Combine any two iconic comic book characters in an animated flick and most of the times the fans of one of the two parties will be against the collaboration. However, the result is extraordinary with Batman Vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles where the Bat and the Turtles have a great time, fighting crime in the streets of Gotham. Loosely based on a comic series by the same name, the latest DC Animated Movie is filled with iconic one-liners, colourful characters and compliments the contrasting fighting styles of the two superheroes – the Dark Knight of Gotham and the Cool Dudes from New York – resulting in one of the best crossovers of all times.
It’s Cowabunga time from the word go in this adventure where Leonardo and his family must join hands with Batman (Troy Baker) and ‘team’ – Robin, Batgirl, Alfred and Commissioner Gordon – to stop Shredder (Andrew Kishino) and Ra’s al Ghul (Cas Anvar) from unleashing a mysterious new threat in Gotham. Add the Who’s Who of the Rogues Gallery and you get an 84-minute worth of nonstop action where every hero gets to display its talents, be it chasing down bad guys, cracking codes or eating Pizza.
There are a few scenes that must be mentioned here for they make this animated film much better than the previous attempts from DC. The fight between the leader of the Foot Clan and the Dark Knight is something not to be missed; the same can be said of the battle between the four Ninja Turtles and Batman who begin their relationship on the wrong foot. Then there is the scene where the Pizza-eating Turtles find out that Gotham is ‘cooler’ than New York and that Batman’s Cave is literally everything they always wanted.
Director Jake Castorena must be commended for incorporating the vastly different fighting styles of Batman and Ninja Turtles in one frame. He uses the formerly unused slow-motion technique to increase the impact of the awesome fight scenes which coupled with a hilarious script is the film’s soul. You don’t get to see Splinter but his disciples – Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Donatello – represent him well in Gotham City, home to the Dark Knight.
The first, and maybe only, a dull moment in the movie happens when the end credits are rolling because, before that, everything happens like a blur. Ninja Turtles and their lingo may seem too 90s to some but for new and potential fans, it is something they might not have experienced, yet. The Turtles take no time in impressing the Batman with their skills and he shows his approval by letting one of them ride with him in the Batmobile. Surprising, isn’t it? And when the leader of the Turtles Leonardo has a disagreement with Batman, he reasons with him like no one else had done to convince the Bat who doesn’t even listen to a logical Superman at times!
Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is full of ‘fan moments’ for all those who have grown up on both the comic book characters. The script has been penned intelligently by Marly Halpern-Graser who has kept the essence of all superheroes intact. At times you will be so absorbed in the movie that you might end up predicting a couple of dialogs here and there, just for the love of the characters. Don’t be surprised if you have to change your ‘best-ever’ animated films’ list after watching this movie because it begins with mistrust, lives on a pizza diet and ends up like a race between the Batmobile and the Battle Wagon.