ANIMATION REVIEW: Batman Unlimited: Monster Mayhem (2015) Blu-ray

91pZxkgLZwL._SL1500_Very good timing on WB/DC’s behalf since we’re nearing our next big holiday of Halloween and the events that transpire in the sequel to Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts take place on All Hallows’ Eve. The big bad guy this time around is none other than the Joker himself and like The Penguin from the last installment the objective here is world domination, but that ends up being a last minute Plan B, for the moment Plan A is to just take over Gotham City, and to do that he needs a team.

Enter Solomon Grundy and Silver Banshee who break out of Arkham Asylum and do some forbidden joy riding before Scarecrow meets up with them and reads them the riot act. They eventually meet up with Clayface and Joker and the games are on.

This plan of Joker requires a top-notch computer programmer. Gogo Shoto is it. He’s a kid. And he’s kidnapped.

Check!

Next he needs an artificial intelligence. This he gets from Professor Ivo.

Check!

Now he needs this mysterious rock that’s an excellent energy conduit. This is he gets from the local museum and it was recently discovered by Cyborg.

Check!

Now he forces Shoto to create a virus, which he uploads into the city and actually succeeds in shutting down every electronic device, thus shoving Gotham back to the Stone Age. In short Joker manages to pull off his plan and it’s up to Batman, Red Robin, Nightwing, Green Arrow and newcomer Cyborg to stop them from going world wide with the virus. Cyborg is a nice addition but since he’s part “electronic” Joker’s virus corrupts him as well and he becomes an unwilling bad guy for a small part of the movie.

Red Robbin. What can I say? Ever since the first installment this character has annoyed the hell out of me, and he annoyed me even more in this one. My favorite character was Clayface and that’s because I enjoy characters and monsters that can shape-shift or have more one than one form and Clayface’s shifting abilities are used nicely here. He dons the guises of an old, rich woman, a T-Rex in a museum, Batman, Shoto Gogo, and a chick Shoto works with.

Unfortunately I can’t totally recommend this second chapter. The story was well plotted, but the action animation was a lot stiffer than in Animal Instincts. And with these kinds of flicks, for me, the action animation has got to be top notch or I simply cannot watch it. There were small moments of dynamic action animation but not enough to get any repeat viewings out of me. I did, however, enjoy the three movie homages placed at various points throughout the film. The guards at this atomic reactor used pulse rifles from Aliens (1986), Red Robbin pulls out a Back To The Future Part II (1989) hover board to help Shoto escape, and remember that scene in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) where at the very end Arnold shoots that grenade into the T100 and he blows up in that weird configuration. Well, Red Robbin throws some explosives into Clay Face and he explodes in a configuration kind of similar.

The scene on the cover with Batman riding a Transformer-like T-Rex only happens when Batman has to take a virtual reality trip into a computer game to stop Joker’s AI/virus.

This past August 18th Warner Brothers released Batman Unlimited: Monster Mayhem in two separate editions: a DVD/Blu-ray/Digital Copy combo and a solo DVD.


Video/Audio/Subtitles: 1080p 1.78:1 high definition widescreen—5.1 English DTS-HD Master Audio/5.1 French Dolby Digital/5.1 Spanish Dolby Digital/5.1 German Dolby Digital—English SDH/French/Spanish/German SDH

Extras Include…

  • Gotham Of Tomorrow: Designing A Future World (11:24)
  • 10 DC Nation Shorts: Shazam!: Courage, Shazam!: WisdomShazam!: Stamina, Green Arrow: Onomatopoeia-Bot, Green Arrow: Brick, Green Arrow: Cupid, Riddler: Riddle Me This!, Deadman: Deadman Catch, Animal Man: Bank & Train and Animal Man: Beach & City
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode, “Mayhem of the Music Meister!”

My guess from seeing Animal Instincts was right. In the Gotham Of Tomorrow extra it’s confirmed that this universe of Batman Unlimited is connected to Batman Beyond. The city in these movies is the beginnings of what will be the futuristic backdrop of that TV toon. Which begs the question now why didn’t they go the TV route with Batman Unlimited?

Some of the DC Nation shorts they used to run were good and I’m glad they continue to see the light of day on disc. Not all of them are winners. Most of these shorts, I think, were in the comedy department, and for this new crop both the Green Arrows and the Animal Man shorts are keepers. The main reason I’m going to add this movie to my collection.

Review over.

Peace out.

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About Shawn Francis

Movie collector and horror writer.
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