I was not at all a fan of the original “Batman” animated movie, as I felt it was somewhat unfocused. Thankfully “Batman vs. Two Face” not only gets the idea more about the Batman series, but uses Two Face quite cleverly. As most fans know, the original Adam West Batman show wanted Clint Eastwood to play Two Face, but deemed the character too disturbing for viewers. Producers for this animated movie go back to re-cast Two Face for their show, but bring aboard another television icon to play the villain, William Shatner. Shatner is perfect for the role of the duplicitous deviant ne’er dowell known as Two Face, and what makes the pot even sweeter is that he’s turned in to an allegory for homosexuality.
While it’s never quite openly explained, “Batman vs Two Face” is very much a funny and clever take on repressed homosexuality, tackling the curious relationship between Bruce and Dick on the show, and kind of having fun with it. When Bruce and Dick decide to go out as the Dynamic Duo, their aunt is sent in to a party in their place and thanks them, wishing them luck on their “fishing trip.” She even gives Alfred a wink and a nudge. Clearly she’s someone who’s convinced Bruce and Dick has a dynamic they won’t let on to, any time soon. When Bruce and Dick foil a robbery from King Tut, Bruce comes in touch with old friend Harvey Dent. Dent is written as someone anxious to push Dick to the side, and positions himself as a romantic rival.
Dick meanwhile is confused, if unwittingly threatened by his intentional tendency toward wedging himself in to Bruce’s side. When Doctor Hugo Strange creates a machine that can take out the evil in criminals, an accident prompts Harvey to split his evil and good in two. Harvey soon finds himself trying to help Bruce, but hurt Batman, as he keeps his dark flamboyant persona hidden with phone calls, urging him to stop calling. Despite the clever and often raucous nods and winks to the overtones from the original series by retconning Two-Face, “Batman vs. Two Face” is also surprisingly entertaining. Sadly, it still doesn’t capture the bright pastel soaked surrealism of the series, as it still is too caught up on invoking a ton of winks to the fan boys and classic audience.
I’m very much a fan of in-jokes for the fans, but the movie tends to lose sight of the narrative losing the momentum, whenever it decides to stop and pay homage. That said, “Batman vs. Two-Face” is a big step up from the original animated feature that does a good job re-inventing Two-Face, while also serving as a last adventure as the Dark Knight for the great Adam West. The post-credits scene is kind of foreshadowed, so fans might be happy to see what unfolds, and disappointed since Adam West has left us. Such is life. It’s too bad Warner didn’t include the iconic two part episode introducing Two Face from “Batman: The Animated Series.” That would have been the icing on the cake for fans.
That said, there is “The Wonderful World Of Burt Ward” is a fourteen minute talk with the character actor, the superheroes he loved as a kid, his work with dogs, and thoughts on old friend Adam West. There’s the thirty nine minute “Adam West Tribute Panel, Comic-Con International 2017” which is the full panel from San Diego Comic Con including Kevin Smith, and Lee Meriwether, who talks about her life, career, and Adam West’s legacy. “Burt Ward On Being Starstruck” is a two minute talk with Burt Ward who discusses his co-stars and guest stars over the years on the show and his reaction toward them. “Burt Ward On Ambition” is a one minute discussion with his childhood dream to be Superboy. Finally, there’s “Julie Newmar On Inspiration” is a two minute talk with the actress who discusses the iconic costume, the appeal of Catwoman, and her idolizing of Rita Hayworth.