So I just finished BATMAN NINJA, and uh...boy, is my brain full of fuck. I don’t even know how else to describe how I’m feeling right now. I was laughing and crying at this thing. I realize this review is kind of late. I covered a lot of the trailers and info about the movie since as far back as October or November. Since it was going straight stream and DVD, I only remembered about it today and sat down for a watch. Oh man. Spoilers ahead!
Let’s begin by describing a single scene in the film: Robin is given a flute by Gorilla Grodd, and by playing the classic 60s Batman theme, he was able to control an army of monkeys. Make sense? This is pretty much how the entire movie plays out, but don’t worry about me giving away too much of the movie with just that, there is so....SO MUCH MORE madness like this in BATMAN NINJA.
Story and progression are laughably bad, it’s like two little kids were playing with their Batman and Ninja Turtle action figures and when one kid gets the upperhand, the second kid is all “No, because now my batmobile is a batjet now so it flew away!” Everything is just so over the top, everytime you think it can’t possibly get any crazier, it keeps surprising you.
I was laughing at the entire movie all the way through… partially because I got to watch Comics Chad lose his goddamn mind. I managed to get a quote from him: “Batman Ninja is an Eldritch horror that needs to nest deep inside a human’s brain meat to survive. Discussing it would only make the malevolent force of nature stronger, and as such I will not be doing so.”
The entire movie is BEAUTIFUL. They use cell shaded CG, combine CG with 2D, and then sometimes footage is entirely done in gorgeous 2D animation. Though, the scene that is entirely 2D didn’t really seem to have a purpose to be done in 2D, it’s not a flashback, a dream, or anything like that. I still appreciate how nice it looked but it would have been nice if there was some purpose to it.
Many of the characters are EXTREMELY out of character. Batman is rather dumb, and makes bad decision after bad decision. Damian, a Robin who was raised by assassins, is happy-go-lucky and has...a pet monkey. Joker is after power instead of the joke, that is no Joker.
The English cast is something. Penguin is Tom Kenny, who is most famous for his role as friggen Spongebob Squarepants. Joker is voiced by Tony Hale of ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, and does a subpar job. Roger Craig Smith, who previously voiced Batman in ARKHAM ORIGINS returns to the role and I could take him or leave him. The legendary Tara Strong, who has had many popular roles in RUGRATS, THE POWERPUFF GIRLS, TEEN TITANS, and more, voices Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy.
The movie is so stereotypically Japanese anime. Batman and his crew ends up fighting a goddamn Gotham villain-controlled Zord/Voltron. I shit you not. There are a lot of giant mechs involved that keep you questioning technology of the feudal era of Japan.
Somethings are just never explained, like why Batman dons samurai armor when he teamed up with the ninja.
If you enjoy movies that are laughably bad, this is the movie for you. If you hate anime, don’t go anywhere near this one. BATMAN NINJA left me crying. The credits finished rolling, I was wiping tears away and just couldn’t wrap my brain around it, but I think I liked it? I was laughing hysterically and weeping at the same time. I likely will be watching BATMAN NINJA again in a couple of weeks once the initial shock has faded just to try to recollect and figure this darn thing out.