BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN, PART TWO Review; "A Fittingly Epic Conclusion"

Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two is released on Digital on July 27 and Blu-ray on August 10, but does this second part do the classic comic book storyline justice? Here's our spoiler-free verdict!

Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale’s The Long Halloween was long overdue for an animated adaptation, and while that first part was mostly devoted to setting up what we always knew was going to be a far more exciting sequel, both movies from Warner Bros. Animation definitely do the story justice. With Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two, it’s safe to say that watched together, they’ll make for an exciting, epic experience, but how does this follow-up fare as a movie in its own right? Well, we’re pleased to report that it doesn’t disappoint and does, in fact, improve on the source material in many ways. 

Many of you will be relieved to know that Part Two doesn’t make too many sweeping changes, but it's no bad thing to see it throw in enough new ideas to ensure we’re not saddled with a glorified motion comic. Tim Sheridan’s script improves many of the source material's weaker moments, making that villain-heavy final act, for exactly, land a far greater impact than the couple of pages it lasted for back in the late 90s. The big twists we’re sure you’re already familiar with also work better on-screen with a few tweaks here and there, while the stage is set for a fresh take on Dark Victory we’re definitely desperate to see this creative team - including director Chris Palmer - reunite to tell. 

Beyond the exciting action, there are plenty of other things to love about Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two, with the fascinating exploration of Harvey Dent’s mental breakdown before, during, and after his transformation into Two-Face an undeniable highlight. Josh Duhamel’s performance is superb, and the way he uses his voice to depict the transformation the D.A. goes through proves to be among the best work we've seen in these animated features.
 


This is a terrific voice cast all round for the most part, though, with Jensen Ackles and the late Naya Rivera once again making a mark as Batman and Catwoman, creating the sort of chemistry we can only hope makes its way into The Batman next year. It’s also fun to see Fred Tatasciore get a little more to do as Solomon Grundy, while Robin Atkin Downes is clearly having a blast as Scarecrow. However, if we had to single out a performance as being our favourite, it would perhaps be Katee Sackhoff as Poison Ivy; she’s fantastic as the sultry villain, and we just wish the character had been given a little more screentime beyond what proves to be a memorable opening sequence. 

The sequel definitely benefits from the R-Rating Part One didn’t have, with the increased level of violence and adult themes proof that these movies perhaps work best when they are aimed at older viewers (particularly for a storyline like this one). With a 90-minute runtime, Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two doesn’t get a huge amount of time to squeeze this story in, but does a great job of wrapping things up in a satisfying manner, especially when combined with Part One. It’s hard to escape the feeling the movie would have benefitted from a slightly more striking animation style because as moody as Gotham City looks, it's not always that exciting to look at. Taking some risks in terms of visuals would be welcomed, though it's clear those working on movies like this one are doing the best with the budget and time they're given.

A fittingly epic conclusion, Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two features more stellar voice performances from its cast and cements writer Tim Sheridan as an integral part of the current DC Animated Universe we hope to see much more of in future.

IF

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