Batman vs. Two-Face

| October 17, 2017

It’s impossible to think about Adam West without also thinking about Batman. It’s a role he defined as much as it defined him. It made the man a legend, and that’s what made his passing at the age of 88 earlier this year so very, truly sad. He was Batman and he was gone. Yet Adam West left his fans with one final performance as the voice of the Caped Crusader to enjoy posthumously in the DC Animated Movie Batman vs. Two-Face, now available on Digital, Blu-ray Combo Pack, and DVD from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

Batman vs. Two-Face ultimately serves not only as a stellar follow-up to the thoroughly enjoyable Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders (2016), but it will also stand forever as a touching farewell to the West, as a celebration of everything campy and colorful in the Batman series West’s performance defined. A host of ’66 Batman baddies appear in Batman vs. Two-Face, including The Joker, Penguin, Riddler, Mr. Freeze, Bookworm, King Tut, and Vincent Price’s Egghead (though we don’t get someone trying desperately to sound like Price as I’d hoped we would). We even get both Julie Newmar AND Lee Meriwether as Catwoman. Added to the rogues’ gallery this time out is the titular Two-Face voiced by fellow television legend William Shatner, as well as Dr. Hugo Strange and even a pre-villainous turn Harley Quinn!

The film ultimately follows the reform of Two-Face—formerly Bruce Wayne’s close friend Harvey Dent—after extensive surgery seemingly returns Dent to his former, law-devoted self. But when a series of apparent Two-Face-related crimes points to a relapse on Dent’s part, Batman and Robin have a falling out over whether or not Bruce is putting too much faith in Dent. Is Robin just jealous or is Batman blinded by devotion?

Thus, at the heart of Batman vs. Two-Face are a host of messages about friendship and devotion from which viewers can take away much. Most powerfully to my mind here is this beautiful message about the power of friendship to get us through those hardest of times in our lives, if only we’re wise enough to ask for the right kind of help or to accept that help when it’s offered. It’s a lesson many of us could stand to heed. This more than anything makes Batman vs. Two-Face a fitting last hurrah from West’s Batman, a character originating in a series that was, at its core, all about a single, powerful friendship—and coded innuendo of course, of which there’s plenty here.

After credits roll, the film closes with a dedication to else but Adam West itself. “Sleep well, Bright Knight,” indeed. The world was a better, decidedly more camp place to be for you having been a part of it.

Special features on Warner’s home video release of Batman vs. Two-Face include: a featurette about Burt Ward, interviews with Burt Ward and Julie Newmar, and the Adam West Tribute Panel from Comic-Con International, 2017.

About the Author:

Jef is a writer and educator in Chicago, Illinois. He holds a degree in Media & Cinema Studies from DePaul University, but sometimes he drops it and picks it back up again. He's also the Editor-in-Chief of FilmMonthly.com and is fueled entirely by coffee (as if you couldn't tell).
Filed in: Video and DVD
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