Batman The Long Halloween: Part 1 (REVIEW)
Directed by: Chris Palmer
Written by: Jeph Loeb, Tim Sheridan
Staring: Naya Rivera, Jensen Ackles, Josh Duhamel, Troy Baker,
The long awaited adaptation to one of the greatest Batman stories has arrived. After the Killing Joke was made, the last hold out of monumental stories was the Long Halloween. With the original series spanning 13 issues, was it wise to split it into two parts or should it have been one long movie?
Part One takes place from Halloween to New Year’s Day. The first death of Carmine Falcone’s nephew seems like a mob hit, but when Batman looks deeper, he finds a trail that could be more sinister in origin. This sets the wheels in motion for the next few holiday murders and who the true target really is.
The story unravels and follows the comics main theme and ideas. The murders are all done on holidays with the purpose to bring chaos and mayhem to Gotham. All the clues and leads change after each death causing the crime families of Gotham and Batman chasing an unsolvable mystery.
One surprising feature that was brought over from the comics was the deterioration of the personal relationships of Captain Jim Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent. This is something we would not have seen years ago in a superhero movie. Seeing the personal relationship helps set the stage for the events in part two.
Long Halloween did away from the iconic outfits featured in the comics. Catwoman no longer is in her signature moron purple outfit and Batman’s long ears have been clipped. The weirdest change was to the appearance of Julian Day or Calendar Man. The changes made to his appearance make it more Lex Luthor than just a lower tier villain.
One of the major flaws is that the movie has no sense of time. With many events playing out on holidays, it is hard to grasp the time during the day itself. Halloween and New Year’s Eve are the worst when it comes to this. This lack of time awareness doesn’t distort the story but makes it seem like it’s never ending. The comic suffers a little from this but is not as exaggerated as the movie.
Overall it was going to be a daunting task to adapt a highly esteemed Batman story. The animation is DC standard which unfortunately doesn’t work for Long Halloween and its unique designs and themes. The voice acting still holds its high standard that we are used to. It even gave us the return of Troy Baker as The Joker.
Long Halloween is an enjoyable movie, but if you hold the comic series it is based on as a gold standard for a Batman story, make sure to remind yourself that this takes place in the Animated Universe and needs to be changed to fit that style and theme.