Blu-ray Review: ‘Batman Unlimited: Monster Mayhem’

‘Batman Unlimited: Monster Mayhem’ is a pretty good addition to the random hodgepodge of animated Batman releases. Like its predecessor film ‘Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts’ this film contains a bunch of random DC heroes and villains along with Batman and his usual cast. Much the ‘Lego Batman’ movie and videogame series this seems to be an attempt to use the Justice League cast without using their name.

The plot this time is pretty cut and dry good guys versus bad guys. The Joker is hatching a Halloween night plan to wreak havoc in Gotham with the help of Solomon Grundy, Silver Banshee, Clayface, and the Scarecrow. It is not a very deep plot, but it gets the job done.

The film’s animation is somewhat lazy compared to other Batman iterations, but it is a step up from the previous ‘Unlimited’ film (some of the character’s hair is still extremely odd looking). The voice talent (Troy Baker, Will Friedle, Chris Diamantopoulos, and more) is both familiar and comforting enough to give the movie a sense of legitimacy that this iteration of Batman (his costume is a pretty terrible design) likely wouldn’t get otherwise.

While ‘Monster Mayhem’ does not have the storytelling of a ‘Mask of the Phantasm’ or the action of an ‘Arkham Asylum’ it does get the job done. As it looks like this series of films will continue I do wish that the plots would do more in the form of backstory and character development. There are a lot of animated Batman films and this series needs to work on differentiating itself if it wants to gain popularity among diehard fans.

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