Batman Unlimited: Monster Mayhem Blu-ray Review
I guess this was bound to happen. Not everything can be a slam dunk in the DC animated universe. For a while I was highly impressed with the animated movies. They perfectly encapsulated the DC heroes within their own stories, in the vast comic book world, and still building on both within a limited time frame. A lot of thought, care, and time had gone into these movies, more so than some of the live-action DC bombs like GREEN LANTERN. These animated DCU movies are definitely the equivalent of what Disney and Marvel are doing. But just like them, an IRON MAN 2 has reared its ugly head.
BATMAN UNLIMITED: MONSTER MAYHEM is the second of the BATMAN UNLIMITED movie series, and I have no interest in watching the first. My research after the movie yielded some results that I think would have helped me before I pressed play. I found out BATMAN UNLIMITED is tied in with a toy series. So it makes sense that this movie may be light on the plot, but heavy on gimmick. We have Batman (Smith), obviously, but we also have Green Arrow, Cyborg, Nightwing and Red Robin. It’s basically Batman with some Justice League leftovers, squaring off against the Joker (Baker) and some secondary villains.
Joker has put together an odd assortment of villains that you wouldn’t suspect would ever be interested in teaming up for mischief. Scarecrow and Clayface are the big ones, but Solomon Grundy and Silver Banshee seem like they’re mixed in for visual purposes because this movie takes place on Halloween. In fact, it seems like they simply needed villains who could most likely be associated with the October holiday.
Joker’s endgame in this one is a computer virus of sorts that infects social media and spreads through other social media outlets. A lot of the plot points in this movie are fairly interesting and would have been much better if given the right motivation. Instead of focusing on what is clearly a lot of fruitful exposition, the movie seems more interested in bad punchlines, silly sight gags, and things that you would have loved as a young child, like dinosaurs and lasers.
The action, which has been the highlight in the adult DC cartoon movies, is tame and droll. The most entertaining fight of this movie takes place in cyberspace and the only amusement in it is the levels of absurdity it is willing to go in the fight between Batman and Joker. Despite my mainly negative review, there are a lot of things that are enjoyable about this. The animation is crisp and fresh, and at times the ideas it presents draw you in, but ultimately to disappoint you.
I, along with other adults or mature people, am not the target audience for BATMAN UNLIMITED: MONSTER MAYHEM. I have no doubt that if I was about 20 years younger, I would hail this movie as the greatest piece of cinema since THE LION KING. But alas, age has made me cynical and analytical with my entertainment. I can’t appreciate something that is clearly candy for youthful eyes. But I’m young enough at heart to say that it’s not an outright disaster.
Video: (1080p Widescreen 1:78:1) The animation on this, is just like the other DCU releases, clean, crisp, and colorfully gorgeous. This blu-ray presentation simply adds to its beauty.
Audio: (English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1) The sound is perfectly balanced, with nothing become overpower and no two noises battling each other.
Gotham of Tomorrow: Designing a Future World (11:24): While I may not be impressed with the story, a lot of effort and details certainly went into the design of Gotham. If anything, it’s very interesting feature shining on a light on some background and visual Easter eggs in the movie.
Mayhem of the Music Mesiter! (23:08): There have been so many different Batman animated shows, I sometimes lose track of what time period they were created in. This series definitely matches the expanded universe tone seen in this movie. As for the villain, the Music Meister, I’ve never heard of him and I wish it would have stayed that way.
DC Nation Shorts: This is a series of shorts, 10 altogether, ranging from a minute and a half up to a couple of minutes and some change. The only one of these of interest to me was the Riddler short where the Riddler was interestingly voiced by Weird “Al”