REEL FEATURES SEASON 13 TICKET 02
Movie ideas like this have been the subject of fantasy for the better part of 3 decades. It's often acted out with friends and toys of what could happen if our fave heroes from a different Franchises were to team-up with each other.
This was finally answered with 2016's Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by James Tynion IV and Freddie Williams II. The comic-book became so popular that it not only spawned a followup but an animated movie of which is the subject of this review.
On paper, you'd think that this concept of the Dark Knight teaming with the Heroes in a half shell couldn't work due to Batman's grim and gritty story-telling against the light-hearted and goofy nature of the Turtles. And yet, they compliment each other so well. Especially when you see them conversing in the Bat cave where the Brothers introduce themselves with their lightened tone against Batman's always-serious demeanor.
Like with most crossover team-ups, there is conflict to begin with in the initial meeting where Bats wipes the floor with the Brothers. But given the skilled and experienced move-set Bats has it only stands to reason that he would have the upper hand even though the Turtles are experienced Ninjas themselves.
It's a similar set of circumstances with the villains where Rhas Al Ghul and Shredder are butting heads more than the protagonists of where Shredder criticises Rhas for bringing in the Arkham inmates whilst Rhas equally chastises Shredder for his lack of competency.
The animation is very reminiscent of 2004's The Batman that has this very anime influenced style of which some refer to as "Pseudo anime" where it's western animation but with a nice blend of what has made anime so popular.
There are multiple visual references to both Franchises, more to the Turtles than Batman. From the original 1990 Movie poster, to the 1986 cartoon opening and to the "what for?" scene from Secret of the Ooze in 1991.
I think what we're seeing with this crossover-movie-event is the beginning of a new trend where more DC animated crossover movies with other companies will occur. First, it was the Ninja Turtles. Justice League and Power Rangers are likely to be next.
But that is what is separating DC from Marvel as of late. DC are willing to reach out to other companies and make these fan-fantasy stories a reality.
DC have wanted to work with Marvel again for years, and yet Marvel are not interested in listening, insisting that you're either Marvel or a DC.
I personally think that's very short-sighted. There is a potential money-maker situation that could be made there where both would benefit greatly.
Imagine a modern-setting where Batman is working with Spider-Man, Captain America with Superman and She-Hulk teaming with Wonder-woman. That'd be awesome.
I came away from Batman Vs TMNT with a realisation that this is the wonderful pay-off that was clearly written by fans with a lot of love for both properties that was written for the fans.
Subjectively, I think this is bigger than MCU's End Game. Now, for context - I am not taking anything away from Avengers: End Game. That is a monumental movie.
But, this is the first Movie we've seen Batman team with the Ninja Turtles. And how many Marvel team-up movies have we seen since the first Avengers movie? 4.
This is why Batman Vs TMNT is bigger, because this has never been done before. And also because the writers put a lot of care into the writing so that the characters are in-tact and interact well with each other. The love is also present in the end credits where iconic Batman comic cover arts have had the Turtles added to them. Now, that is dedication.
When you're able to add that level of detail in the small details, that shows you care a lot about your project.
And when you're enjoying what you're doing, it shows.
Bring on Power Rangers/Justice League.
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Kicking off the 13th Season