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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Movie Review - Batman vs. Two-Face

Time to snatch up the newest DC straight-to-DVD animated film, and with it, the latest return to the world of Batman '66.  Yup, I'm going through my new Blu-Ray of....

Batman vs. Two-Face

Directed by Rick Morales

Starring the voices of Adam West, Burt Ward, William Shatner, Julie Newmar, Lee Meriwether, Steven Weber, Jim Ward, Thomas Lennon, and Lynn Marie Stewart


Well, last year's Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders was such a welcome return to the world of 1960s Batman, that of course a sequel was planned.  I've read over the years how Two-Face was a heavy contender for use in the 1960s Batman TV show, but it never came to be.  One theory as to why it never happened was that his facial scarring was considered too gruesome for a family show, another said that they were holding out for Clint Eastwood to play him.  The latest theory I've read says that an episode actually was written featuring Two-Face, but it was scrapped when the producers got into a pay dispute with the writer.  Anyway, the rumours over the years have led many to wonder how the 1960s Batman would have tangled with Two-Face, and now we have the answer. 


An experimental new "evil extractor" designed to extract the evil from Gotham City's most dangerous criminal goes awry, and Gotham's district attorney Harvey Dent has half of his body drenched with liquid, concentrated evil.  Becoming Two-Face, we're treated to an opening credit montage featuring Two-Face's reign of terror, before he's brought down by Batman and Robin.  Thanks to some experimental plastic surgery, Harvey Dent's face is healed, and it looks like Two-Face is no more.  But then, some new plots by King Tut and the Bookworm don't add up.  It looks like Two-Face has returned, and is manipulating things from behind the scenes.  But how is that possible?  Harvey Dent is healed, and has airtight alibis for both instances.  Has Harvey Dent reverted to his evil ways and become Two-Face once again?  Will Bruce Wayne ever be able to help his old friend Harvey Dent become whole again?

What I Liked

William Shatner was a great choice to play Two-Face, and he adds a nice, menacing growl to his voice whenever Two-Face's evil side comes out.  The icing on the cake is making Harvey Dent look like 1960s William Shatner.  Seeing Dick Grayson get jealous of Bruce Wayne's friendship with Harvey Dent was a cute twist to the characters.  And while the first film focused on Batman's main four villains, it was nice to see beloved 1960s villains King Tut and Bookworm get a chance to be in the spotlight.  And man o man, it was great to see the second Catwoman, Lee Meriwether, show up in a lovely Easter egg.  And they even managed to slip in a 1960s-flavoured Dr. Hugo Strange and Harley Quinn for us, which was nice.

What I Didn't Like

Well, some of the meta-humour of the first film, with all the winks and nods to other facets of the Batman mythology are lacking.  We're treated to something more akin to a typical episode of 1960s show. 

Final Verdict

Another fine outing for the 1960s Batman, if lacking some of the freshness of the first film.

3 Nibs

Bonus Features

For bonus features on the Blu-Ray, we're treated to a bunch of featurettes focusing on Burt Ward and Julie Newmar, we get a tribute to Adam West, and a deleted scene that I'm fairly certain was originally meant to be a post-credits stinger. 

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