Over the weekend, I finally got a chance to watch this latest movie. It was definitely one of my favorites in recent years! I haven't done a review here in a while, and since a few people requested I do one via comments and email, I thought I'd post my review of the film for you all to read. I should probably note that I'm not all that familiar with the Batman franchise as it seems many of you are, so I wasn't as familiar some of the Batman references as a lot of you all may be.
And of course, if you haven't had a chance to watch the film yet, I would recommend waiting to read this post, as there are spoilers ahead! :)
This was a fantastic film right from the beginning! Generally, the recent Scooby DTVs (particularly the LEGO ones) have been a bit of a hit-or-miss in certain aspects, but this one was a big win from all departments for me!
I loved all the references! It was so clever how they worked the intro for The New Scooby-Doo Movies into the intro. Admittedly, I haven't caught up on the Scooby-Doo! Team Up comics and the issues I've read have been very random and in no particular order. I did, however, see it mentioned elsewhere online that the film also had several allusions to the Scooby-Doo! Team Up comic series. I noticed some familiar superheroes that Scooby has teamed up with from some of the recent comic solicitations I've posted on here. I believe almost all of the superheroes have been in previous issues of Team Up, including Plastic Man, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, Black Canary (who was actually from this month's issue!) and Detective Chimp. The only superhero I don't think had appeared previously was The Question (who, admittedly, I had never heard of before this film), though I may be totally wrong on that.
I also liked the huge lineup of Batman villains! It was fun to see Joker and Penguin teamed up together again, as I'm presuming it's some sort of reference to the New Scooby-Doo Movies episodes they both appeared in (I don't think they had ever teamed up before. And you can probably tell by now that my knowledge of the Batman franchise is very limited lol). I'll admit I wasn't familiar with all of the villains, though I did recognize classics like Catwoman, Poison Ivy, The Riddler, Two-Face and of course Harley Quinn! I was a bit disappointed when we didn't see any of the Scooby villains, as was promised in the original press release! I was expecting them throughout the whole film, and was a bit disappointed when they never showed up at all. That poses the question of why the press release included them in the first place, which I can't think of any reason other than maybe the film was retooled at the last minute.
The mystery in this film was so interesting and intricate! I'll admit I never would have expected Clayface to be the Crimson Cloak, until of course he started morphing/bubbling up while in the disguise. I absolutely loved the Crimson Cloak as the main villain! His voice, particularly when he whispered "Batman," was sooo spooky! The physical aspects of his disguise were really cool looking as well, and much different from the typical ghosts we've seen in the past. The twist ending where the Riddler was actually behind it all was really unexpected! I personally love when they add endings or layers to the mystery that are difficult to figure out, because the mysteries can sometimes be overly easy to guess, particularly in some of the latest DTVs.
The one criticism I did have about the overall mystery was why the Mystery Analysts didn't believe Batman about the Crimson Cloak letting all the villains out of Arkham. They had all seen the Crimson Cloak the first time he appeared with Batman and the gang, so it didn't entirely make sense why they suddenly wouldn't believe Batman and side with Detective Bullock. They all could have vouched that they had at least seen the Crimson Cloak with Batman earlier, rather than not mentioning anything and allowing Batman to take the blame. This may be something I missed not being a big Batman fan, but I didn't like how they made the Penguin quack. It sounded overly cheesy and didn't fit with his last couple of appearances. However, I don't know if his quacking was simply left out of his past appearances in the Scooby franchise, or if that is normal for him in other Batman episodes/movies.
Lastly, I have to say I loved the gang dressing up in the Batman costumes. It was the perfect ending to a perfect movie! It was quite heartwarming to see Batman rescue Professor Milo in the end and reunite him with his father. Daphne's final comment regarding that she knew who Batman really was so cute! You'd have to have a heart as cold as the Joker himself not to find that incredibly adorable!
Overall, I absolutely loved this movie and would highly recommend it to all Scooby fans! I'm half wondering if this movie is a testing ground for the next series, Scooby-Doo! Guess Who? if it is truly a revival of The New Scooby-Doo Movies as has been rumored. Either way, I hope to see more fabulous movies and crossovers like this one sometime in the future!