Monday, 10 October 2011
The Batman & Superman Movie: World's Finest
THE BATMAN SUPERMAN MOVIE: WORLD’S FINEST (1996)
Directed by: Toshihiko Masuda
Written by: Stan Berkowitz, Alan Burnett, Paul Dini, Rich Fogal, Steve Gerber
Starring: Kevin Conroy, Tim Daly, Dana Delany, Clancy Brown & Mark Hamill
This team up between two awesome 90s cartoons, World’s Finest is an excellent slice of cartoon action: well written, great characters, slick animation and some stonking action. The Batman cartoon series in the 1990s, produced by Warner Brothers animation, was one of the best things on TV back in the day. I watched it constantly and while I was never a big as fan of Superman, the Superman show was almost as good. World’s Finest is basically three episodes of the Superman show strung together to create a sort of mini-movie (the flick is about an hour long) which sees Batman heading to Metropolis hot on the heels of the Joker who has left Gotham to team up with equally uber bad guy, Lex Luthor.
The Joker wants to use Luthor’s seemingly unlimited resources (including some wicked giant combat robots) to take over Metropolis and has a plan that can rid the city of Superman (having nicked a load of Kryptonite). They form a shaky alliance, as do the two heroes. Bats and Supes aren’t too willing to trust one another, not least when they discover each other’s secret identities and when a sort of love triangle forms when Bruce Wayne and Lois Lane take a shine to one another. But differences are soon put aside as the two realize they are going to have to work together in order to defeat their respective archenemies. Let superhero, robot-smashing action commence.
Short and sweet it may be but World’s Finest is a great hour or so of superhero action and a reminder of how fun these two-superhero cartoons were. With a great comic book feel and a swift pace and excellent voice work, World’s Finest shows an animation team at the top of their creative game. Kevin Conroy proves he is one of the best (if not the best) Bats as the voice of Batman/Bruce Wayne and likewise old Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill, is awesome as the Joker. Commissioner Gordon and Alfred perhaps get short changed a bit but with so many characters to fit it’s not surprising but there is great support from The Joker’s right hand woman, Harley Quinn.
There is no shortage of spectacle as the heroes do battle with various gangsters and super villains meaning there is mucho punch ups, gunfights and a novel sequence where Superman has to rescue Lane and The President from terrorists who have taken control of Air Force One. This all leads to the action heavy finale, which sees Luthor’s robots unleashed meaning there is some grand scale combat and destruction.
If you are a fan of the characters, comic books, animation and action then World’s Finest makes for a great hour of entertainment.