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1/8/18

BATMAN VS. TWO-FACE - REVIEW


Before we lost Adam West in 2017, the iconic actor gifted us one last performance as Batman in animated sequel Batman vs. Two-Face. Based on the original 60's TV series, it introduced Harvey Dent/Two-Face who is voiced by William Shatner.

The preceding movie, Batman: Return Of The Caped Crusaders, was a fun, silly homage with everything you'd expect from the classic show like lots of classic villains, an over-the-top storyline and a cast including Burt Ward and original Catwoman Julie Newmar. Batman vs. Two-Face also captures the spirit of the show perfectly with lots of funny mistakes left on purpose, silly labels on everything and onomatopoeia-filled fight scenes. The animation is a little less stiff than it was the first time around and there's a lot more emphasis on the story as this new take on Two-Face keeps you guessing throughout. We're introduced to Harvey Dent early on, his friendship with Bruce Wayne prompting some jealousy from Dick Grayson, of course, and he is soon turned into Two-Face after an experiment by Hugo Strange goes horribly wrong. His face is soon fixed, however, but the coin-flipping villain reappears with the goal of turning Gotham into a two-faced zombie town.

This is a slightly darker plot with a relatively more serious tone but things never get too deep or gloomy. Instead, this plays out a bit like a Jekyll & Hyde scenario with an old trashy horror movie vibe, and William Shatner has a lot of fun giving two very different performances. West and Ward give Batman and Robin the same boy scout mentality as ever and Burt Ward even gets to play a twisted version of Robin when the character gets sprayed with the Two-Face gas. Other highlights include a run-in with King Tut, cameos from other classic villains and more recent ones, some genuinely thrilling action sequences and an appearance by Lee Meriwether, who played Catwoman in 1966's Batman: The Movie. You can tell that a lot of care was put into recreating what we all loved about the original series and, by having a creepier villain take centre stage, you get an idea of what the show could have been had it continued to evolve long after 1968.

Batman fans should have a great time with this superior sequel as it's not only a very funny and well done movie with great performances and animation but it's Adam West's final Batman role and he did not disappoint so it's well worth giving the Bright Knight his due.

Excellent, old chum.

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