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src_y2k

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54 out of 95 people found the following review useful:
Just doesn't measure up., 4 October 2005

In 92 WB produced Batman the animated series. In terms of style, content and storyline it was revolutionary as far as (american) cartoons were concerned. Kevin Conroy WAS and IS the voice of Batman. It was deep, commanding and capable of great range and he has continued being the voice of Batman through all the animated incarnations of the character until this one; from the sub-par Batman Beyond (I still count Bruce as Batman even in that series) to the superb Justice League. Indeed, so strong was the style of TAS that it dictated the tone of all DCs animated heroes, again, up until this show.

The problem with this show from the start is their decision not to use Conroy as Batman. It speaks volumes that they did not. It says, "we don't want this to be just like the other Batman cartoons". And it isn't, that's the problem.

While I don't deny people the chance to reinvent or reimagine, there is a simple truth to storytelling which is this: the further away you stray from the core concepts of the original story and character, the less attractive and watchable that character is and the poorer the result. This show proves that.

A younger Batman fighting crime and meeting his signature enemies is fine, but its been done and with considerably more style. The artwork is bizarre, not necessarily a problem in and of itself, but this Batman doesn't carry the gravity he requires- he's a guy who actively tries to terrorise criminals and you don't do that with neon-glowing gadgets as the dire Schumacher Batman movies proved eloquently.

The biggest problem I have is the characterisation, and that grates on me severely. The actual scripts are terrible, with cheesy, unfunny quips being made at every turn. Every character except Batman, Alfred and (possibly) Catwoman has been taken away from their roots, mostly so they can add some pointless fight sequences. The Joker is the biggest example, and he's been singled out many times for just this reason. The Joker is not good in a fight. He relies on henchmen and insanely well-prepared plans to achieve his ends, he does not leap around like something out of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The Penguin, while he sometimes fences with umbrellas is also not a hand to hand combatant. He relies on henchmen and his wits to try to stay ahead.

All in all, this reminds me less of Jackie Chan as others have mentioned, mostly because that looked so awful I avoided it, but of another terrible show, the new He-Man cartoon *shudder* Lots of gimmicky cuts to other scenes, a lot of empty space and bright colours and all the characters seems to spend half their time in mid-air with speed lines zooming past them. And the same three bad guys behind every single event.

I agree totally with others who have marked this as disappointing. It is the weakest thing to come out of the Batman franchise since the execrable Batman & Robin, and while not quite on that level of crappiness, it does count against the good work that was done in Batman Begins, a film I would expect this to try and stay as close to as possible given the proximity of their release and the inherent similarity in concept.