Batman Unlimited: Mechs vs Mutants

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
Batman Unlimited: Mechs vs Mutants Movie Poster Image
Superhero battle filled with cartoon mayhem, nonstop action.
  • NR
  • 2016
  • 75 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Meant to entertain, not educate.

Positive Messages

Good triumphs over evil. There's no better weapon than teamwork. Seat belts are always required.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Standard superhero traits: brave, loyal, resourceful, generous, team players. Villains: evil through and through, with the exception of Doctor Freeze, who may surprise. No females in this story.

Violence & Scariness

Cartoon mayhem from start to finish: explosions, fires, avalanches, hand-to-hand combat, laser-to-laser combat, gunfire, chases, vehicles careening through streets and the sky, missiles, bug-like monsters, mutant monsters, citizens running for their lives.

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Another entry in the vast Batman franchise.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters drink potions to change their physical makeup and turn them into giant monsters.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Batman Unlimited: Mechs vs Mutants is the third in the direct-to-DVD series of Batman Unlimited films. This tale is heavy on cartoon violence from the start, and the final half of the movie is all battle and explosion, all the time: High-tech vehicles careen through the skies and on the ground, and there are blasts of fire, avalanches, hand-to-hand combat, weapons firing, citizens running for their lives, monsters, giant robots, and grotesque mutants of all shapes and sizes. For kids who are at ease with such cartoon mayhem, it's business as usual, but it's not for little ones. The superheroes portrayed are all highly moral, brave, and strong; the villains are cackling, power-hungry evildoers, except for Dr. Freeze, who really only wants to find peace and quiet. It may not be a coincidence that the foes in this movie are creating on-the-spot climate change, which wreaks havoc on Gotham City and the entire planet. Note: No females, heroic or villainous, are included in this story. Fine for fans of nonstop action, with a bit of humor added to the mix. 

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What's the story?

It's chaos when two of Batman's archenemies get together in BATMAN UNLIMITED: MECHS VS MUTANTS. The Penguin and Dr. Freeze, with differing motivations, want to immobilize Gotham City, and the weapon they're using is a Giant Freeze! As the city begins to frost over, Batman and Robin get ready to take on this instant threat. Little do they know, however, that the villains have more terrible threats planned. Not only do they break Bane, Chemo, and Clayface out of Arkham Asylum, but they have the means to use the deviants' unusual composition to transform them into giant mutants. Combining Bane's venom, which enlarges and makes him strong; Chemo's toxic sludge and acid mutations; and Clayface's mud-stretching ability to turn into anything, Penguin and Dr. Freeze have the most horrific weapons at their service. And Killer Croc is along for the ride, as well. Gotham City is under siege, in danger of being turned into the Arctic! But Batman, Robin, Green Arrow, NightWing, and Flash are up to the challenge that has been set before them. Armed with their super resources, determination, bravery, and the ability to "mutate" themselves, Green Arrow and Batman become giant Mech robots, battling the mutants to save their city. Together with the rest of their heroic brothers, it's an explosive fight to the finish.

Is it any good?

Superhero fans will enjoy the energy and nonstop action in this third movie in the Batman Unlimited series. What more could young Batman fans hope for but formidable enemies blown up to gigantic proportions, armed with ever-new and -lethal weapons, in a cartoon celebration of mayhem? Batman Unlimited: Mechs vs Mutants manages to make old enemies new again and invent state-of-the-art schemes for Gotham City's destruction. The jokes may be less plentiful than in the first two Batman Unlimited stories, and the relationships between our heroes less interesting, but the action here won't fail to please the Batman audiences. Performances from Roger Craig Smith, Oded Fehr, Dana Snyder, and a host of other capable voice actors are, as always, solid. Animation, music, and editing are slick. Other than a television commentator, there are no female characters in this film. Fine for kids who fully understand the difference between cartoon vs. real violence. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the goal of the villains in this film. Dr. Freeze uses catastrophic weather change as a weapon to gain power over Gotham City. How does this "weapon" relate to current cultural concerns and controversies in our world? Do you think the filmmakers consciously wanted audiences to connect the dots?

  • When you learned of Dr. Freeze's reasons for his villainy, did you have any sympathy for him? Do you expect him to return as a villain in future Batman adventures? Do you think your understanding of the character will carry over to any new appearances? What other ways could he have accomplished his goals without causing chaos in Gotham City? 

  • Did you notice that there are no female superheroes or supervillains in Batman Unlimited: Mechs vs Mutants? If you're a female audience member, does this bother you? Why, or why not? Are you aware that girls will watch male-centered kids' programming but boys don't usually want to watch female-centered programming? How does this carry over to general entertainment for everyone? Do you think efforts should be made to balance the emphasis? Why, or why not?

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