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Title: Batman Unlimited: Mechs vs. Mutants

Movie: :3.5stars:
Video: :4stars:
Audio: :4stars:
Extras: :1.5stars:

HTS Overall Score:73

“Batman Unlimited: Mechs vs. Mutants” is a simple sounding film. I mean, you have mechs, and you have mutants, and that’s exactly what the film delivers. The “Batman Unlimited” universe originally started out as a nothing more than way for toy sales to spike with a brand new costume and iterations of our beloved super heroes, but along the way has kind of adapted into a life of its own. Now with a full season of a TV show under its belt and three feature films, the series has gained some traction in the animated world as a throwback to the good old 90s and early 2000 days of the Batman universe when Bruce Timm was in control of everything (instead of the darker and more angsty world of the new 52 universe such as “Son of Batman” etc.). “Mechs vs. Mutants” isn’t as good as the original entry Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts, but it is solid step up after the mediocre results of Batman Unlimited: Monster Mayhem too. We have Batman and Green arrow in giant Mecha suits, and some of the classic villains in full monster mode. Bring them together and you have a wonderful little brawls with lots of cheeky humor and light hearted adventuring.

The “Batman Unlimited” universe REALLY seems to like monster villains and mutated creatures. This time it comes in a little more “classic” form. Mr. Freeze (Oded Fehr) and The Penguin (Dana Snyder) really, REALLY don’t like being stuck out in the cold (literally it seems). After Mr. Freeze’s latest creation of a super monster that he can use to take over Gotham fails he turns to combining mutant DNA to create an invincible warrior to do his bidding. Breaking into Arkham Asylum, Freeze and Penguin recruit Bane, Killer Croc, Chemo and Clayface to come back to his lair for a little science experiment. While Mr. Freeze may be “cold” (pun intended, I couldn’t help it), he is an absolute genius in the scientific world and by combining the DNA of 3 of them he comes up with a serum that imbues increased size (Godzilla size to be exact) enormous power to the being he injects it into. Using Killer Croc and Chemo as test subjects, Freeze creates some Godzilla like minions whom he uses freezing weapons to turn Gotham into a city of Ice.

However, this is Gotham, home to the Batman (Roger Craig Smith), and you can bet that the world’s greatest detective is hot on the case. This time he and his new Robin (Damien Wayne, played by Lucien Dodge) are getting used to working together. Damien is just getting the handle of working as the Batman’s sidekick instead of his life under Ras Al Ghul and is rather frustrated at his ineptitude in comparison to his father. However, that sort of nervousness has to be put aside when Freeze’s minions start terrorizing the city. Together with Nightwing (played by Will Friedle), The Flash (Charlie Schlatter) and Green Arrow (Chris Diamantopoulos), the dynamic duo has to take care of 4 rampaging beasts the size of a VERY nasty Godzilla.

“Mechs vs. Mutants” is a silly romp, but a fun romp nonetheless. The series feels very futuristic, while still taking many of the plots and sub characters from pervious iterations of Batman, and really feels like “Justice League” lite, with so many of the members involved in each of the “Unlimited” films. Gone is the angst and the tortured take on the characters, and in are the charming and witty personas from the Bruce Timm days (even including the character animation design). Green Arrow and The Flash are witty and sarcastically cheery, while Batman and Robin are a bit chummier than their New 52 counterparts.

This outing is very simple really. Freeze has unleashed mutants who are giant, and the toy centric series really has to introduce a new action figure so have the Bat-Mech and the Arrow-Mech to come out and tear things up a little. In that respect the movie delivers everything it set out to do. Things go boom, and the mechas get to tear up the city a little while the heroes make quips at each other. On the other hand, it’s not as engaging or in depth as “Monster Mayhem” was, and feels more like an extended TV episode at times (which isn’t all bad really. Some of the best Batman lore has been from the animated TV shows. What makes the series fun is the voice actors and their love for their craft. I still love that Will Friedle, who played Terry McGinnis/Future Batman, in “Batman Beyond” is voicing Nightwing. Brings back the late Highschool days where I was tuning in to watch Terry become the next generation of Bats with old man Kevin Conroy in the background. Probably one of the better Batman shows out there (besides the 90s animated show).


Not Rated by the MPAA

Video :4stars:
Although downgraded to DVDs 480p lines of resolution, "Batman Unlimited: Mechs vs Mutants" is a nice looking disc. Colors for the unlimited universe are bright and cheerful, with tons of primary colors as well as the standard blacks and grays that saturate the Gotham nights cape. Red Robin’s outfit is bright and shiny as can be, with the neon green of Arrow’s suit to add to the plethora of colors. Fine detail is great for the limited animation style, but there is nothing technically wrong with the encode. The lines are clean and there is no digital manipulation to be seen, and even the normal color banding that comes with the territory for a WB animated film is not really bad at all. There's a few scenes where the night sky shows some fairly aggressive banding, as well as the underwater bit near the beginning, but it's nowhere near as frustrating as some of the most mainstream animated Batman movies have been. Black levels are suitably dark, with plenty of shadow detail, but as I said. The banding tends to show up in the night time sky and the dark under water sequences.

Audio :4stars:
Sadly, without Blu-ray there is no DTS-HD MA track, but the sound mix between the DVD and a Blu-ray is not as wild as you might think (at least for these films). The mix is simplistic and appropriately aggressive for the show at hand. The fists and pounding away of the giant villains is appropriately powerful, and the roar and swoosh of the batmobile comes through loud and clear. Dialog is never under any negative light, as the vocals maintain a crisp clarity that is centered right there in the middle front speaker as usual. LFE is tight and punchy, although it is a noticeable dip from the raw power that comes from a lossless audio track, but still a very nice amount for a lowly dolby digital track. Sometimes a few of the impacts felt a little bit thin, but never enough for me to really get annoyed. Instead it’s a fairly dynamic experience with some good use of the surrounds (listen to the Gotham River when Killer Croc comes out of the ocean for the first time).

Extras :1.5stars:

• Batman the Brave and the Bold - Night of the Batman (Bonus Cartoon)
• Trailers

Overall: :3.5stars:

The film is not that good of a film sadly, there are some fun fictionalized moments, and some good scripture references, but the cheap set designs and shoddy acting really bring the movie down. Everyone in the movie seems to be stumbling around in the dark with middle school level acting, with the only two people seeming to try at all being John Rhys-Davies and Stephen Baldwin. Even though Stephen hams it up with the intensity of John Travolta playing Nick Cage in “Face/Off”. There’s a scenery chewing hilarity in his actions and demeanor that elicits more than a few groans and chuckles from this viewer. Those who really love these Christian films, despite the poor dialog and acting, may get something out of this, but sadly I would list this more as something one would skip rather than eagerly watch.

Additional Information:

Starring: Carlos Alazraqui, Troy Baker, Chris Diamantopoulos
Directed By: Curt Geda
Written By: Kevin Burke, Chris Wyatt
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 MPEG2
Audio: English: Dolby Digital 5.1, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Thai DD 5.1
Studio: Warner Brothers
Rated: NR
Runtime: 72 Minutes
DVD Release Date: September 13th, 2016

Buy Batman Unlimited: Mechs vs Mutants on DVD at Amazon

Recommendation: Fun Watch

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