Batman and Robin are on one of their stake outs in the Batwing, and notice a truck carrying firearms is under attack by another possible vigilante. After the battle, the person flies by the Batwing and is soon revealed to be the Batwoman. What is her purpose in Gotham? Batman decides to find out due to her reckless endangerment of civilians. -summary
Released in 2003 as a direct to video feature, Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman is set in some point during or maybe even after the 4th season, since it features Tim Drake as Robin. Directed by Curt Geda, the film follows Batman as he tries to learn the identity of Batwoman and put an end to her vigilantism, since it appears she has very little regard for human life, after she allows a truck to fly off a bridge after blasting it with a plasma rifle.
The story is rather simple and the plot is also easy to follow. However, the writers do add a twist to the movie that keeps Batman guessing very early and midway through the feature. There are several curve balls thrown out there, but a fan of the series will quickly guess the identity of the new caped crusader as well as figure out the plot twist. At least things are kept somewhat interesting from point A to B through various attempts at character development, and the occasional action scene once in awhile.
The movie feels like an extended episode though, despite the effort in a souped up soundtrack. It feels like it could have easily been a three parter in the animated series. The animation is slightly above the TV series with a brighter and more crisp look with some good character designs mainly for the women, despite them being of the same sketch with a few different details here and there. The voice work was good as always but there's nothing to truly rave about.
The movie was never boring, and there were a couple of comedic moments tossed in that meshed so well. However, I have a few issues with this movie and it begins with the characters. I never really bought into Batwoman as a threat to Batman or anyone else really. She had the moves but there was just nothing really special about her. The same goes for the choice of villains who came off as stock bad guys; Rupert Thorne, Penguin, and Bane. Now for the record, these three are anything but stock bad guys. Bane for the most part was ok, as he provided that very serious physical threat to Batman. On the other hand, just about anyone could have filled the roles of the other two, which really isn't a good thing since Thorne and Penguin can make formidable antagonist on their own. I also really didn't see the point in Barbara Gordon's flirtation with Bruce being added, since it added absolutely nothing to the story.
Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman is an average, yet entertaining movie that's good for even the casual fan. Just don't come into it expecting Mask of the Phantasm. The movie has a 72 minute run time.
-Decent action segments, visuals
-Unnecessary character, uninteresting side characters and villains
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