'Batman: The Long Halloween - Part One' movie review

'Batman: The Long Halloween - Part One' movie review: An adaptation that is worthy of the comics

'The Long Halloween' works best because 'The Batman' is younger and less mature than 'The Dark Knight'. Credit: DC Comics/YouTube

Director: Chris Palmer

Cast: Jensen Ackles, Josh Duhamel, Naya Rivera, Troy Baker

Score: 3.5

The Long Halloween is widely considered one of the best Batman story arcs -- full of mystery, intrigue and murder, all packed together with Jeph Loeb's incredible story and Tim Sale's art.

But there is one aspect that makes The Long Halloween a truly high-quality Batman story: The Batman himself. For very long, he has held the reputation of being the world's greatest detective, and if it were for that, this story would probably not last very long. Thankfully, however, this Batman is a younger, more naive Caped Crusader with little detective skills.

You'll know when you see it (or if you've read it), but The Long Halloween has been a strong influence on Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, taking elements of a long-running war against the Falcone crime family by Harvey Dent, James Gordon and Batman himself. In those respects, it's going to be a very familiar story, but that is where the similarities end.

The Long Halloween's plot concerns a serial criminal killer simply known as Holiday, whose name gives away his MO almost as much as the Joker's: Killing people on holidays. It starts on Halloween (hence the name), with the killer taking out Carmine Falcone's brother Johnny Viti, which leads to an ever-escalating series of murders, all conducted on holidays, with the killer leaving behind season-appropriate memorabilia to mark their killings.

As said before, The Long Halloween is filled to the brim with mystery and intrigue, which is amplified by the relative immaturity of this Batman. He's tough, but he's somewhat lacking in the intelligence that Batman is known for, which allows the plot to drive forward as the Holiday killings go on and the possible identity of the suspect is up for a toss. It is in handling this aspect of the characters and the setting that the story really earns its respect and reverence.

The cast of choice is also interesting. Jensen Ackles fits the bill of a younger Batman, while Troy Baker is a delight as the Joker. Catwoman, who so far has a minor role in the story, is played excellently by the late Naya Rivera, and Josh Duhamel is imposing as Harvey Dent, the Gotham DA on a campaign against Falcone, who is clearly suffering from some form of mental issues despite being firmly on the side of justice.

Director Chris Palmer has clearly taken a lot of care in adapting the story into a film, and it shows greatly in the quality of the animation. There's not a lot to say about adapting the story itself, since it being a comic book lends some relative ease in transforming it into a film.

For Batman fans, this is an entry that is well worth it, and the fact that it adapts a little under half of the comic book means those who have not read the comics are in for a surprise in Part Two.

Batman: The Long Halloween - Part One is streaming on BookMyShow stream

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