This week sees the digital release of animated feature film, Batman: The Long Halloween – Part Two. The movie, a follow-up to last month’s Batman: The Long Halloween – Part One, sees the Caped Crusader continue his search to uncover the mysterious identity of the Holiday killer.
Picking up shortly after the end credit scene of Part One, Bruce Wayne is now under the mental control of Poison Ivy. The bewitching villain has influenced Bruce’s mind for a couple of months, meaning Batman has been unable to investigate his most pressing case.
In the Dark Knight’s absence, additional murders have taken place on Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day. The Holiday killer is still carrying out their vendetta against mobsters in Gotham, leaving the police searching for clues and largely baffled.
But the Holiday killer is not the only problem that Gotham City faces – the Scarecrow has escaped from Arkham Asylum and has teamed up with the Mad Hatter. And if that wasn’t enough, District Attorney Harvey Dent is getting in too deep with the case, while also struggling with his mental health, which leads to the emergence of a new (and familiar) face in Gotham.
Directed by Chris Palmer, Batman: The Long Halloween – Part Two features the vocal talents of Jensen Ackles, Naya Rivera, Josh Duhamel, Katee Sackhoff, Robin Atkin Downes, and John DiMaggio. The movie is available to buy in the UK and the US from today, and can be purchased from all the major streaming platforms, including Amazon, iTunes, and CHILI.
As you will recall, I had a very positive experience with Batman: The Long Halloween – Part One, and I’m pleased to say my experience with Part Two is more of the same. The film boasts great animation, a strong voice cast, and a compelling storyline, making it yet another treat for Bat-fans.
Batman: The Long Halloween – Part Two is essentially an equal to its predecessor. In terms of its quality and its execution, Part Two is a mirror of what came before, and if you liked the first entry, then there’s no real reason not to like this.
If you enjoyed the ‘who dunnit?’ aspect of the previous film, then you will be pleased to know that this remains intact in this picture too. The identity of the Holiday killer is still a key part of the film, with the reveal held off until the final few minutes of the movie.
However, the difference between Part One and Part Two, is that this film begins to draw all of the little story threads together. So, whereas the first film was about setting up the central mystery and allowing it to play out, this film is more about tying everything together.
Catwoman’s involvement in the story becomes clear, while a plot thread regarding the Wayne family strengthens Batman’s connection to the story. And then there is Harvey Dent, who completes his journey from hero to villain, linking up the two pictures in the process.
Harvey’s involvement in both movies has been interesting, but arguably more so here. It is in this movie that Harvey becomes the villainous Two-Face, providing the film with another great villain during the back-half of the story.
Harvey’s transformation is handled very well, and unlike other takes on this character, which have Harvey’s personality switch as soon as his face is physically scarred, Batman: The Long Halloween – Part Two works its way up to the moment. A couple of scenes make it clear that Harvey is hearing voices, and although these incidents are brief, they help to pave the way for what transpires.
The character work with Harvey in this movie is excellent and is a highlight of this film, and the same can be said for Batman and Catwoman. These two characters have gone on a journey and it is interesting to see it all play out.
The only character who doesn’t quite work in this film is the Mad Hatter, who is somewhat of a misfire. His role in this movie is fairly small, so it is a minor issue really, but he just doesn’t work in the way he should.
I wanted to see a menacing Mad Hatter on screen, like the one depicted in the comics. The version offered up here is mildly irritating, and stands out from the crowd for the wrong reasons.
But my issue with the Mad Hatter is very small, and could simply be down to personal preference (as well as some nit-picking on my part). Either way, this is nothing to get too concerned with, and one slight misstep doesn’t alter the rest of the movie.
There are many great animated Batman movies out there, and Batman: The Long Halloween stands shoulder to shoulder with some of the best. For those who love film noir takes on the Caped Crusader, or who adore the Christopher Nolan Batman films, this is a must-see collection of pictures.
If you have not watched Batman: The Long Halloween – Part One yet, now is the time to give it a go, so that you can dive right in with Part Two. And if you are already up to speed, it’s time to conclude the mystery of the Holiday killer and see this story brought to a satisfying close.
If you’re still playing catch up on your animated Batman movies, you may wish to know that Batman: The Long Halloween – Part One is now available on Blu-ray.
As well as the movie, the Blu-ray for Part One includes a collection of bonus features, including some additional cartoons, as well as an animated short.
The Batman: The Long Halloween – Part One Blu-ray is available from all good entertainment stockists, including Amazon US and Amazon UK. Part Two will be available on Blu-ray in August.
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