If somebody told me that I would watch and enjoy a 3-D animated movie where Batman is fully kitted in samurai armour whilst fighting the Joker in fuedal Japan...who also has a feudal-Power Rangers-esque Arkham Asylum that moves and flings giant 'chinese stars', I would say that they're gosh-darn-tooting correct.
And guess what, I really enjoyed this movie.
Every aspect of this movie just appealed to the 8 year old in me who used to wake up extra early on Saturday mornings just to watch giant robots smash into each other and anime. From the fast paced 3-D animation to the intensely bright colour scheme to the creative action sequences, I was just sucked into this world for 85 minutes and loved almost every moment of it.
I try not to be dismissive of 3-D animation, especially since when done well it can look stunningly seemless yet I tend to not watch many animes that are soley 3-D animated. However, the animation in Batman Ninja and the action sequences were so detailed, creative and dare I say beautiful? I even liked the character designs especially how the character designers combined elements of feudal Japan with typical shounen characteristics and the traditional comic book designs. I say this knowing many people are still recovering from how Damien Wayne was designed, but I still liked it. It was different, off-centre, creative and fresh - something that I feel like has been lacking lately in almost every superhero movies to date.
Absolutely chaotic! Just how I love him. Honestly I loved this totally unhinged, psychotically-fun Joker who in my opinion had some funny one-liners and absurdly comical plans. This Joker is intent on being chaotic and destructive for the fun of it and I've always felt that is the essence of the Joker. Honestly as a villain, this incarnation of the Joker is just absolutely fun to watch, I didn't exactly root for him but I was definately enjoying myself when he was on screen.
Now for the negative:
I'm not going to lie, the plot is the weakest element of this movie. The plot wasn't exactly thrilling or anything brand new, however, I felt it was pretty clear that wasn't the point of this movie. Things happen that are basically unexplaned/impossible especially towards the last third but seriously who thinks a vigilante playboy billionare in a mask running around the streets of America is realistic anyway? This isn't a Christopher Nolan-type Batman movie that will fill you with philosophical angst or anything and it's clear that's not what this movie was made for.
Clearly this is just a fun movie that wonderfully combines the major stereotypically tropes of shounen anime such as the weird running and ridiculous fighting sequences and the heart of Batman and the Batfamily. This is clearly not a movie for ultimate die-hard fans of Batman who meticulously nitpick at the story and plot, honestly the faults in the characters and some of the plot points will probably give you an aneurysm. Probably. However if you're here for a good time and you want to see what happens when Batman fuses with shonen-style anime, well then this is probably the movie for you. Seriously if you're a Batman fan, or fan of anime or a fan of simply having fun, then watch the movie. Seriously worth it.
3.7 out of 5 stars.