This is new for me. Astute readers may have noticed that all things Batman almost always get an instant like from me. Something about the cape and cowl just rubs me right. With Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts however… Not so much.
The story itself is quite simple. Businessman Oswald Cobblepot is a new face in Gotham’s high society. He built Gotham’s highest tower, yet still is shunned for his appearance by his peers. Batman is able to link crimes perpetraded by animalistic robots and members of the “Animalitia” to Cobblepot, who turns out to be (schocker!) criminal mastermind The Penguin. Penguin is hellbent on destroying Gotham by pulling down a meteorite onto it. Will the Bat be able to stop him in time?
I’m used to seeing the Bat-universe getting reimagined over and over again. I think it keeps the franchise fresh. But here? I’m not quite sure what they were going for. Gotham looks futuristic, with flying copcars and a Blade Runner-esque cityscape. Even Batman himself dons a new costume that allows him to fly. I’m ok with that. But nothing seems to come out of it. The futuristic timeline is abandoned really early on. You see a flying cop car now and then, but that’s it. Even the new Batsuit gets dumped after a measly five minutes, Batman claiming “it needs a few modifications”. it’s a nice reference to the Batman Beyond series , but I’d have liked to see more.
Maybe the writers felt the storyline was enough scifi already? Meteorites, cybergorillas, robots, lasers, forcefields… This feels more at home in a Justice League movie than a Batman feature. Speaking of the Justice League: none of them show up. Instead we get Red Robin, Nightwing, Green Arrow and Flash helping out the Bat.
It all feels a bit… Forced. It looks more like a toy commercial than an actual movie. Which shouldn’t come as a surprise, seeing as Batman Unlimited is based on the Mattel toyline by the same name. Hmm. That actually explains a lot. A new movie is apparently coming soon, accompanied by a new series of cartoons. Maybe I’ll give it a shot…
All in all I wouldn’t really recommend this one. Unless you’ve got little Batfans running around that like the toys. For the more adult Batfans, there are far better features to be found