The Long Halloween Part 1
This Batman story is my personal favorite. How does the film measure up?
Warner Bros and DC Comics have had some smash hits on their animated side of things. Sometimes even going far as to be much more comic accurate than the live action counterparts. The latest attempt is a classic Batman story. The Long Halloween.
In this classic story Batman is still a young crime solver and this is his toughest case yet. Working alongside the GCPD and District Attorney Dent, Batman must find the Holiday killer. After striking on Halloween and Thanksgiving, Gotham citizens become fearful that this killer may elude them.
Batman The Long Halloween Part 1 has an impressive voice cast. The standout being Titus Welliver as mob boss Carmine Falcone. He just takes over and makes you fear him and understand why people tip toe around this man. Billy Burke was likable as Jim Gordon. Duhamel was also fantastic as Dent. Ackles did good with Batman but has some legendary shoes to fill and sometimes did not come across as memorable as other Batman voice work. That's not to say for this particular film he didn't go well, just that when you look at the greater picture it's hard to match him up against some of the greats.
So far this new DC animated world is off to a great start. This is a classic Batman story that explores his deeper connection to detective work and why it is necessary for Batman to become the greatest detective in the world.
It has striking visuals that pretty much adapt the story in a way that stays true to the comic book. If you have not read it this film may appear to be slower than most because it is broken down into the two parts to allow for tension building as Batman must figure this out. I know most fans are used to 70-90 minutes of action but this story is so well done it needs to explore the intricacies of this investigation. Breezing through the story would not have allowed for tense scenes with some of the rogues as Batman comes closer to the truth.
The ending scene on the yacht followed by the post credit scene set the bar high for Part 2 next month. If you loved this part, circle July 27th on your calendar because that is when Part 2 drops digitally. While this 2 part approach works for The Long Halloween because it is such a classic it's not one I would begin to deploy a lot. Why? Fans will get tired of having to invest in 2 films to get the whole story. This one works for me because the Cliffhanger ending sets the tone. Having read the comic and it being my favorite Batman story that has ever been written, having this tension end there where it did was amazing story telling. However, I know most casual audience members don't want to feel like these films are costing them an arm and a leg and 40 dollars combined to watch 2.5 hours of Batman could feel that way. Not to fans determined to see their favorite stories but to people looking for new avenues to find these characters.
Overall this is probably one of the finer Batman animated films that I have seen. It pulls no punches. Dives right into the story, provides us with fantastic acting and visuals and a brisk pace that carries us right up to where the second part will begin. I cannot wait to see what the villainous additions bring to the table in Part 2 and the tease made it even more exciting. A brilliant animated take on my favorite Batman story. As a fan and critic I simply could not ask for more. Hopefully Part 2 is just as amazing if not better than the first.