless of all things Poison Ivy is supremely attractive and you can't really blame Robin for being so eager in joining her on her flowerbed, especially when she "propositions" herself and her body so readily, but such a thing isn't unexpected of Ivy by this point. And given the fact that he's escaped her 'graces' twice it's only natural she'd go all out in her lavish dressing and sultry actions to seduce and murder him.
Now it's just the matter of patience. Ivy's exploits and plans have led to this bittersweet encounter and he definitely pines for her, considering he answered her call.
In this meeting of the two Robin is the one who approaches Ivy rather than the other way around, a kind of remark or nod to her vanity and self-indulgant nature- that men even heroes would gladly throw themselves at her despite the potential and deadly danger she poses.
The set-up is what drives this encounter and is the main reason I love Ivy so much. There isn't much in the way of smothering flirtation as before, as far as she's inherently concerned Robin is hers and in a sense she is very "business"-like in her approach to him now. Sure, the twinkling glamour of Ivy is still there in all it's twisted glory but she doesn't beat around the bush because as soon the opportunity presents itself she turns the conversation to matters of the lips.
She's ultimately alot more reserved in this instance, she's lets Robin make most of the moves and she casually twists and directs it in her own deceitful favour. It's something that's she's in a way earned in her past encounters, a kind of calm expectance of him. She's doesn't think he loves her- she KNOWS he is. Completely and unfailingly infatuated with her. Any kind of resistance is futile because she's knows should he try to break away from her in any way she can reel him back into her web and seduce him with a few words and a killer smile.
Her brazen belief of his lust for her gave Ivy reign to simply lay back and let Robin freely offer himself and allow her to woo him once more.
Ensnared and trapped Ivy turns on her charms full force. Reflecting her current state she's subtle in her persuasion, slowly pushing herself onto him as the "conversation" advances.
Playing the stoic hero, Robin (at last being allowed to speak from the absense of Ivy's lovedust) innocently and naively questions the authenticity of the villainess and her romancing of him. With Robin in such a vulnerable position Ivy is a charming flirt. She knows exactly what she wants and single-mindedly how to get it. Though while he's trapped in her lair she's not stupid enough to show her hand to him just yet when he's still under her spell.
When Robin asks for a sign of trust- details of her nefarious schemes- is when Ivy's vanity betrays her. The fun and games have ended, it's down to business and that's exactly what Ivy's good at. Ivy bargains the information in exchange for the long-desired kiss from him. The poison kiss that will kill him once and for all. He agrees to the terms but only if she'll tell him first. With the (understandable) belief that he won't be able to make use of the information she relents, telling him of Freeze's- subsequently her- plan of Gotham City's annihilation.
But even then she doesn't stop being a tease- not when she has a captive audience in her grasp.
Ivy recounts the bare details of the deadly scheme with haste, delivering the info in such a way to give Robin a few lustful and come-hither looks in effort to further seduce him.
Ivy gives Robin more than just information but reason to linger instead and a sultry reminder of how irresistable she is to him.
Even when the subject has changed entirely Poison Ivy has a way to make it all about her. If Robin had once again been put under the influence of Ivy's pheromones the conversation would have surely ended there and the venomous vamp's lips would've found their next willing companion. Ivy puts in every effort to stray the Bird from his goal and entice him back into her charms once more.
It's become a vicious and relentless circle. Ivy has grown as a villainous seductress so much that every encounter with her is predetermined- a fact she arrogantly but faithfully believes in.
By this point Ivy is in total control regardless of how strong of a will Robin thinks he has. Though with the information in hand Robin makes a brave effort to flee Ivy's lair under pretense of stopping Mr. Freeze's rampage but it's ultimately a futile one. He barely has the chance to rise from the flower when Ivy takes hold of him and entraps him with a smoldering look and perhaps the best line in the film.
This is the real button on this scene and the defining moment in the villainess and hero's relationship dynamic
. Disregarding everything you know about Ivy's intention, this is the clincher. If this were a real romance this would be the part where the couple makes their relationship official with the big damn kiss to seal it. And it's the perfect moment for Poison Ivy's final attempt to seduce Robin into sharing a kiss with her.
The fact that it's so personal too is the reason why it's so perfect and evil. It's such an innocent request and it would be meaningful, significant proof that the villainess cares for him. She wants him to succeed. Because she loves him. And it's only one
kiss after all... what could it hurt?
It's so cruel when you think about it. Incredibly calculated and totally, totally evil. An act of devious betrayal disguised as an act of true love. With a hint of lust on Ivy's part- she lured him into her lair for this one sole reason after all.
A fitting and worthy candidate as the true testament to Poison Ivy's pure villainy and the underlined proof that she is poisonous to her very core.
True to expectations it works a treat and Robin falls for Ivy's charms for what was to be the last time. This is purely a personal thing but I've always figured that the kiss between Poison Ivy and Robin should've been longer especially considering all the work she put into seducing him, plus it would have brought her venemous spree full circle by ending the way she started (with Woodrue)- full on and irrevocable. But then this was to be a little unfinished business to conclude, a score to settle before Freeze destroyed Gotham.
But we all know this wasn't to be and frankly while I never enjoy seeing the bad guys win I actually kind of, sort of... maybe... um...
I really would've liked to to have seen Ivy win (in some respect) because I really did enjoy her malicious and deadly antics- and not just because Uma Thurman made a really attractive Poison Ivy(-only mostly). It felt kind of anti-climatic to see such a huge build-up with little payoff, especially when it involves the seduction of a hated, mortal enemy such as Robin rather than a simple member of society, like the Commissioner. The geniune threat Ivy clearly poses throughout the story is so well conveyed and the fact that this is a villain, more importantly a cold-hearted killer who's hankering for his affections (and succeeding) is a dynamic that I have never seen explored with such single-minded tenacity before in a story- superhero or otherwise- but that fact helps accentuate the underlying danger of the 'conflict'.
Poison Ivy is a wicked beauty. Though despite the hold Ivy has over her male victims she rarely- if ever- exploits it beyond prepping them for her kiss. There's no real sense of enjoyment over what she's doing besides the cruel delight in murder.
While it's generally a completely different take on the villainess it's the true testament and in my eyes a love-letter to the Vamp character archetype. Until Poison Ivy I never really saw a completely dangerous and deadly female antagonist until then. Really. I can't really express it much more without essentially reiterating myself but I'm serious. Poison Ivy in this film is out for blood as much as her plants.
She's hyper-sexualised to such an extreme that you can really get behind the idea that she is irresistable. Robin became the horny teenage boy in all of us- smitten and entranced. And in the end it's the reason why I found her to be so fascinating and devastating.
Because when you lay it down and look at it, she is the greatest threat they had ever faced.
My only upset is that she didn't have more focus as a villainess. The Poison Ivy/Robin seduced by the enemy thing was and IS fantastic, don't get me wrong! But the potential was there for so much more! It could've been developed into a real internal struggle, putting Robin on a shakier tightrope and distort the lines between safety and oblivion. Heck, in the end it could've quite easily served as a precursor for the movie's origin/version of Nightwing! And that's just the start!
I firmly and stubbornly believe that Poison Ivy could have held the movie herself as the main threat. The psychological edge and her under-sized plant "army" could've been such a thrill. You didn't need Freeze! While many de-cry Bane's character in the movie I understand his inclusion and the need for his involvement but that role could have easily been switched to someone (or something) else.
But alas! It's all just words in the end. It'll never happen and never did, but the fact remains I love
It's been the only role of Uma Thurman's I have truly adored and I'm enternally grateful for her for introducing me to the villainess in the form of sweet, sweet eye-candy and wild and obsessive insanity and while I do see the odd twinkling here and there of Uma's Ivy in the comics and animated shows I fear it won't ever top her