Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One is an absolutely stunning adaptation of Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale’s classic comic book series. In a Gotham City ruled by organized crime, The Dark Knight faces a mysterious killer who cannot be stopped by brute force or terror. He learns to be a real detective, where everyone is a suspect, and the killer’s motives are equally baffling. Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One reaches a level of storytelling and film noir artistry that surpasses anything we’ve seen yet in genre animation. It’s really gripping with complex characters and an unpredictable plot. Tragically, the film also marks the last appearance of the talented Naya Rivera. He died shortly after completing her voiceover as Catwoman.
The story begins with an exciting encounter. Bruce Wayne (Jensen Ackles) refuses an overture from the powerful mob boss, Carmine Falcone (Titus Welliver). That night, Halloween, a close associate of Falcone is found murdered. The killer left behind an untraceable gun, a jack-o’-lantern, and oddly used a baby bottle teat as a silencer. Captain James Gordon (Billy Burke) and Gotham District Attorney Harvey Dent (Josh Duhamel) meet Batman on the roof of the police station. The last thing they need is a war between crime syndicates. Catwoman (Naya Rivera) appears to lure Batman. There’s something important she needs to show him.
A few weeks later, on Thanksgiving, the killer strikes again. The city simmers as the target’s allies seek revenge. Batman, Gordon and Dent realize a bigger treacherous plan is in the works. The list of suspects is too long. They need more information to understand what’s going on. Batman decides a different approach is needed to the investigation. He unleashes a terrifying opponent that significantly raises the stakes of a bloody game.
Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One takes inspiration from the gangster top. Carmine Falcone Is Almost The Image Of Marlon Brando’s “Don Vito Corleone” From the godfather. I have to believe that royalties were paid to use his likeness. The character is outwardly menacing. He rules Gotham City with an iron fist, but has many enemies. The killer is apparently after Falcone’s empire. But Salvatore Maroni (Jim Pirri), a competitive mobster, may also be in the crosshairs. Batman must navigate a labyrinth of bastards, psychopaths and betrayal. Part of the fun of the movie is deducing who in the rogue gallery is part of the killer’s conspiracy.
The animation and action scenes are fantastic. Everything is ultra-styled in a gloomy 1930s gangster ethos. The cars, gang members in fedoras and submachine guns blazing feel like… The untouchables meets Chinatown. The filmmakers skillfully capture the settings of the comics with a truly cinematic flair. They paint a noir mystery canvas with a captivating hero who actually works to make progress. The Batman pictured here does not use advanced technology. He’s not exactly JJ Gittes or Eliot Ness in a hood, but a hard-boiled ass-kicker who needs to increase his investigative insight.
Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One has pungent subplots that thicken the soup. Harvey Dent plays a big part. Like Catwoman, whose masks are off, Selena’s Kyle relationship with Bruce Wayne adds another twisted element to the story. Writer Tim Sheridan (The Death and Return of Superman) is given time to establish serious character depth. We get to know the players in an intricate way, which ultimately drives the mystery at the heart of the story.
It is clear from the title that you are in for a cliffhanger. Raise your expectations as it is a doozy. Fans will be eagerly looking forward to part two. Warner Bros. Animation may have delivered the best animated movie in the DC Universe. I loved Justice League: Doom, Batman: Gotham by Gaslight, and Death of Superman. After my first viewing experience, I feel that this film is superior; but admittedly, I still bask in the afterglow. Stay close during the credits. Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One is available digitally and on DVD/Blu-ray from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. Part two will be published on July 27, 2021.
Topics: Batman: The Long Halloween
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