The Batman: The Long Halloween
Bruce, on the board of the Gotham City Bank, uses his sway and influence as Batman to oust the current president Richard Daniel and take over to rid the bank of its Falcone money. Under orders from his uncle, Falcone's nephew, Johnny Viti, assassinates Daniel. Viti himself is killed on Halloween by an unknown assailant, leaving behind an untraceable pistol, a nipple from a baby bottle used as a crude silencer, and a jack-o-lantern. Catwoman leads Batman to a warehouse where Falcone has been forced to stash his funds. Batman and Dent set the warehouse on fire to destroy the money. Falcone responds by hiring a gang of Irish hitmen to destroy Dent's home with a bomb, but he and his wife Gilda survive. On Thanksgiving, the hitmen themselves are killed by an unknown agent who leaves the same type of pistol and silencer behind, along with a Thanksgiving decoration. Milos Grappa, Falcone's bodyguard, is killed similarly on Christmas. The unknown assailant is given the name "Holiday" and is believed to be a Falcone rival.
The Batman: The Long Halloween
His revenge complete, Two-Face turns himself into Gordon and Batman but tells them that there were two Holiday killers. Gordon is confused, as Alberto has already confessed to all of the killings. While Batman initially dismisses Two-Face's statement, he points out the fact that Two-Face, having killed Falcone and the last of his collaborators on Halloween, could technically be considered Holiday. While Two-Face is imprisoned at Arkham along with the recaptured criminals, Alberto can delay his execution based on insanity.
Bruce Wayne attends a New Year's Eve yacht party celebrating Gotham's children's clinic, hosted by Falcone, who calls out Bruce during his speech as the son he never had, angering Alberto. Bruce meets with Selina Kyle, who calls off their relationship due to their conflicting secret identities. Joker attempts to gas the New Year's Eve celebration in Gotham Square using a stolen plane, hoping that Holiday is among the crowd. Meanwhile, Selina meets with Alberto to learn about the Falcone family. Alberto laments about never being respected by his father, who also rejected his fiancée from Oxford University. Batman foils Joker's scheme, and when Joker remarks that he "loves a good puzzle", Batman deduces that Alberto, who would benefit the most from killing his father's enemies and is known for his love of puzzles, is the killer. Returning to the yacht, Batman accuses Alberto of being Holiday, targeting his father's associates to gain power within the family. Alberto angrily denies wanting control of the family business, citing he no longer wishes to be in his father's shadow. As the New Year starts, Alberto is shot dead by Holiday and falls into the water, where his body is cut to pieces by the yacht's propellers. Batman pursues Holiday, but the killer manages to escape via speedboat. As the ship is evacuated, Gordon and Harvey meet with Batman. Batman tells his allies to assign a protective detail to Falcone.
Dent meets up with Captain Jim Gordon of the Gotham City Police later that night and the two discuss possible means of bringing the Roman down, including involving the Batman. Similarly, Bruce and Selina meet again in the Roman's penthouse, this time in their costumed guises of Batman and Catwoman. Their presence quickly attracts the presence of the Roman's guards, but they manage to escape under a cloud of smoke and a barrage of bullets. The Roman, furious over this invasion of his privacy and at being taunted by his chief rival Sal Maroni over the break-in, puts a million dollar bounty on both of their heads. Batman chases Catwoman through the city but she eludes him even as she dodges his questions regarding her motivations against Falcone. Batman loses her and gives up the chase to answer a Bat-signal sent out by Dent and Gordon, who discuss the mutual strains put on their marriages by long hours at work while they await Batman's arrival. When Batman appears, the three discuss the lengths they will go to bring the Roman down. The three enter a pact (Batman however agreeing rather reluctantly) to bend the rules if necessary but never break them. Batman then disappears into darkness, but he leaves behind for Dent and Gordon the Roman's ledger, an incriminating piece of evidence Batman stole from Falcone's penthouse.
Maroni's helmeted bodyguard leaps up. It is Batman, who was protected from the .22 bullets by a kevlar vest. Batman pummels Alberto and almost kills him, but Gordon stops him. Alberto is placed under arrest and jailed. A few days later, Carmine comes to visit his son Alberto in jail and offers his assistance. He tells his son that he can get him out if he will plead guilty to Maroni's murder alone and drop any notion of being "Holiday." Alberto spurns his father, saying he felt slighted when Carmine sent him to Oxford and kept him out of the family business. He says that Gotham now belongs to the freaks, and he is one of them. On Halloween, Jim and Barbara Gordon go to visit Gilda to check up on how she is managing alone. She is still left wondering where Harvey is and if he is even still alive. Meanwhile at Arkham there has been a breakout. All of the maniacs have been set free by a solitary figure who, after flipping a coin, decides to leave Calendar Man in his cell. Carmine is furious over Alberto's unwillingness to accept his help, which has subsequently led to his impending execution for the Holiday murders.
As he is ranting in the kitchen to Sofia, the lights cut out suddenly. The two explore the house with their guns drawn, finding guards dead all around. They burst into the Roman's office to find all of the Arkham escapees there, along with Solomon Grundy, Catwoman, The Penguin, and their mysterious leader, who reveals himself to be Dent.
And on Christmas Eve, Gilda is packing up boxes for her move away from Gotham, but before she leaves, she takes a box down the basement furnace. She describes aloud to herself how she read in Harvey's case files about the removal of the serial numbers of guns and how baby bottle nipples could be used as silencers. She then removes from the box a .22 pistol and drops it into the flames of the heater, along with a familiar-looking hat and coat. And she claims that she took it upon herself to start the Holiday killings, in an attempt to end the Roman's hold on Gotham and thus lighten Harvey's caseload so that they could have a child. Her belief is that Harvey took up the killings on New Year's Eve and that Alberto is lying to the police with his confession. She also says that she knows Harvey will eventually be alright and that they will reconcile, because she believes in him.
This was a very good continuation to what was a decent adaptation of the great comic of the same name. It doesn't take long to realize that there are higher stakes here and that the rogues gallery is less memorable than in the first, but they're still really cool. As in the previous part, the voice acting is very good, and I even felt that the animation finally matched my taste this time, at least it seemed seamless.
I found myself more invested in Part Two, as the mystery over Holiday, unfolds in a satisfying manner. It gets darker, more violent, and has more fan-favourite characters, along with the voice-acting being strong, that should please folks.
The film runs for 85 minutes, and it does feel long. The makers could easily have reduced the runtime by 15-20 minutes without losing anything important. There are long pauses as though the director and editor are stretching the runtime to justify the feature-length.
Batman: The Long Halloween sees the Caped Crusader team up with Commissioner Jim Gordon and Harvey Dent to take down the mobs of Gotham led by Sal Maroni and Carmine Falcone. At the same time, the trio is forced to deal with the Holiday Killer, an enigmatic villain who kills high-ranking members of the mob using a gun with a baby bottle cap as a makeshift silencer. Along the way, Batman is aided by Catwoman, who (in the film version), admits that Falcone is actually her father, hence her interest in the case. The Riddler also makes a brief appearance in the comic book only, as Carmine hires him to figure out who the Holiday Killer is. However, the movie ends with an all-out war on the streets, with Batman and Catwoman going toe-to-toe with the likes of Poison Ivy, Solomon Grundy, and the Scarecrow. In The Batman, Dent isn't present, and a major bust has already taken down Sal Maroni. Gordon and Batman instead team up to take down Riddler, who is murdering corrupt Gotham officials with connections to Falcone, who essentially runs the city from the shadows.
Many Batman movies have been influenced by the comic books, but along with Batman: The Killing Joke, The Long Halloween has been one of the cinematic Batman's primary influences. The Batman is no exception, and its similarities to the book can be broken down into three categories: tone, characters, and narrative structure. More than any film before it, even The Dark Knight, The Batman adapts major elements from the iconic comic book, including specific moments and character relationships. Though it doesn't feature a finale riddled with classic Batman villains, it can be seen as a spiritual remake of the beloved novel.
The long-suffering wife of Harvey Dent, Gilda has made numerous appearances in Batman comics. For years, she was the only thing keeping the darker sider of Harvey's mind at bay. Eventually he descended into madness and became Two-Face, but Gilda still sought to help the man she once loved.
Collin has loved all things horror since he was a wee lad, as long as it's not filled with jump scares. He holds up It Follows as the greatest horror film ever made, and would love to hear your thoughts on why he's wrong about that. He's written a couple of books called Lemon Sting and Silence Under Screams, and lives in Massachusetts.
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