Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, DC Entertainment, and Nickelodeon and directed by Jake Castorena, the Dark Knight meets the Turtles in the Half-Shell in Batman VS. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The film is inspired by the comic book series and graphic novel by James Tynion IV and Freddie Williams II.
The ninja Foot Clan arrive in Gotham and begin stealing technology from various corporations. The Ninja Turtles Leonardo (Eric Bauza), Raphael (Darren Criss), Donotello (Baron Vaughn), and Michelangelo (Kyle Mooney) are trying to stop them. However, Batman (Troy Baker) gets involved when Wayne Enterprises is targeted by the Shredder (Andrew Kishino) who manages to defeat the Caped Crusader. After an initial misunderstanding, Batman, Batgirl (Rachel Bloom), and Robin (Ben Giroux) work with the Ninja Turtles to stop the Foot Clan when they realize the Foot Clan has allied with Ra’s al Ghul (Cas Anvar) to give the Joker (also Troy Baker) and the other Arkham Asylum inmates a mutagen that will enhance the powers of the already deadly rogues.
When the movie trailer dropped, I became very excited about this production. The comic book series was well-written and well-drawn and hit all of the high points. The filmmakers had a big challenge which they met by not doing a straight adaption, they decided to take the concept and scale it down a bit by removing the alternate reality aspect and having Batman and the Ninja Turtles exist in the same world.
While Batman and the Ninja Turtles have similar gritty, dark undertones, they are still different stylistically and in their humor. The filmmakers did a decent job of bridging those gaps, but at times, the mix of the different humor and styles create some glaring cringe moments, but these are few and far between. The absence of Master Splinter was a little confusing.
As for the animation, it is done in a style that implies a fun kids film, but it was much darker than expected. With Shredder and Ra’s chopping the hands and heads off and while not overly gory, it was a bit shocking. However, the action is very well done. Martial Arts fights are always difficult to do in animation, but the fight scenes between Batman and the Shredder are particularly cool.
Bottom line, while it was not the geek out, exciting film I was expecting, it was still a fun ninja thrill ride with two of the best comic book Martial Arts-themed superheroes of all time.
FAVORITE QUOTE: This is not the time for pizza.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Some violence images (including blood)
Check out the trailer below:
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below. While you are at it, check out my reaction to the film’s announcement and my movie review of The Clapper. Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe for more posts like this one.