Batman Ninja: The Batman we got but not the one we deserve!
When I saw the awesome initial reviews for Batman Ninja during WonderCon, I was excited and ready for a new Batman story. Despite having a great first act, the rest of the movie left me wondering what critics were smoking when they saw this. Ultimately, this is another DC movie that falls short of expectations.
But the journey wasn’t all bad. While there is so much I didn’t like about this film, there are aspects that I can appreciate and enjoy.
BEFORE YOU GO FURTHER, THIS REVIEW HAS SOME SPOILERS. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN WATCHING THE FILM, PLEASE COME BACK AFTER YOU WATCH THE FILM.
First, lets talk about the animation and art direction. This I feel is where the movie shines the best. The movie starts with Batman in a wildly awesome battle with Gorilla Grodd. During this battle, we get our first taste of what the action scenes will look like. All I can say is WOW! The style and choreography remind me of movies like Ninja Scroll.
Shortly after the start, Batman and gang are whisked away in time to Feudal Japan. Here, Batman is first seen in daylight. The art style is a blend of 3D and 2D animation. When the camera gets closer to our hero, the armor reveals beautiful textures and details. Equally, the environment is full of color and wonder. Sounds great right?
Soon we find that Joker has taken over Japan and proclaimed himself lord. The Joker is probably one of the best characters in this movie. He has a wide range of emotions and expressions. While I do not expect Batman to portray these emotions, I would expect some kind of feeling from the support characters. Unfortunately, I didn’t see that. This is most evident in Catwoman. While her voice acting has all of the sass we have come to expect, her acting did not portray the emotion in the voice.
In the second act, the animation quickly shifts to a style more suiting to that era. At first, this threw me off a bit. Its explained later why they decided to change the art style, but at first it took me out of the moment. I was more curious as to why the change than what was unfolding before me.
Now after the second act, the entire movie goes a whole other direction. The movie takes you from ancient Japan to Giant robots and fighting castles. I can understand that robots are a big part of Japanese culture, but it didn’t need to be in this movie. Then to make things worse, several monkeys form one giant monkey. And to top it all off, a giant Batman.. yes a giant Batman appears.
The only saving grace at the end is the final fight between Batman and Joker. This was everything that I hoped for when I saw the first trailer and more. But even with this epic battle, I am left wondering why. This movie had so much potential to show people a unique Batman story like Gotham by Gaslight. Instead we got Batman Megazord.
But these are just my thoughts. What did you think of Batman Ninja? Let us know in the comments.