Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One director: Chris Palmer
Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One rating: 3.5 stars
Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One is a DC animated movie based on Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale’s storyline Batman: The Long Halloween, which is regarded as one of the best stories involving the Caped Crusader. It was also one of the inspirations behind Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight.
The story of The Long Halloween, Part One is set in the early days of Batman’s crime-fighting days. This is a young Bruce Wayne still learning the ropes and figuring out the life of a nocturnal crimefighter.
He collaborates with Jim Gordon and Harvey Dent to put away criminals in prison or those who are criminally insane in Arkham Asylum. While Batman operates from the shadows, Gordon and Dent work in the light. Their latest case is a series of murders by a mysterious person called the Holiday, who kills people, usually mobsters and their family members, on public holidays.
The film runs for 85 minutes, and it does feel long. The makers could easily have reduced the runtime by 15-20 minutes without losing anything important. There are long pauses as though the director and editor are stretching the runtime to justify the feature-length.
Still, it is undeniably a pretty solid Batman film. It tells a grim story adroitly with a suitably gloomy atmosphere and a dash of wry humour to boot. The story and humour are updated a little for modern sensibilities, so even those who have read the graphic novel will find lots of new stuff. And for purists, numerous verbal and visual nods to the original storyline should satisfy you.
The art style and animation also see a long overdue and welcome refinement.
The voice-cast is extraordinary for a budget animated movie meant for small screens. You can tell Jensen Ackles is doing a Bat-voice and is not a natural like Kevin Conroy, but it works wonderfully. Troy Baker is as good as ever as Joker. Josh Duhamel, Billy Burke, Titus Welliver, David Dastmalchian, Amy Landecker, Julie Nathanson, Jack Quaid, Fred Tatasciore, and Alastair Duncan also deliver the goods.
Overall, Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One is a worthwhile watch for Batman fans.