Batman: The Long Halloween Part 1, the DC Animated Dept. once again takes some great source material and manages to somehow make it even better. It’s still something the DCEU live action feature section could take notes from as each release seemingly lifts the bar higher on the previous.
Inspired by the iconic mid-1990s DC story from Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One begins as a brutal murder on Halloween prompts Gotham’s young vigilante, the Batman, to form a pact with the city’s only two uncorrupt lawmen (Police Captain James Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent) in order to take down The Roman, head of the notorious and powerful Falcone Crime Family. But when more deaths occur on Thanksgiving and Christmas, it becomes clear that, instead of ordinary gang violence, they’re also dealing with a serial killer – the identity of whom, with each conflicting clue, grows harder to discern.
If Batman: The Long Halloween Part 1 seems vaguely familiar, then that’s probably because elements of the Harvey Dent story were used by Chris Nolan in The Dark Knight. Centered on the decline of the Falcone Criminal family and the beginning of the rise of supervillians, at times this really feels like an animated version of the Godfather movies.
The opening credits are sublime and the old school detective story is plays out so well through the film, with the source material from Jeph Loeb is adapted for screenplay expertly by Tim Sheridan who also has the upcoming Master Of The Universe: Revelation coming up next on Netflix. If you know the comic book series (Which follows on from Batman: Year One) then, you’ll likely know where the story will be going in part 2 as the film follows the source material very closely.
The voice cast are simply electric. Jensen Ackles having previously has been in Batman: Under The Red Hood as Jason Todd/Red hood now steps up into the lofty bat boots and excels in the role as Batman. Not since Kevin Conroy has anyone simply become the Batman and Bruce with the level of gravitas that Ackles displays here. It’s also a masterstroke having Josh Duhamel as Harvey Dent too. Again his voice simply manifests in your minds eye that he simply is the embodiment of how you would expect Dent to sound. Billy Burke (Twilight) as Dent rounds out the exemplary trio of voice casting as Commissioner Gordon. The late Naya Rivera voicing Catwoman is alluring as her animated form and a delightful turn as Selina Kyle too.
With slick animation, brilliant voice cast and one of the best story arcs in the Batman pantheon you simply have a recipe for one of the best Batman animated movies yet in Batman: The Long Halloween Part 1 and we still have part 2 to come.
Absorbing, creative and tense, Batman: The Long Halloween Part 1 is destined to go down as compulsory viewing for DC Comic book fans and casual fans alike. Roll on Part 2.
Batman: The Long Halloween Part 1 is availble on Blu Ray, Digital and DVD now