Batman: The Long Halloween Part Two picks up almost immediately after the teaser at the end of Part One. Bruce Wayne (Jensen Ackles, Supernatural, My Bloody Valentine) is under the spell of Poison Ivy (Katee Sackhoff, Night of the Animated Dead, The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia) and Batman nowhere to be found. At least until Catwoman (Naya Rivera, At the Devil’s Door, Glee) intervenes.
But even as he’s recovering from three months under her influence other problems are plaguing a crime ravaged Gotham City. District Attorney Harvey Dent (Josh Duhamel, Transformers, Jake and the Never Land Pirates) is being pushed to the edge by his job and the toll it’s taking on his marriage. And the continuing spree of The Holiday Killer has pushed Carmine Falcone (Titus Welliver, Transformers: Age of Extinction, Castelvania) to make some dangerous alliances with the likes of Poison Ivy and The Mad Hatter (John DiMaggio). That does not sit well with his daughter Sofia (Laila Berzins, Bigfoot Family).
Returning director Chris Palmer (Superman: Man of Tomorrow) and writer Tim Sheridan (DC Showcase: The Losers) open up with a nice bit of action before delving back into the character’s histories to help set up what’s to come. That action includes an obviously pre-body armour Batman getting drugged by Scarecrow (Robin Atkin Downes, Batman: Soul of the Dragon) resulting in some nightmarish hallucinations.
Much of the first part of Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two is carried not by the title character but by Catwoman and Harvey Dent. I was expecting Dent to play a large role given this is also Two Face’s origin story, but I was surprised at how much of it centred around him. This is as much his film as it is Batman’s. Indeed he pushes both The Joker (Troy Baker, Batman vs Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and The Penguin (David Dastmalchian, Bird Box, Blade Runner 2049) into what amounts to cameo appearances. Duhamel gives a wonderful performance, capturing the character’s inner conflicts and mental breakdowns.
But that’s fitting, because for all of the costumed villains that turn up in Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two, the story has a much more human focus. It’s about family, the Falcones, Bruce’s parents, Catwoman and her possible connection to the Falcone family, and, of course, The Dents. It’s about how the members relate to each other, and the web of connections between the families as well.
Unlike the first film, which scored a PG-13 rating, Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two was slapped with an “R” and it’s easy to see why. The violence is plentiful and considerably more graphic this time around. When we see Dent after the acid attack he looks like something out of a horror movie, as you can tell from the poster. And, the various gangsters, goons and other denizens of Gotham’s violent society get to swear like one would expect them to.
While the change in tone from Part One threw me off a bit, I found Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two to be an excellent conclusion to the story. I’m not sure how closely it follows the original comics but I’m sure DC wouldn’t allow them to take too many liberties with it. After this, I’ll be looking to see which storyline they adapt next, and I’m hoping it will be Dark Victory, the follow-up to The Long Halloween.
Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two is currently available on Digital. It will be released on Blu-Ray and DVD on August 10th via Warner Brothers. You can check their website for details including a list of special features.