Following the first chapter, Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two brings the epic crime drama and murder mystery to a thrilling conclusion. Gotham City’s greatest hero faces a cunning adversary that forces him to confront his family’s legacy. The line between justice and villainy blurs when a hideous transformation overtakes an important ally. As the bodies pile up and the Holiday Killer strikes with impunity, the Rogues Gallery exploits the vacuum. Part Two continues the masterful character development and riveting narrative without missing a beat. Minor spoilers for Part One ahead in the plot summary.
The story picks up in the aftermath of New Year’s shocking twist. Bruce Wayne (Jensen Ackles) is firmly under Poison Ivy’s (Katee Sackhoff) control. The puppet master, crime boss Carmine Falcone (Titus Welliver), slowly siphons the Wayne Foundation’s wealth. Commissioner Gordon (Billy Burke) and Harvey Dent (Josh Duhamel) are bewildered by Batman’s disappearance. During the months of his absence, the Holiday Killer has struck Falcone like clockwork on the calendar. “The Roman” may have taken the upper hand in Gotham City, but his family, men, and business interests are decimated.
Catwoman (Naya Rivera) makes a bold play to get Batman back in the game. Bruce is astonished by how much time has passed. He still has no clue how to unmask the Holiday Killer. As a restless public starts to turn on Harvey Dent’s leadership, he begins to exhibit bizarre behavior. Falcone’s daughter, Sophia (Laila Berzins), tries to help her father with the war against Salvatore Maroni (Jim Pirri). But the Holiday Killer outwits everyone at each step. Just as Batman experiences a crisis of conscience about his father, he remembers an important event in his youth. It unlocks a new clue for the struggling Dark Knight to follow.
Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two is a fitting testament to the classic comic series by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale. Nothing is rushed here. The filmmakers at Warner Bros. Animation have the utmost respect for the source material. Every scene is critical to unwinding a spellbinding tale of revenge. The fantastic part is that the identity of the Holiday Killer becomes almost secondary. Batman cannot beat up, terrorize, or use his massive wealth to gain a tactical advantage. He truly has to be a detective, which makes him address deep seated personal fears. It’s an amazing journey to witness.
Batman: The Long Halloween ranks high in the gangster genre, live-action and animated. Both films combine to a near three hour opus. The action, artistry, and plot is just superb on every level. Several lulls in the pacing are easily forgiven. That’s a nod to the massive scope of the story. There’s a lot of intrigue between supporting characters. Minor roles end up having a sizable impact on the outcome. The pieces add up to a big picture view of the Holiday Killer’s actions. This is the work and pain Batman must go through to understand the murderer’s motivation. The finale has an interesting tone. I thought it was absolutely brilliant.
Batman: The Long Halloween marks the final performance of Naya Rivera. It’s a voiceover performance, but her fans and family can be proud of Catwoman’s character arc. She has a degree of complexity rarely seen in animation. And kicks a whole lot of ass. Part Two is magnificent in its own right, but both of these films should be viewed as one continuous story. Batman: The Long Halloween is dark and violent with adult themes. It’s strictly meant for mature audiences. Stick around after the credits. Batman: The Long Halloween is a production of Warner Bros. Animation. It is currently available digitally with a DVD/Blu-ray release from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on August 10th.
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