Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One

Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One ★★★

I believe in Gotham City.

Around a year or so ago, Superman: Man of Tomorrow came out, marking the start of a new direction for DC's animated films. I liked it a lot, giving me exactly the kind of story I wanted with the Man of Steel in animated form. When I then heard that the same writer and director behind that film was going to tackle one of the most famous and well-written Batman stories, and that Jensen Ackles was going to finally take up the cowl after being a fan favorite to do so for awhile, you can bet I was looking forward to it. I do think it's a step down from the Superman film by a noticeable margin, but I also do think it's completely solid, and I can give an assortment of positivity towards it. Ackles as Batman, Billy Burke as Gordon, Josh Duhamel, and Naya Rivera as Catwoman I think all suit their roles very well, emblematic of the quality casting throughout the feature overall. I also do still rather like this new animation style for DC. I understand how difficult it would be to recreate the drawings of Tim Sale accurately in an animated format, and I think this nice in-between of digital and a comics-esque aesthetic is a good way to settle on bringing these characters to life. While I do like the voices and the general look and feel of the film, it is admittedly the pacing and structure which brings the feature down. The Long Halloween is one of the longer stories in Batman's history, one that I do completely think needs a good two or so hours for it to be fully laid out. I say that as a means to say that I do wish this was released as one singular feature, and that it did not have to go to a nearly three hour runtime when combining the two films into one. It's an instance of a "Part One" film still leaving you wanting to see what comes next, but it on its own doesn't do well enough to stand on two feet, and you can see exact parts that could be removed to allow it to have been a singular story. I wouldn't at all say I was disappointed with this film, yet I will for sure say I think it could have been better. Still, it comes recommended to fans of Batman and the original limited series.

6/10

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