The Long Halloween
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. With the latest, Batman: The Long Halloween based on the series from Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale they have split the film into two parts with part one released in June of this year and now part two on its way. Could this next chapter continue to deliver the goods or will it be a holiday not worth celebrating?
Batman: The Long Halloween Part Two follows the Holiday Killer that is still at large and, with Bruce Wayne under the spell of the venomous Poison Ivy, Batman is nowhere to be found. Liberated by an unlikely ally, Bruce quickly uncovers the real culprit: Poison Ivy’s employer Carmine Falcone. The Roman, his ranks decimated by Holiday and his business spinning out of control, has been forced to bring on less desirable partners – Gotham City’s rogues’ gallery. In the meantime, Harvey Dent is confronting battles on two fronts: attempting to end the mob war while also dealing with a strained marriage. And, after an attack that leaves Harvey hideously disfigured, the District Attorney unleashes the duality of his psyche that he’s strived his entire life to suppress. Now, as Two-Face, Dent decides to take the law into his own hands and deliver judgment to those who’ve wronged him, his family and all of Gotham. Ultimately, the Dark Knight must put together the tragic pieces that converged to create Two-Face, the Holiday Killer, Batman and Gotham City itself.
It’s been forever since I read this series but once again it appears they have knocked it out of the park sticking pretty close to the source material. Initially I was a bit bummed the art style wasn’t closer to something honoring Sale’s work, but with this second chapter if still works and even has moments that feel closer to Sale’s work. It still offers up some of the Hitchcockian style, but this time around is a lot more action packed than the first half. Right out the gate we dive into the craziness of it all and the feel of
the more standard Batman adventure takes over. Have no fear it doesn’t water down the detective story, but gives it that extra bump it needs to stand out from the first chapter. I loved both these films and think they once again did great justice to the source material.
The film features the voice of Jensen Ackles (Supernatural, Smallville) who returns to the DC Universe Movies as the title character of Batman/Bruce Wayne. The late Naya Rivera (Glee), who passed away in 2020, gives one of her final performances as Catwoman/Selina Kyle. The all-star cast includes Josh Duhamel (Transformers, Las Vegas) as Harvey Dent, Billy Burke (Twilight, Revolution, Zoo) as James Gordon, Titus Welliver (Bosch, Deadwood, The Town) as Carmine Falcone, David Dastmalchian (The Suicide Squad, Ant-Man, Dune, The Dark Knight) as Calendar Man, Troy Baker (The Last of Us, Batman: Arkham Knight) as Joker, Amy Landecker (Your Honor, Transparent) as Barbara Gordon, Julie Nathanson (Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay) as Gilda Dent, Jack Quaid (The Boys, The Hunger Games) as Alberto, Fred Tatasciore (American Dad!, Family Guy) as Solomon Grundy and Alastair Duncan (The Batman, Batman Unlimited franchise) as Alfred. Additional voices provided by Frances Callier, Greg Chun, Gary Leroi Gray and Jim Pirri.
In addition to the film this release offers up two cartoons from the vault as well as an advance look at the next animated film Injustice and more. Grab your copy of Batman: The Long Halloween Part Two available now on digital and then on Blu-ray on August 10th from Warner Bros Home Entertainment.