Batman vs. Two-Face Review
Batman vs. Two-Face is a 2017 animated superhero about a district attorney who suffers a tragic accident, only to be transformed and becoming the Dark Knight’s latest challenge.
Coming off last year’s Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders, which saw the return of Adam West and Burt Ward as the voices of the characters they popularized in the 1960s live-action television series, now arrives the first sequel (and most likely last) set in this era. It’s director Rick Morales‘ Batman vs. Two-Face, and is, as the first, a well-made ode to the iconic cartoonish style of the TV episodes, rife with corny dialogue and the “slam” and “bang” action you’d expect.
Beginning at the Gotham State Penitentiary, where Batman (West) stops by the cell of the imprisoned Catwoman (Julie Newmar), he and Robin (Ward) visit a secret laboratory in the prison where Hugo Strange (Jim Ward) and his assistant Dr. Harleen Quinzel (Sirena Irwin), along with District Attorney Harvey Dent (William Shatner), fire up a new big gadgety-device called the ‘Evil Extractor’ on some of Gotham’s most notorious villains, including The Joker and Penguin. Naturally, it all goes wrong and the big glass vat that holds all that green gooey evil explodes, scarring Dent, transforming him into maniacal Two-Face, a figure half man/half monster. Now it’s up to the Dynamic Duo to stop him from destroying Gotham with plans to turn everyone into similar beasts, all at the whim of a flip of a coin.
Fans of the campy TV show – and of the first in this Warner Bros. animated series – are once again in for a solid treat as Batman vs. Two-Face dips deep into the well and delivers plenty of hokey fun, with the familiar voices and writing style of the 60s irrelevant show. West, who passed away earlier this year – effectively ending hopes for another – is of course great fun to hear again, doling out snappy one-liners and clever wordplay, with Ward echoing his remarks with plenty of “holy this” and “holy that” comebacks. Some are downright smart and if you’re not paying attention, could whiz right past you. Numar, who also returns (and for those who don’t know, is the very first Catwoman) has a few good moments and Shatner chews everything up as Dent and Two-Face. It’s all held together by great animation and a slick script.
It’s those last bits that really help to lift Batman vs.Two-Face to better than-average fun, the film recalling much of the original television series, with both Batman and Robin donned in their classic outfits and riding around in that modified 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car. The Batcave is filled with old style computers with punchcard technology and lots of takes on the original music. Animation was all done in South Korea, where a lot of mainstream animation is outsourced, and it’s bright and energetic, capturing much of the look and feel of the iconic TV show. Keeping well away from the other present day animated stories that are far darker, Batman vs. Two-Face is aiming for early comic book gags rather than larger existential quandaries, making this a surprisingly good entry in the long-running animated series. Plus, to have West go out playing the role that defined his career is kinda special. Well worth a watch, Batman vs. Two-Face won’t disappoint.
Batman vs. Two-Face Review
Movie description: Batman vs. Two-Face is a 2017 animated superhero about a district attorney who suffers a tragic accident, only to be transformed and becoming the Dark Knight's latest challenge.
Director(s): Rick Morales
Actor(s): Adam West, Burt Ward, William Shatner
Genre: Animation, Superhero