A Batman Day Surprise: A Respectful Reel Review #12

Today has been a very busy day for the Mustache and the Beard. We taped Red Capers #44. We taped Ask Two Grey Geeks #4. We made plans for the Launch of our YouTube channel on September 30th, 2020. That last one has been ongoing for over a month. We expect Launch Party 2020 to be bigger than Launch Party 2019. Red Capers #45 will be where we tell you all the plans we have for YouTube, but that is what next Monday looks like.

After I drove the Beard home, I checked Twitter and saw the #BatmanDay. I was shocked because a) I didn’t know there was such a thing as Batman Day, b) that Batman Day falls on September 21, and c) if there is such a thing then a Geek Blog like ours should definitely at the very least post something Batman related.

I told the Beard and he agreed. So I have decided to post a review of Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman. This is a 2003, direct-to-video, animated movie that I enjoyed this weekend, and I was planning on reviewing for the blog anyway.

MOVIE TITLE:

Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman

IMDB YEAR RELEASED:

2003

STARRING:

Kevin Conroy, Kimberly Brooks, Kelly Ripa, Elisa Gabrielli, Kyra Sedgwick, David Ogden Stiers, Kevin Michael Richardson, John Vernon, Hector Elizondo, Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Eli Marienthal, Tara Strong, Bob Hastings, Robert Costanzo

DIRECTED BY:

Curt Geda

SUMMARY:

When the Batman confronts a mysterious, masked vigilante that has co-opted his name, he must not only contend with the fact that she has modeled herself after him, but that she is far more brutal and ruthless. Is this a monster of his own making, or a copycat that has gone awry?

TAGLINE:

For years the people of Gotham have wondered “Who is HE?” Now they are asking “Who is SHE?”

PLOT:

While on patrol, Batman and Robin look on as a mysterious, costumed vigilante uses a plasma rifle taken from the truck she is attempting to stop to send the illegal shipment of weapons caroming off the bridge along with the Penguin’s thugs. When the Dynamic Duo save the criminals from plunging to their deaths, Batman resolves to stop Batwoman, ascertain her identity, and bust the Penguin and Rupert Thorne for selling illegal arms to Kasnia.

Because Batwoman seems to be focused on the partnership of Rupert Thorne and Penguin, the two resolve to hire extra muscle in the person of Carlton Duquesne, a mobster with an awe-inspiring physical presence. When even his physical attributes prove to be insufficient against Batwoman, Bane is added to the already combustible mix.

In the interim, the audience is given several red herrings to delight any amateur sleuth. Bruce Wayne becomes involved with Kathy Duquesne, pronounced Du Kane. (Anyone familiar with the comic books might immediately think Kate Kane and well I will neither confirm nor deny.) She is the daughter of the gangster, complete with chaperones and all. She is, of course, dangerous in her own way.

Then there is Doctor Roxanne “Rocky” Ballantine. She’s a new employee at Wayne Tech. During a demonstration for Bruce Wayne, she gets hyper anxious. She is flubbing her presentation until she decides to rely on the technology, which is extremely impressive in itself. It also resembles some of the tech used by Batwoman.

Detective Bullock has a new partner. Her name is Sonia Alcana. Her knowledge of weaponry in general, and the weapons being smuggled by Thornton, Duquesne, and Penguin specifically set off several alarm bells in the master detective’s brain, but Bullock can vouch for her most times. She’s been at stakeouts with him, while Batwoman has been most prominently visible.

Should we forget, even Barbara Gordon chimes in. She calls to make certain no one is taking her spot on the team and to shamelessly flirt with Batman.

REVIEW:

I always try to stop just shy of saying too much. Plot-wise, I found the story enjoyable. I believe that all the story elements are present to figure out the mystery, which in my mind is no great mystery. However, there is most assuredly an action-oriented story sufficient for any Batman fan.

The production and art is consistent with the Batman: The Animated Series and the New Batman Adventures, although here things seem to be lighter in tone. The story fits into the continuity of the Bruce Timm and Paul Dini universe. The music is as intense as usual. Having Kevin Conroy voice Batman is a wonderful touch for consistency. The other voice actors are professional and a fascinating mix: Kelly Ripa and Kyra Sedgwick, hmmm!

This one was a new one for me and I found myself desirous of revisiting that Timm/Dini universe, I’ve been talking about. Not a perfect addition to the mythos, but certainly a more than adequate animated movie. Fun, intriguing, and Batman — what more could you want.

3 and a half Grey Geeks out of 5 is a very good rating in our book. I believe that this one will bear repeat viewings. You can watch this on thewatchcartoononline.tv for free. Check it out! Happy Batman Day!!!

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