Batman vs Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2019)

Movie Title: Batman vs Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Year Released: 2019

Rated: PG-13

Runtime: 1h 27min

Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure, Comedy, Crime, Fantasy,| Sci-Fi

Director: Jake Castorena

Writer: Marly Halpern-Graser (based on the comic book by James Tynion IV and Freddie Williams II)

Starring: Troy Baker, Eric Bauza, Darren Criss, Kyle Mooney, Baron Vaughn, Carlos Alazraqui, Cas Anvar, Rachel Bloom, John DiMaggio, Keith Ferguson, Brian George, Ben Giroux, Tom Kenny, Andrew Kishino, Jim Meskime, Tara Strong

Review: When experimental technology goes missing throughout Gotham City, Batman, Batgirl, and Robin use their keen detective skills to investigate. Soon they discover that this is work of The Shredder, along with Ra's Al Ghul and The League Of Assassins. With an overwhelming opposition the Dark Knight is joined by everyone's favorite sewer-dwelling, pizza-loving crime fighters, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to stop monstrous mayhem with martial arts.

Batman vs Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles had the potential to be one of the most fun animated crossover movies in years, but's a messy, unfocused, and ultimately disappointing feature. I really wanted to like this one. I was actually looking forward to checking this one out after it was announced. It's such a shame that this is what fans got to see.

The biggest problem for me is the tone. The first act has really strong, bloody violence that seems very out of place for both Batman and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. You get decapitations and throwing stars plunged into someone's skull in very graphic fashion. Seemed a little too much for an animated movie made for those of us that grew up on the cartoon series of each of these popular franchises. Then the middle act has some of Gotham City's most prominent villains getting mutated into some of the scariest creatures that will surely give younger viewers nightmares. And finally, in the last act of this story, it's all fun, adventure, and wisecracks as our heroes try and save the day...well, night actually.

While I watched all I kept asking myself was, "Who is this movie for?" The fans that grew up on Batman and the Ninja Turtles? The DC fans that like their superhero fare dark and stark? Or was it made by committee that failed at trying to please a wide variety of folks instead of telling a story? I'm not sure. All I am sure about is that I could have been more disappointed after sitting through the 87 mins of this misguided mess.

It's very rare that the DC animated movies disappoint, but when they do, like Batman: The Killing Joke, it baffles me just how they could bungle such a sure thing. I'm sure that Batman vs Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will please some fans, but I'd say to steer clear of this one...or just flush it into the sewer. Cowabummer!

Stars (out of 4):

Fun Fact: In the opening heist, one of Penguin's henchmen resembles the mutant leader from The Dark Knight Returns, including the square glasses, a look also similar to Krang's robotic body from the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon.


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