So this was fucking great.
I thoroughly enjoyed The Long Halloween: Part One but was trepidatious that it would not make the landing and close out the story in a satisfying way. They did hit that superhero landing, however, and I could not be happier, as this has quickly jumped up high in the list of best films DC Animation has to offer. While still following the basic outline of Jean Loeb’s comic plot, it takes enough deviations to keep those who have read the book interested. In the end, I think, from a story perspective, I enjoyed this a lot more than what Loeb delivered back in the 90s.
While not as stylized as Tim Sale’s art, the animation comes into its own here, delivering some truly stunning imagery and expressive character animations throughout. There’s a fight scene in the third act that is a standout. Its use of a large cast of characters, all with varying abilities, while keeping the action clear throughout is worthy of praise. It will go down as one of the standouts of the current era of DC Animation.
When it comes to the cast, Jensen Ackles ends up being a great Batman, one I hope continues in the role. He has the right kind of voice to switch between the gravelly undertones of the Dark Knight and the carefree playboy veneer of Bruce Wayne. The greatly missed Naya Rivera kills it as Catwoman, balancing the various facades of her character perfectly. It’s a damn shame we won’t get more of her Selina Kyle, especially as it seems these versions of the characters will be returning. And then there’s Harvey Dent. It’ll come as no surprise given he’s on the poster, but Two-Face rears his burned face this time around, and Josh Duhamel rises to the occasion, bringing just the right amount of menace and tragedy to Dent.
As I’m writing this, I realize that all three principal characters deal with dual lives, personalities, the side they show in public, and the side they keep private. Symbolism folks, it works.
If you’ve been on the fence about this given prior animated adaptations of classic Batman stories not meeting the mark (looking at you, Hush), rest assured in knowing you’ll walk away very happy you took the time to experience The Long Halloween.