THE BATMAN/SUPERMAN MOVIE
Author: Jett
Date: Originally Posted in 2005
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Release Date: August 18, 1998
Directed By: Toshihiko Masuda
Writing Credits: Stan Berkowitz, Paul Dini, Steve Gerber, Alan Burnett, Rich Fogel
Studio: Warner Bros/Warner Home Video
MPAA Rating: None
Runtime: 64 Minutes
Plot Synopsis: The Dark Knight and the Man of Steel team up to take down The Joker and Lex Luthor.
Voice Actors: Kevin Conroy, Tim Daley, Mark Hamill, Clancy Brown, Dana Delany, et al.

The BATMAN/SUPERMAN MOVIE was actually several episodes of the 90s animated television show (THE NEW BATMAN/SUPERMAN ADVENTURES) edited together to form a 64 minute “movie.” The multipart episodes were given the title of “Worlds Finest,” which is a nod to the WORLDS FINEST comic books that featured Batman and Superman together from the 1950s and on for several decades.

TBSM features not only the team up that you expect, but a second one as well: The Joker (Mark Hamill) and Lex Luthor (Clancy Brown). The Joker steals a statue that just happens to be made of Kryptonite and makes Lex Luthor an offer: He’ll kill The Man of Steel for the tidy sum of $1 million. Lex accepts and off we go.

In the meantime, The Batman (Kevin Conroy) has made his way to Metropolis in his quest to capture The Joker. This puts The Dark Knight in contact with Superman (Tim Daley) and as expected, the two clash. And to make things more complicated, Bruce Wayne has arrived in Metropolis as well to seal a business deal with Luthor. There, he meets Lois Lane (Dana Delany) and the two spark up a romance -- much to the displeasure of Clark Kent.

TBSM worked best during its first half. How can you beat the combination of Batman and Superman, especially since it’s aided by the linking of archvillains Lex Luthor and the Joker. I found it cool seeing Bats and Supes and even The Joker and Lex working together. But it is a novelty that soon wears thin.

The film is supposed to be the first-ever meeting between Batman and Superman in the DC Animated Universe (Although I believe Superman made an appearance on the original 90s BATMAN series). The two definitely didn’t hit if off, as their conflicting philosophies caused friction. I also liked the way the two discovered the other’s secret identity. Good stuff there. Bruce Wayne’s romance of Lois Lane, although unrealistic the way it is presented, worked alright as it provided additional tension between the two heroes.

As far as the villains, The Joker in “The Man” in this story as he is clearly #1 and Lex #2. As a Batman fan first and foremost, that was fine with me. However, it was also a weak link of the plot as Luthor basically didn’t have much to do.

Without spoiling the ending, the finale -- as well as the second half of the movie -- is mediocre at best. Once the excitement of seeing The Batman and Superman together wears off, the whole thing comes off rather blasé.

If you are one that really loves seeing the two characters together, whether it is in the comic books or on television, this is a movie that should be right up your alley. On the other hand, if you are like me and prefer a solo Dark Knight or Man of Steel, you may want to pass on this film.

I’m giving THE BATMAN/SUPERMAN MOVIE a C+.

"Jett" is the founder of BATMAN ON FILM.

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