Surpasses its predecessor while tossing in tributes to some legendary DC films!
Art follows the same style as the last, of course. Copying that of the comic, while coming off cleaner for the animation. The second half of Frank Miller’s iconic comic is even more amazing than the first. Story picks up, action really picks up, and we get tidbits and even many guest appearances by various recognizable DC figures. The last film focused on Batman. Where his life was, what brought him back into the cowl. Probably my favorite thing about the first one was how we barely saw him while he faced criminals. This time though, we get treated to Batman much more often. Not that I’m complaining. We’re treated to more gadgets, disguises, more (and bigger named) recognizable characters, and much more in terms of Batman’s strategic side. As the last bit is something that often doesn’t hit the screen, well its wonderful to see.
You can tell in many areas that this is an 80s story. The president gives a very Ronald Reagan vibe. Russia is the big enemy to the country. But who cares! In an odd sense, it was kind of nice not having some middle east country playing the role. More so, its not really the U.S. vs. Russia here, but instead the U.S. and it’s lackey Superman vs. Batman. I do say lackey for that is precisely what Superman is here. Just listen to some of the words the president uses towards him, and what Superman does for most the film. Speaking of Superman himself though… Well its just freaking amazing seeing him and how he works here! Its about 1/5 through the film before we actually see his face, and even further to see it while in costume. Until then we just get glimpses. Mainly his back, a couple of silhouette, and tons of him being a Red-Blue blur
Additional voices here are still golden. Peter Weller still makes an amazingly old and gruff Batman. Mark Valley’s Superman actually reminds me a bit of Tim Daly. Similar sounds, to me at least, just that Mark’s seems a bit deeper. Either way, the two work well together in this film, and while I still love Conroy and Daly, I definitely won’t object to seeing these two team up again. If there was anything close to a weak point in the cast, I’d have to claim Michael Emerson as the Joker. Don’t get me wrong for I loved most of his work. Especially the calmer acting parts like early on in the film, as well as many others later. There just was a few short moments that just did not feel quite right to me, and where my brain clicked in that Mark Hamill at those places would have been better. Then again, other scenes I don’t think Hamill could have hit as nicely as Emerson. Even the young Ariel Winter holds up nicely with her larger role in this film.
The story here is just amazing, and in my opinion even better brought to life on the screen. To add along it though is a nice set of tributes to previous DC things. Most of it via Christopher Drake’s score in this film. While the music is original, you can hear small bits and pieces of songs from other films like Superman The Movie. Just a small bit in a song here or there, but I absolutely loved it and found it to be a nice touch. His entire score is wonderfully done to the point I hope a soundtrack comes out.