Batman: The Long Halloween Deluxe Edition
review by Bobby Blakey
Warner and DC Entertainment continue to have a strong game with their animated feature films. They have been bringing some iconic stories to life including The Killing Joke and The Dark Knight Returns. Now they are taking their two film release of The Long Halloween and bringing them back to the fans now as one epic film with Batman: The Long Halloween Deluxe Edition, but does it do the famed series from Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale justice or will it be a holiday not worth celebrating?
Batman: The Long Halloween follows a brutal murder on Halloween that prompts Gotham’s young vigilante, the Batman, to form a pact with the city’s only two uncorrupt lawmen (Police Captain James Gordan 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. Few cases have ever tested the wits of the World’s Greatest Detective like the mystery behind the Holiday Killer all while also dealing with Batman’s famed rogue’s gallery including Poison Ivy, Tw-Face, Joker and more.
I was a bit bummed the art style wasn’t closer to something honoring Sale’s work, but it still works and in the second half of the film it felt like it might have found some more of its style. It is similar to the main animated Universe they have been doing with its own twist and stands out just enough to still do the story justice. It offers up some elements that were very Hitchcock like in their framing to help create more of the mystery of the murders and trying to figure out who Holiday is while still infusing some action to keep the story moving. You have to know the original series
was not action packed and I am glad they tried to stick with that aspect instead of just forcing more action just to spice it up.
I have always enjoyed more of the detective side of Batman and this story also focusing on the younger days of the caped crusader makes for all kinds of fun and intrigue. The story is obviously about the mystery of Holiday, but also serves as some origins for other characters as well including Harvey Dent’s journey to Two-Face. I know not all the elements are exact, but as a fan it still delivers everything I had hoped and this new version as one long film is even better.
The film features a great voice cast including Jensen Ackles who returns to the DC Universe Movies as the title character of Batman/Bruce Wayne. The late Naya Rivera, who sadly passed away in 2020, gives one of her final performances as Catwoman/Selina Kyle. The all-star cast also includes Josh Duhamel as Harvey Dent, Billy Burke as James Gordon, Titus Welliver as Carmine Falcone, David Dastmalchian as Calendar Man, Troy Baker as Joker, Amy Landecker as Barbara Gordon, Julie Nathanson as Gilda Dent, Jack Quaid as Alberto, Fred Tatasciore as Solomon Grundy and Alastair Duncan as Alfred.
In addition to the film this release offers up four bonus cartoons as well as the “Evolution of Evil” featurette. Grab your copy of Batman: The Long Halloween Deluxe Edition when it hits 4K and Blu-ray on September 20th from Warner Bros Home Entertainment.