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The Batman Superman Movie: World’s Finest


Movie review of The Batman Superman Movie: World’s Finest — €“ telling the story of how the world’s 2 foremost superheroes met, initially disliking each other’s method of operating, clash over a mutual attraction to Lois Lane, and how they develop a grudging respect for each other … While defeating the plans of Lex Luthor and the Joker as well!

The Batman Superman Movie: World’s Finest (1998) starring the voice talents of Tim Daly, Dana Delany, Kevin Conroy, Clancy Brown, and Mark Hamill

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of the Batman: The Animated Series, and consider that to be the yardstick that superhero cartoons should be measured by.   The same people did the same treatment of Superman in the animated Superman series, with the same excellent results.   Both shows developed the main characters as real human beings, with all of the problems and concerns that they faced, and made the audience care about the people underneath the colored spandex.   In the second season of the Superman cartoon, three consecutive episodes detailed the meeting of these two heroes, with their very disparate methods of working, and views of the world.  And threw in a struggle between the two of them for the romantic interest of Lois Lane, as well.

Oh, and the Joker and Lex Luthor are here as well.   It’s not that they’re not menacing, or important.  They’re both, and I’ve never heard Mark Hamill more maniacally happy than his portrayal of the Joker here.  But this movie is really about the interaction between the main characters.   These two villains, however, cause the catalyst for their meeting, and much of the dramatic tension as well.

The basic plot has the Joker steal an old emerald statue.  Except that it’s not emerald, it’s really Kryptonite, the only substance capable of killing Superman.   He takes his large chunk of Kryptonite to Metropolis, to proposition Lex Luthor with a simple exchange: the death of Superman in exchange for a Billion dollars, to finance the Joker’s hedonistic lifestyle.   Initially, Luthor refuses.  It’s not that he doesn’t want Superman dead, he simply can’t trust a live wire like the Joker to keep his name out of it.   But the Joker never learned to take “no”€ for an answer …

I won’t spoil the rest of the movie except to say that it’s excellent, with both heroes reflecting on their roles, their feelings for Lois, how each other operates, how different — and similar — €”they are to each other.   There are also various traps, fights, revelations, back-stabbing, etc.   But what do you expect from Lex Luthor, Mercy Graves, the Joker, and Harley Quinn?

It’s an excellent movie, that plays as though the three episodes were originally scripted to be a movie, that was broken up into three episodes when that didn’t happen.   I truly enjoyed it, as did my four younger children who watched it with me.  It has a high replay value as well.   I strongly recommend it, rating it 4 stars out of 5.   The only reason to not buy it is if you already have the second season of Superman on DVD — or if you’re rooting for the villains.

Editorial review of The Batman Superman Movie: World’s Finest, courtesy of Amazon.com

This feature-length tape began as a three-episode story line on the animated TV series, a superhero crossover where Bruce Wayne visits Metropolis and the Dark Knight meets the Man of Steel for the first time. The two heroes mix like oil and water, the law-and-order Superman suspicious of Batman’s rather ruthless methods; but they form an uneasy partnership when Lex Luthor and the Joker team up to take on the duo. To add a personal dimension to the already edgy rivalry, Wayne romances Lois Lane under Clark Kent’s very nose.

The stylized animation and sharp design of the TV series give the limited animation a sleek, smooth quality and an energetic sense of movement. Timothy Daly supplies the voices for Clark Kent and (in a deeper register) Superman, with Kevin Conroy performing the same vocal trick for Bruce Wayne/Batman; but Dana Delany only has to worry about one persona as Lois Lane. The once-and-future Luke Skywalker, cult film star turned voice actor Mark Hamill, provides the Joker’s cackling banter. — €”Sean Axmaker.

Movie quotes from The Superman Batman Movie

[Superman uses x-ray vision to see that Batman: is really Bruce Wayne]
Superman (Tim Daly): Bruce Wayne!
Batman (Kevin Conroy): You peeked.

Lois Lane (Dana Delany): How could you have lied to me like that?
Bruce Wayne (Kevin Conroy): Now I never actually said I wasn’t Batman.

Clark Kent (Tim Daly): Any sign of the comedian?
Bruce Wayne (Kevin Conroy): Three nights, and not so much as a green hair.
Clark Kent (Tim Daly): Of course, you have been dividing your time between work and Lois.
Bruce Wayne (Kevin Conroy): Is that a problem?
Clark Kent (Tim Daly): Let’s just say I’m concerned. Your reputation is — €dubious. In and out of costume.
Bruce Wayne (Kevin Conroy): Don’t worry. I’m taking Lois quite seriously. Besides, it seems to me you had your chance.

Joker (Mark Hamill): Pay me one billion dollars, and I’ll kill Superman!
Lex Luthor (Clancy Brown): [chuckles] What makes you think you can kill Superman when you can’t even handle a mere mortal in a Halloween costume?
Joker (Mark Hamill): [seizes Luthor by his jacket] There’s nothing mere about that mortal!

[Joker’s plane crashes into the sea and explodes]
Harley Quinn (Arleen Sorkin): Puddin’!
Batman (Kevin Conroy): At this point, he probably is.

[first lines]
Harley Quinn (Arleen Sorkin): Hang on there, Clyde!
Pawn Shop Broker: Sorry, miss, we’re closed.
Harley Quinn (Arleen Sorkin): Just look at what I’m selling! You’ll plotz!

[Batman (Kevin Conroy): takes evidence and leaves]
Detective Harvey Bullock: Hey, he can’t leave a crime scene with evidence.
Commissioner James Gordon: You want to stop him? Be my guest!

Terrorist: Let’s make an example of this hero.
[shoves Lois into a seat, buckles her seat belt and pulls it tight]
Terrorist: A very tragic example, I’m afraid, Miss — €?
Lois Lane (Dana Delany): Lane.
Terrorist: Lane? Lois Lane? The one Superman always saves?
Lois Lane (Dana Delany): — €˜Fraid so.

Lois Lane (Dana Delany): Um, Superman.
Superman (Tim Daly): Yes?
Lois Lane (Dana Delany): Um, how can I put this: I was just thinking — €¦ it might be nice to see each other when I wasn’t falling out a window or something. Not that I’m not grateful for all the times you’ve helped me, you understand.
Superman (Tim Daly): I understand.
Lois Lane (Dana Delany): You do?

[Lois, kicking herself for asking Superman on a date, talks to herself]
Lois Lane (Dana Delany): I understand, Lois. Really, you do? Yep, you’re a complete moron. Why thank you, Superman, I think I’m a total loser, too. Jeez.

Lex Luthor (Clancy Brown): The office, now.
Harley Quinn (Arleen Sorkin): Swell, Mr. L.
Lex Luthor (Clancy Brown): Mr. L?

[Harley’s driving Lex Luthor’s limo]
Harley Quinn (Arleen Sorkin): Whoa, momma, check out the cute hitchhiker!
The Joker (Mark Hamill): [hitchhiking and showing off his gams] Yoo-hoo!

The Joker (Mark Hamill): I sense we are kindred spirits, you and I. Oh, there are differences, to be sure — like hair.
[Chuckles and pat’s Luthor’s bald head]

[to Clark Kent, about Bruce Wayne]
Lois Lane (Dana Delany): I hear he’s nothing but Gotham trash. Rich, spoiled —
[sees Bruce Wayne disembarking from his jet]
Lois Lane (Dana Delany): — and absolutely gorgeous!

Bruce Wayne (Kevin Conroy): I don’t like guns.

Clark Kent (Tim Daly): So just keeps your ears open. Let me know if you hear any buzz about The Joker.
Bibbo: Sure thing Mr. Kent. Eh, but, eh, which one? There’s lots of jokers around here.

Batman (Kevin Conroy): Where’s the Joker?
Binko: Who knows? Makin’ ha-ha with Harley Quinn.

[Batman (Kevin Conroy): holds up a small sliver of Kryptonite to Superman, who buckles]
Batman (Kevin Conroy): It doesn’t take much, does it?

[after realizing Batman (Kevin Conroy): has discovered his identity]
Clark Kent (Tim Daly): Touche.

[to Bruce Wayne, on dating Lois Lane]
The Joker (Mark Hamill): My, you do live dangerously. Don’t you realize you’re moving in on Superman’s main squeeze?

[Bruce Wayne topples over the edge of a skyscraper]
The Joker (Mark Hamill): See that he’s street pizza! In this town, some flying fool could have caught him!

Lois Lane (Dana Delany): [to The Joker] You sick, demented, murdering freak!
Harley Quinn (Arleen Sorkin): [gasp] How rude!

[Batman (Kevin Conroy): encourages a Kryptonite-dazed Superman]
Batman (Kevin Conroy): Snap out of it, Kent, or Joker gets the last laugh.

Harley Quinn (Arleen Sorkin): [holding a gingerbread Batman cookie] Hello, Mr. J. I’m Batman! Eat me! Eat me! Eat me!

[the Joker sees Batman fly towards him with a jetpack]
The Joker (Mark Hamill): Copy-bat! Copy-bat! Suffering from propulsion envy, Batboy?

The Joker (Mark Hamill): Oh, this could be a fair fight after all! And who wants to see that?

[Batman (Kevin Conroy): and Lois Lane are pursued by a deadly robot]
Batman (Kevin Conroy): How do I contact Superman?
Lois Lane (Dana Delany): He’s out at sea!
Batman (Kevin Conroy): Never around when you need him.

[Lois Lane discovers Bruce Wayne is Batman]
Lois Lane (Dana Delany): So when were you going to tell me? The honeymoon?

Lois Lane (Dana Delany): I’ll get some iodine for that scrape. Burning, stinging iodine.

Batman (Kevin Conroy): It’s ironic, you know. She likes Bruce Wayne and she likes Superman. It’s the other two guys she’s not crazy about.
Superman (Tim Daly): Too bad we can’t mix-and-match.

[Batman (Kevin Conroy): puts on his cowl, ready to leave. Lois Lane walks in]
Lois Lane (Dana Delany): Oh, no.
Batman (Kevin Conroy): Has to be done.
Lois Lane (Dana Delany): I don’t suppose a stern lecture on unnecessary risk-taking is going to sway you.
Batman (Kevin Conroy): Sorry.
Lois Lane (Dana Delany): I didn’t think so. Just be — €
[Batman (Kevin Conroy): is gone]
Lois Lane (Dana Delany): — € careful.

Superman (Tim Daly): Luthor’s been lining all his buildings with lead. Blocks my X-ray vision.
Batman (Kevin Conroy): Well, there’s always the direct approach.
[Superman smashes through the wall. Batman approves]
Batman (Kevin Conroy): You’re learning.

[Mercy is watching Harley Quinn, on TV, being tossed into a padded wagon in a straightjacket]
Harley Quinn (Arleen Sorkin): I want a lawyer! I want a doctor! I want a cheese sandwich!
Mercy Graves: Now that’s funny! Ha, ha, ha!

[Bruce Wayne says good-bye to Clark Kent]
Bruce Wayne (Kevin Conroy): She’s all yours now, if you can handle that. But you’d better be good to her — € because I know where you live.

[Superman has just broken in on the Joker]
The Joker (Mark Hamill): More powerful than a locomotive — € and just about as subtle.

Superman (Tim Daly): Thanks. I couldn’t have saved Lois without your help.
Batman (Kevin Conroy): I’m aware of that.

Batman (Kevin Conroy): Expect the unexpected.

Superman (Tim Daly): [after Batman throws Superman across the room with a judo throw, Superman knocks him onto a table] I heard you were crazy, but I didn’t think you were stupid.

Joker (Mark Hamill): Ceasar Carlini, my old pal! Why I haven’t seen you since — € wait, I’ve never seen you, have I? You need to get out more.

Lex Luthor (Clancy Brown): [grabs Joker] You maniac! You idiot! How dare you use one of my laboratories for your — €?
Joker (Mark Hamill): Harley?
[Harley somersaults out and strikes a ridiculous fighting stance]
Harley Quinn (Arleen Sorkin): Put him down, baldy!
Lex Luthor (Clancy Brown): Mercy?
[Mercy slams a flying kick into Harley]
Mercy Graves: Here’s for that punch in the face!
Joker (Mark Hamill): [to Luthor] Can’t we discuss this like gentlemen?
[Luthor reluctantly releases Joker, while sounds of fighting continue in the background]
Harley Quinn (Arleen Sorkin): Ooh, listen to Little Miss Can’t-Take-A-Joke!
[as Joker guides Luthor to a chair, Mercy goes flying across the room]
Joker (Mark Hamill): Thank you. Have a seat, please.
[as they sit, Harley charges across the room]
Harley Quinn (Arleen Sorkin): BANZAI!

[as Luthor and Joker finish their discussion, Mercy and Harley are still pounding each other’s heads on the floor]
Lex Luthor (Clancy Brown): Mercy, let’s go!
[to Joker]
Lex Luthor (Clancy Brown): Keep in mind, this is your last chance.
[He walks out. Mercy limps after him, groaning. Harley limps over to Joker, also groaning]
Joker (Mark Hamill): How you doin’, slugger?
Harley Quinn (Arleen Sorkin): A-okay, Mr. J!
[He pats her on the shoulder. She collapses]

Lois Lane (Dana Delany): You want to know what really galls me? Besides the fact that the new man in my life is really two men? It’s that I’m sitting on the hottest story of the year — €œBatman Unmasked! — €and there’s not a blessed thing I can do about it!
Bruce Wayne (Kevin Conroy): Then you really do love me.

[Alfred opens a case, revealing a jet pack and a set of glider wings]
Alfred Pennyworth: If I may be so bold, sir. When in Rome …

Lois Lane (Dana Delany): [typing at her desk] … the Senator declined comment. — € Done.
[Bruce appears and kisses her cheek]
Bruce Wayne (Kevin Conroy): And not a moment too soon.
Lois Lane (Dana Delany): Bruce! When did you …?
Bruce Wayne (Kevin Conroy): About three paragraphs ago. I didn’t want to disturb you.

Lois Lane (Dana Delany): Hey, Clark, keep Bruce company for a minute while I see the Chief, okay?
Clark Kent (Tim Daly): Uh, Lois …
Lois Lane (Dana Delany): Shh, don’t be intimidated. Regale him with stories of
[posh voice]
Lois Lane (Dana Delany): the nightlife in Smallville.

Clark Kent (Tim Daly): [answers phone] Hello?
Lois Lane (Dana Delany): Hi, it’s me. I just wanted to let you know I’ll be in late tomorrow morning. I’m having breakfast with Bruce.
Clark Kent (Tim Daly): Isn’t that special.
Lois Lane (Dana Delany): Do I detect a note of disapproval?
Clark Kent (Tim Daly): You were the one who compared him to garbage.
Lois Lane (Dana Delany): Well, I was wrong. He’s very thoughtful, romantic, and a lot deeper than the tabloids would have you believe.
[Clark looks closer at his cape and sees a miniature bat-shaped tracking device planted on it]
Lois Lane (Dana Delany): You’d be surprised.
Clark Kent (Tim Daly): Would I now?

[after the Batplane buzzes the Lexwing]
Joker (Mark Hamill): Batman! It’s always Batman! What you got in the way of air-to-air missiles, Lex?
Lex Luthor (Clancy Brown): You’re asking *me* for help?
Joker (Mark Hamill): If I go down, you go down.
Lex Luthor (Clancy Brown): It’s a red switch.
Joker (Mark Hamill): Which red …? Oh, the heck with it!
[he jabs buttons at random]

Joker (Mark Hamill): [rubbing the seat in Lex Luthor’s limo] Ooo, rich Corinthian Leather!

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