Review: The Batman vs. Dracula

Review: The Batman vs. Dracula

Yes! Oh Heck Yes!

Seeing as how I’ve decided to make Batman a part of Halloween with Batman-month, it seems just natural to do this… animated oddity. So, here we go.

The Batman was an interesting show about our favorite Dark Knight. Beginning in 2004, the series featured character designs by Jeff Matsuda, and was sort of an animated Young Batman series. It focused on Bruce Wayne’s start as Batman, his first encounters with supervillains, the beginnings of his team with Robin and Batgirl (who didn’t appear until later seasons), and finally the series ended with him a member of the Justice League. Overall, an entertaining how-it-began for him. This was its only feature length film, released in 2005 straight-to-DVD.

One night, both Penguin (Tom Kenny) and Joker (Kevin Michael Richardson) escape from Arkham to pursue a treasure they hear is buried in a graveyard. Batman (Rino Romano) goes after Joker, who seemingly dies in battle, while Penguin accidentally finds a coffin. When his blood falls on the corpse inside, Dracula (Peter Stormare) rises from the dead, ready to start a new undead empire in Gotham. Batman has to face a force the likes of which he’s never encountered, and it’s made worse both by the inclusion of Joker and Penguin in Dracula’s forces, and the Count’s intentions towards Vicki Vale (Tara Strong), the first real love interest in this Dark Knight’s life.

The thing about this movie is it’s like the series it’s based on. The show didn’t go into as many mature themes like its better known predecessor, focusing mostly on intricate action scenes. While this makes for great visual flair, it often meant that the stories seemed… simplistic. Which is why this movie stunned me. For a family friendly animated film, the amount of scares and blood they got away with is stunning. Of particular note in that vein is a sequence with vampire Joker (nightmare fuel if I ever saw it) just showering himself with falling blood. There are moments where you want to just “DUUUUUH!” to Batman’s deductions, but it passes.

The real high points of the film are the confrontations between Batman and Dracula. Dracula here comes off as very creepy, and incredibly predatory. There is no romantic element to him, he’s a beast that completely outmatches our hero and their final battle is a satisfying nail-biter between the ultimate expression of a human hero facing the most deadly supernatural foe anyone could face: relentless, immortal, and aiming for his death.

The main gripe anyone will have is the same they’d have for the series, especially when you compare it to the more popular depictions of Batman in his own show and with the Justice League. The fact is, it’s still one of the best stories set in this series, and it’s worth it just to see a fight between two gothic icons

Review

ProsCons
The concept is fueled by pure awesome, the atmosphere is creepy and the fights are incredibly well-done, with props to the final one being just great.If you never liked the series this was based on, this one probably won't change your opinion of it.
Rating
80 out of 100

Ahmed is not just a fanboy, but also a martial artist and an indie author who has published such fantasy adventure books as “Lunen: Triblood”.

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