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Based on the 2004 The Batman series, this feature-length animated movie sees the Dark Knight come face to face with Dracula himself in a potentially really fun, if probably quite silly, crossover.

When The Penguin and The Joker get a tip from a fellow patient in Arkham Asylum that there is a hidden treasure beneath a specific grave in the cemetery, they both escape and compete to recover it. Batman soon shows up to fight The Joker and the latter, surprisingly, falls to his death as he electrocutes himself with his own weapon. The death of The Joker could have been its own film, to be honest, as Bruce Wayne's reaction to this event clearly affects him but this is only used to set the darker tone and give us a vampire Joker later on in the film. Meanwhile, The Penguin accidentally revives Dracula who promptly starts to feast on random people in order to regain his strength. Batman is not very smart in this as he struggles to guess that creepy-looking Dr Alucard is in fact Dracula and decides to bring vampire Joker back to life for some reason. That said, he also somehow manages to find a cure to vampirism in a day and take down Dracula using a ridiculously convenient sunlight machine he happened to have lying around.

As an extended episode of the TV series, The Batman vs. Dracula is appropriately fun with countless goofy lines hinting that this isn't taking itself too seriously yet it still fits in well enough with the tone of the show. There are some cool ideas in there and the welcome introduction of Vicki Vale in animated form (voiced by Tara Strong) but as a Dracula story, this is basic, unimaginative stuff. Every Dracula cliché is used here from the drop of blood bringing him back to life to his goal of regenerating his bride using a sacrifice. Dracula himself (voiced by Peter Stormare) is intimidating, the fight scenes with Batman are well done plus the fact he sees the existence of Batman as his legacy's influence is clever but it would have worked better had Dracula's plan been a little more original or bigger in scale at least. This plays out like just another day in Gotham City with Batman taking on another weird villain but, seeing as it's Dracula we're talking about, this should have been much more epic and nowhere near this predictable.

Fans of the series will enjoy this fine, as will probably everyone else, it's just not quite the awesome encounter you might be expecting. This is an amusing little movie but it's really nothing more than a long episode of the show that just happens to have Dracula in it.


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