Batman vs. Two-Face (2017) – Rated PG – Reviewed October 20, 2017 – IMDb
So, who thought making a Batman animated movie based on the 1960’s TV series was a good idea?
To whoever thought it would be, thank you!
OK, the animation isn’t the best; it looked more like a 1970’s Saturday morning cartoon than the more artistic renditions we have seen put out by Warner Bros and others. But the movie captured the original show. This movie was enjoyable to me for three reasons:
- The story
- The voice acting
- The ridiculousness of the whole thing
The story could have been pulled straight out of the unmade episodes pile from the 1960’s show. And I don’t think I need to worry about spoilers here (I mean, you know who the main villain is from the title!), but without giving away the whole farm, imagine someone developed a machine which could suck the evil out of super villains and contain it in a green goo. Now, imagine how many things could go wrong with such a plan and you’re off to the races! Just like the TV series, nobody questions how absurd and overly complicated these schemes are, which makes it all the more entertaining. It’s slapstick wrapped with a thin veneer of seriousness.
Some of the lines are priceless and the dialog is right in line with the original show. But it all would have failed if they’d gotten anyone else to do the voice acting.
They have the late, great Adam West as Batman, Burt Ward as Robin, and get this: not one, but two actresses who played Catwoman on the series (Julie Newmar as Catwoman and Lee Meriwether as Lucilee Diamond). If that weren’t enough, William Shatner fills the role of Two-Face and Steven Weber (who you might know from Wings) to play Alfred (an odd choice).
Having so many of the original cast do the voice overs gave this a real “lost episode” feel. Nobody can overact like Adam West and William Shatner!
This captured the absurdity of the original show, from the BANG and POW sound effects during fights to the unforgettable lines like:
“Batman! Look at the size of those balls!”
“Get the evil essence antidote ready!”
And my favorite exchange between Chief O’Hara and Commissioner Gordon (paraphrasing a bit):
O’Hara: “We’ll work this case from the ground up. Lean on every lowlife in every juke-joint in town.”
Gordon: “Uncover every bit of forensic data!”
O’Hara: “And if the crooks won’t talk… we’ll make them!”
Gordon: “I have no doubt you will make this city proud Chief!”
O’Hara: “Ah Commissioner, who are we kidding? I’ll go turn on the bat signal….”
No one writes ’em like that any more!