Batman Unlimited: Monster Mayhem

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
Batman Unlimited: Monster Mayhem Movie Poster Image
Action-packed animated adventure has constant fighting.
  • NR
  • 2015
  • 81 minutes

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Good defeats evil. Teamwork is essential.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Batman and his army of superheroes are courageous, resourceful, and strong and fight hard. Villains are greedy, corrupt, ruthless. Male-driven story and behavior throughout. Only female character is Silver Banshee, a curvaceous evildoer. Heroic Cyborg and his dad are African-American.

Violence

Nonstop cartoon violence and action. Explosions, fistfights, fires, freefalls, high-speed chases, electric shocks, and general hand-to-hand combat. One action set piece gives way to another with some short dialogue and storytelling scenes interspersed.

Sex

Only female character -- Silver Banshee -- is drawn with an exaggeratedly curvaceous body.

Language
Consumerism

A DC Comics feature. DVDs promote sales of toys, games, clothing, other merchandise in this decades-old, ongoing marketing bonanza for Warner Bros. and DC licensees.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Batman Unlimited: Monster Mayhem is the second in the Batman Unlimited series of feature-length, animated DVD and digital offerings. As with the first entry, Batman and a team of his courageous sidekicks take on a supervillain (in this story it's the Joker) and his cohorts in the superhero's ongoing fight to save Gotham and the world. The action is continuous, interrupted only for a very few moments of storytelling, wisecracks, and exposition (much of it high-tech and nonessential). Bodies fly; explosions detonate; electric shocks are administered; hand-to-hand combat results in very short-lived victories; and the multitudes of the city run for their lives time and again. Female participation is almost nil; one of the Joker's attendant baddies is Silver Banshee, who has sonic powers, hypersonic screams, and a voluptuous body. Continued new forms of the Batman legend -- live-action movies, TV shows, and original DVDs such as this one -- keep the franchise and all its marketable products alive and robust.   

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What's the story?

Oh, that pesky Joker! In BATMAN UNLIMITED: MONSTER MAYHEM, the laughing villain's goals are nothing less than world domination. He plans to turn Gotham into Joker City and the whole planet into Joker World -- and all on Halloween by attacking the digital world with a deadly virus. His accomplices for this round of evildoing are Clayface, Solomon Grundy, Scarecrow, and Silver Banshee. But fear not! Batman and his powerful team -- Green Arrow, Red Robin, Nightwing, Cyborg, and newcomer tech wizard Gogo Shoto -- are there to save the day. It's a challenge. As the good guys subdue the ghastly baddies, the Joker manages to resurrect them for even more fights in even more combat-ready places (an abandoned amusement park, a Museum of History with its cache of World War II weapons, and even a time-traveling moment that sends them to the world of dinosaurs and pterodactyls). With so many fearsome battles, could this be the moment when the dastardly Joker survives to win the day? Or is an inevitable third installment of Batman Unlimited soon to appear on DVD?

Is it any good?

For fans of rock-'em-sock-'em explosions, electrical mayhem, and slick animation, this entry in the Batman Unlimited series will be a treat. The array of colorful, cackling, almost-all-powerful villains, headed by the popular Joker, provides Team Batman with ever-new challenges, fantastical weaponry, and chances to prove its superiority. It seems that 80 minutes of testosterone-fueled action, with a few laughs and a couple of high-tech conversations thrown in, continues to win the hearts of a young -- mostly male -- audience, tapping into the Everyman (or Everyboy) hope to defeat whatever evil comes their way.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the continuous action in this movie. What about watching the same characters do battle over and over again is satisfying to you? Does it have more to do with seeing good guys win, or could it be enjoyment of the different weaponry, gadgetry, outrageous fighting, and places under siege? Is the outcome ever surprising to you?

  • Are you aware of the lack of female characters in the DC Comics brand? In this movie there is no female hero and only one female villain. Do you think this is a good thing, a bad thing, or an acceptable situation? Why?

  • If you're a Batman fan, how has the series changed over the decades? How did earlier Batman adventures reflect the times? How is this Batman story representative of 21st-century cultural and technological advances?

Movie details

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