The Adam West Batman series ranks among my favorite Batman outings. I understand why many people prefer the more serious takes on Bruce Wayne, but I’ve always loved the fun rock’em sock’em good time of Batman ’66. When DC announced the animated revival, I was pumped. And that film was plenty amazing.
But then they had to go and announce a sequel. And not just any sequel, but a sequel with WILLIAM FREAKIN’ SHATNER as Harvey Dent/Two-Face. Heck YEAH I was pumped for that.
And guess what: the movie delivers. Adam West’s final appearance excels as a statement of what it means to be a hero and a swan song for a life well lived. Burt Ward is VERY Burt Ward-y, almost to a fault, but it makes for some super memeable moments. Julie Newmar’s Catwoman is sassy to a hilt, while balancing the movie’s more ludicrous moments with charm.
And then there’s the man of the hour. William Shatner’s Two-Face is likely my favorite take on the character. This Two-Face is still a good man; a good man who’s actively fighting for his identity even as it slips away. He’s not generic evil. He’s not the “White Knight” to Batman’s “Dark Knight.” He’s a likable DA who’s dedicated himself to stopping criminals, only to be consumed by himself. The relationship he has with Batman is tight enough that it makes sense why he didn’t appear in the live-action series. And Shatner layers it on so thick with the acting, you’ll be forgiven for the extra pounds you gain.
The overall film is like a water tight cruise ship. There’s a lot of fun to be had; but there’s also things to nitpick. A couple segments of animation are reused from the previous film with little redressing. The side-villains don’t get a lot of love, but I did love the return of King Tut, who’s something of an underappreciated Batman villain. Also, Julie Newmar isn’t in the movie enough, and when she does show up, it’s mostly as a matter of convenience. But again, these are nitpicks. On the whole, I love it.
And at the end of the day, Batman vs. Two-Face isn’t just worth your time: it’s worth your money. It’s worth your investment. It’s worth the memory of Adam West. Holy awesome way to go out, Batman!
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