The Batman Superman Movie (VHS, 2001, Slipsleeve)

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The Batman Superman Movie — The World's Finest Team is Back

Aug 18, 2005 (Updated Oct 5, 2005)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Superb storyline, excellent characterizations, just plain great fun

Cons:They couldn't come up with a better title than "The Batman Superman Movie"?

The Bottom Line: The staying power of both Superman and Batman is evident in this movie, and why fans have embraced them over 60 years of existence. Boy, are they ever old geezers!


Batman and Superman are two of the most recognized comic book icons in the world.

There’s an argument as to who really commands the number one spot between these two characters (with Spider-Man coming in a very close third I believe). Before the Crisis On Infinite Earths occurred, Superman and Batman were the best of friends, even being dubbed as the World’s Finest Team.

After the Crisis, a lot of changes were made and their relationship was one of them. Now they have a mutual respect for each other, tentative in most cases, but disagreeing with each other’s methods and attitudes. Batman believes Superman is too naive, in most cases, while Superman believes Batman’s brutal form of vigilantism is unacceptable—basically, a powder keg of ideologies waiting to explode at any given notice.

And that’s the underlying premise of The Batman Superman Movie. They both don’t agree with the other one’s method for handing injustice, which leads to a distrust of one another, at least in the beginning. Definitely a far cry from any kind of buddy-buddy relationship.

The producers—Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, and Alan Burnett—have dealt with these characters separately on their own respective shows. But what was going to happen when they finally meet in this animated world?


The Man of Steel Meets The Dark Knight Detective

The Joker needs a lot of money to fund his operations in Gotham City but is always thwarted by Batman. In order to obtain this large amount, he travels to Metropolis and makes a deal with billionaire Lex Luthor—give him millions of dollars and he’ll kill Superman. Luthor, naturally, scoffs at the idea, even mocking the Joker that he can't even get rid of Batman, until the Clown Prince of Crime shows him how he intends to do it. Amused, Luthor agrees to the deal.

Lex Luthor: What makes you think you can kill Superman when you can't even handle a mere mortal in a Halloween costume?
Joker: There's nothing
mere about that mortal!

Batman tracks the Joker to Metropolis and starts interrogating mob bosses as to his whereabouts. This, of course, leads to the inevitable confrontation between Superman and Batman, and one Superman isn’t pleased about at all. They, at first, refuse to help each other until they both learn that Luthor is in league with this madman. Now they have no choice but to help each other, and become a formidable team against their arch-nemeses.


World’s Finest Team

The producers have spent a lot of time thinking of a good way of pairing Superman and Batman together, and I believe they pulled it off successfully. There are times that intrigued me, times that called for pure action, and times that were just plain hilarious.

Watching Lois Lane fall for Bruce Wayne, much to the dismay of a jealous Clark Kent, was a wonderful plot twist that had me guessing to what was going to happen. This hard-nosed, in-your-face reporter became a flustered, giddy schoolgirl around Gotham City’s golden boy. Dany Delany (TV’s China Beach) portrayed the various emotions of Lois to perfection.

Both Tim Daly (Superman) and Kevin Conroy (Batman) played off each other so well, you would have thought they had been doing it for years. The disdain they have for each other is evident in their voices, as well as the earned mutual respect they have in the end. Conroy, in particular, seemed to be having a lot of fun delivering bits of humour with a deadpan demeanour.

Clark Kent: Any luck finding the comedian?
Bruce Wayne: Three nights and not so much as a green hair.
Clark Kent: Of course you have been dividing your time between work and Lois.
Bruce Wayne: Is that a problem?
Clark Kent: Let's just say I'm concerned. Your reputation is
dubious, in and out of costume.

Clancy Brown (Lex Luthor) and Mark Hamill (Joker) are menacing as usual. The Joker, in particular, shows just how cunning and insane he really is. He changes gear at the drop of a hat, something that doesn’t bode well for anyone close to him.

One of the most amusing moments was watching a cat fight in the background between Harley Quinn, the Joker’s main squeeze, and Mercy Graves, Luthor’s bodyguard, as both Luthor and the Joker discuss their plans.

The story really is called ”World’s Finest”, which originally made its debut as a three-part episode on the Superman: The Animated Series. I’m sure this will appear on Superman: The Animated Series, Volume Two but this is a good movie to have on its own. For one, it’s continuous. My guess is that on the upcoming Volume Two set, it will be broken into three different episodes complete with a theme song and recap of the previous episode. It becomes very tedious after a few times. I rather see it all uninterrupted like it’s showcased on this DVD. That doesn’t mean I won’t get the new Volume Two set, but I think as a standalone DVD this works for me.

After all, it’s not everyday that a movie starring Superman and Batman comes by. Now if only the bigwigs at Warner Bros. would take cue from this and produce a live-action flick featuring these two. If it ever happens, use this as a model and hire the best “World’s Finest” team to get the job done right.


Also included:
—The Joker’s Challenge Game
—Conversation with Producer Bruce Timm
—Get the Picture: How to Draw Batman
—Get the Picture: How to Draw Superman
—Music Montage
—Cast and Crew Information



Related Reviews
Superman: The Animated Series, Volume 1
Batman: The Animated Series, Volume 1
Batman: The Animated Series, Volume 2
Batman: The Animated Series, Volume 3
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
Batman Beyond
Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker
The Adventures of Batman and Robin: Robin's Reckoning
Batman Animated: The Book
Justice League: Secret Origins
Justice League: Justice On Trial


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