Batman: The Long Halloween had a strong start and an equally strong conclusion with Part Two.
Published on November 5, 2021
Rating 4 /5
For the second half of The Long Halloween, the mystery of the holiday killer grows ever more compelling and complicated. There’s a whole lot more of everything in this entry. More murders, more holidays, more villains, and more palpable drama from the conflicted law enforcers of Gotham City. It’s just as enjoyable as the first part and then some.
For starters, Catwoman’s recent discovery of Batman’s identity proves to be helpful to Bruce. When we last left the billionaire/vigilante, he was poisoned into a dreamlike state by Poison Ivy. Their relationship takes an interesting turn where there may be more reliance than they thought for each other. There’s also plenty more relationship problems with Harvey Dent and his wife Gilda, the two still finding it hard to be romantically involved when Dent’s work changes him in more ways than one.
As for the Falcone family, the mafia is experiencing its own issues that go beyond the murders of the yet unmasked killer. Falcone’s daughter Sofia is desperate for some stake in the family business but is continuously refused. Deals are made to get the Falcone family protection in exchange for playing ball. Those deals, however, involve much deception and some intense showdowns, leading to one of the best scenes of Dent finally going over the edge.
There are more villains present in this part of the story as well. Calendar Man naturally returns as being the best expert on dates that Batman can utilize, once more voiced with expert creepiness by David Dastmalchian. John DiMaggio lends his voice to the role of the fable-obsessed Jervis Tetch, aka The Mad Hatter. Scarecrow, voiced by Robin Atkin Downes, has a more looming presence with his mastery of fear toxin and his willingness to work with Mad Hatter. Though Poison Ivy is only present as a villain opener, she’s perfectly voiced by Katee Sackhoff. Solomon Grundy (Fred Tatasciore) also has a larger role than in the previous film where he was merely the monster in the sewers. For part two, Grundy quickly becomes a more remarkable monster in how Dent can sympathize with the towering zombie of a few words.
For those who found the mystery of Part One a bit slow, Part Two kicks things into high gear. There’s a lot of tension that reaches the perfect boiling point, where courtrooms turn into battle arenas and lavish hotels become a target for multiple villains to attack. The corruption and desire for revenge within the Falcone family become all the more engaging when dangerous risks are taken and alliances are broken. As if all that weren’t enough, the great reveal of the holiday killer proves to be a meaningful reveal that is more than just a twist. You may be able to piece together just who the killer is early in the film but the emotional climax becomes incredibly powerful.
Batman: The Long Halloween had a strong start and an equally strong conclusion with Part Two. Compared to the recent Batman animated movies, this is one of the strongest and it’s due in no small part to the format of splitting the picture into two. There’s so much that one could view being cut from this story, considering the brief appearances of characters like Penguin and Grundy. But letting the story go on longer proves to be a winning formula for a film that doesn’t feel as though it’s in a rush to tell the story in 90 minutes or compelled to retool too much. Among the many Batman animated movies that have graced home video, this is certainly one of the best.
Mark has been a professional film critic for over five years and a film lover all his life.