Batman: The Long Halloween (2021) Poster

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Very, very good
Milk_Tray_Guy7 December 2022
Warning: Spoilers
Originally released over two parts, this animated adaptation of Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale's acclaimed series comprises the third and fourth entries in the new 'Tomorrowverse' continuity. Over the course of 12 months Batman attempts to identify and apprehend a serial killer known only as 'Holiday', who's targeting mob figures. At the same time the police and the D. A.'s office are working to bring down Carmine Falcone, head of Gotham's largest crime family. In an effort to achieve both, Batman forms an alliance with Capt Jim Gordon of the GCPD and crusading district attorney Harvey Dent. But as the investigations progress side-by-side, events take their toll on the three men - and lead to a fall from grace greater than any could have imagined.

The voice cast lead by Jensen Ackles as Batman are excellent, with Josh Duhamel as Harvey Dent, Billy Burke as Jim Gordon, the late Naya Rivera as Catwoman (the movie is dedicated to her) - plus the return of Alastair Duncan as Alfred. Ackles is a revelation. I like him but I never expected him to be so good as Batman; he absolutely nails it and I'm glad he's in for the long haul. The fight scenes are well choreographed (something DC animation excel in), the character designs are solid (no, they're not a direct copy of Tim Sale's - they were never going to be), and the whole thing feels very cinematic. I had a real strong feeling of deja vu watching this. Gotham City looks ripped straight from BTAS, and (especially in the scenes where it snows) the Burton films, with that mixture of 1940s-looking automobiles and modern tech; there's a strong Mask of the Phantasm vibe (mysterious figure bumping off hoods early in Batman's career), and of course there's a very strong reminder of The Dark Knight (hardly surprising, given TLH was one of Nolan's big inspirations).

There are a couple of things that raised an eyebrow,

Gordon giving Dent his own service issue pistol for protection; right, that was never gonna bite him... and the fake-out regarding Holiday, where it's clearly a man throughout the movie - and then we get the revelation that in this version it was a woman all along

but they don't stop this from being good - to the point where I prefer it to the original. This could actually be this generation's Mask of the Phantasm. 8/10.
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