After the gruesome death of the forgotten son of the Falcone family, Batman finds himself back to square one in the Holiday investigation. As the festive fear continues and suspects are picked off one by one, so to does trust begin to unravel. The question isn’t who is Holiday? anymore, but who do you believe in?
As I’ve already stated in my review for Part One, the animation style fails to capture the noir-driven aura of the original graphic novel. For those that would argue that replicating the style in animation is impossible, I point you towards the animation studios behind Batman: Gotham Knight and The Animatrix. That aside however, very little attempt was made to at least capture iconic scenes of the comic in it’s own style.
Once again, the animation itself is nothing special and can be uncanny valley levels of awkward in scenes of dialogue. Little to no expression or emotional details atop actors trying their best to bring this film to life is just another reason why this adaptation fails to capture the gravitas and Sin City-esque grit of the original comic.
In my previous review for part one I expressed my dislike and interest for the events of the comic being either altered or simply ripped from the script entirely. My interest leaning purely on the potential for an alternate version of The Long Halloween so to justify the changes. Thankfully, this is the case with some additions and focus that in hindsight make sense for the story it’s going for but it was an unusual and frustrating route to take us there. Like The Riddler? Me too! Too bad he’s omitted from the story here. Hope you like Oxford and half assed paternal and maternal issues instead!
I wish I could say that the story had some positives to it, perhaps in time when I rewatch it it will stand up. I will say that there are neutral additions to the story, in that they aren’t comparatively good but they aren’t bad either. The film here takes a lot of influence from the Nolan trilogy, to the point where scenes play out like an animated adaptation of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight and they are heartpoundingly thrilling! Ironically, both films were based on the original The Long Halloween comic. My issue with this though is that it distracts from the story to the point where some holidays are simply montaged over; missing out crucial plot details of the Holiday killings and even the mystery of the Holiday Killer itself!
In conclusion, Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two is a thrilling adaptation of the original comic with the potential for cult success, overshadowed by the fact that it isn’t a faithful adaptation. Now and as a whole, this should have been called Batman: A Long Halloween as this is not THE Long Halloween we all know and love.
With generic animation, pacing issues and pointless omissions on top of a new twist, you’ll enjoy this film best with no context of the original comic or at the very most as a lesser version of the story with the promise of what’s to come…
Let us know in the comments your thoughts on Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two, your thoughts on the adaptation as a whole and be sure to check out my review for Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One and Dan’s review of Batman: The Long Halloween comic!
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