Friday, June 14, 2019

Batman vs Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Adapted from the comic book mini-series, Batman vs Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles brings the Teenage Mutant Turtles to Gotham City on the trail of the Shredder (Andrew Kishino) and the Foot Clan who are on a crime spree which Batman (Troy Baker) has just become aware. The movie offers the obligatory misunderstanding pitting Batman versus the Turtles for a time before realizing they are both on the same side and need to team-up to stop Shredder and his new business partner Ra's al Ghul (Cas Anvar) who plans to use the Ooze to destroy Gotham.

While the animation isn't quite up to snuff with some of DC's better animated movies, I do appreciate the story sticking with Batman's classic design and the look of both the Shredder and Ra's al Ghul work pretty well (even if I can't say the same for some of Batman's other villains who are brought into the plot when Ra's mutates Arkham Asylum as a distraction for Batman and Turtles). Some of the mutations work better than others (such as the joke made at Poison Ivy's expense).

The mutations take the story down a weird path that isn't entirely necessary, and is a bit hit-and-miss, as there are plenty of Bat-villains, Foot soldiers, and League ninjas for the heroes to deal with. The movie also seems to work best when it doesn't stray too far from the obvious humor of mutated ninja turtles and a guy in a bat-suit teaming up to fight crime as the more serious moments simply detract from the goofy fun of such a bizarre team-up. Batman vs Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles also makes use of the character expressions from the Nickelodeon cartoons, particularly those of Michelangelo (Kyle Mooney) as he geeks out about the bizarre wonders the Turtles find in Gotham. We also see friendships develop between Damian (Ben Giroux) and Raphael (Darren Criss), Batgirl (Rachel Bloom) and Donatello (Baron Vaughn), and Batman and Leonardo (Eric Bauza).

Available on DVD, Blu-ray, and 4K, extras include trailers, a featurette for DC's next upcoming movie Batman: Hush, and featurettes on the fight sequences of the movie and the making of the movie. The movie's closing credits also include one of the most interesting aspects as various classic Batman and TMNT comic book covers are mashed-up to include all the heroes. For comic fans, this a nerdy delight.

[Warner Bros. & Nickelodeon, $19.99 | $24.98 | $39.99]

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