Featured Screen Shot
Lois: How could you have lied to me like that?
Bruce: Now I never actually said I wasn’t Batman.
Lois: <slaps the wound she was dressing>
as the Lexwing explodes with the Joker on board
Batman: At this moment he probably is.
Synopsis "World's Finest Part Three"
Previously in Part One: The cash-strapped Joker has hired himself out to Lex Luthor with the promise that he’ll kill Superman using a stolen kryptonite statue. The Batman, as Bruce Wayne, has followed the Joker to Metropolis under the pretence of overseeing a business deal with Lex. Wayne’s romance with Lois Lane does not impressed Superman. In Part Two: The Joker’s first attempt to kill Superman fails when he is saved by the Batman, but the Joker manages to escape with half the kryptonite. Lex and Joker then realise that they’ll have to deal with both heroes. Superman is drawn away with a fake distress call while the Joker ambushes Batman with a Wayne-Lex T7 (a spider-like robot Bruce Wayne and Lex Luthor had been co-developing).
Batman uses his rocket pack to dodge the T7′s laser, but his bomblets don’t dent its armour. His luck eventually runs out and the laser destroys his rocket motor forcing him unceremoniously to the ground. He escapes on-top a bus, but the robot spies him and careers through the traffic after him. Batman means to reach the Daily Planet and Superman’s assumed help, but Lois Lane is the only person in the newsroom when he arrives. He grabs her and runs for the stairwell, but she tells him that Superman is still out at sea.
The T7 follows them into the room that houses the Planet’s massive printing presses. Batman’s cowl is ripped off when his cape becomes caught in one of the printing presses. Bruce Wayne retrieves his Batman cowl after disabling the T7, but it’s too late to stop Lois noticing his face. She asks him “So when were you going to tell me? The honeymoon?” The T7 suddenly revives and advances on them, but it is flattened by the newly arrived Superman who innocently asks “Did I miss anything?”
Later, Lois dresses Bruce’s wounds in his hotel suite. He tries to laugh off the revelation of his secret identity (“Now I never actually said I wasn’t Batman”), but Lois is angry. Not only did he deceive her, but she is sitting on the hottest story of the year and can’t report it. Bruce tells Superman that it’s ironic that Lois likes Bruce Wayne and Superman, but isn’t so keen on the Batman and Clark Kent. Being so exposed isn’t easy for Bruce, but he and Superman agree that they need to work more closely if they are to bring Luthor and the Joker to justice.
Luthor’s operators report the T7′s failure to him. He realises that the heroes will trace the robot back to his company so he arranges for the Joker to meet him at his robotics research facility. Once there the Joker realises that Luthor is setting him and Harley up to take the fall for their failed scheme. He double crosses them first and over powers Lex and Mercy. Harley Quinn paints Luthor’s Lexwing to look like a smile while the Joker ducktapes Luthor into the copilot’s seat. The Joker notices Superman and Batman’s approach on radar and orders Harley to join him at the Lexwing’s controls.
The Joker leaves a squad the T7′s larger brothers to deal with the heroes while he fires up the Lexwing for a rendezvous with Metropolis. Luthor has cost him dearly so he will deprive Luthor of everything he has ever built – which turns out to he half of Metropolis. The heroes take down the first two waves of oversized robots with superstrength, heat-vision, and electrified batarangs. They save Mercy (who had been ducktaped to one of the robots) and she tells them of the Joker’s plan. Superman stays behind to deal with the last super-sized robot while the Batman goes after the Joker. However, the Joker has taped the final piece of kryptonite to it. The kryptonite allows the last robot to pummel Superman. It flattens Superman with a lead-lined door, but the lead creates a barrier between him and the kryptonite radiation. He then uses the door as a battering ram to squash the robot like a bug.
The Lexwing is circling over Metropolis as the insane clown strafes any buildings marked Lexcorp with its missiles. The Lexwing is rocked by an explosion as the Batplane’s own missiles hit it, but they do little to dent on the massive aircraft. The Joker stabs randomly at the weapons panel trying to find air-to-air missiles to fire at the Batplane. He fires off dozens of poorly aimed missiles until one of them clips the Batplane. The Batman is forced to ejects, but manages to grabs onto the Lexwing with his razer sharp gloves as he falls. He then enters the Lexwing by blowing open an access panel.
The Batman surprises the Joker at the controls of the Lexwing and wrestles him away. The out of control Lexwing plummets towards Metropolis until Superman arrives to push it skyward. The Joker grabs a bag of exploding marbles, but Batman knocks them from his grasp and they are sent rolling across the Lexwing’s flight deck. They explode as Superman rips through the floor. He grabs Luthor (still ducktaped to the copilots chair) while Batman grabs Harley Quinn and they jump out of the hole Superman made on his way in. The Joker giggles insanely as the Lexwing explodes in as a massive fireball.
It seems impossible that the Joker could have escaped, but the Coast Guards never find his body. The D.A. questions Lex over the Joker’s rampage, but no charges are brought. WayneTech and Bruce Wayne then publicly sever all connections with Lexcorp. Alfred packs up the Batman’s gear as Bruce Wayne asks Lois to reconsider her decision to stay in Metropolis. She still loves him, but she doesn’t want to get drawn into Batman’s world. Bruce passes Clark on the way to his plane and jokes that Lois is now solely his problem.
Superman’s timing. He’s getting better.
Never ask how the Joker survives. He just does, okay.
The Superman writers had held off on a Superman/Lois Lane romance until immediately prior to this movie. “Brave New Metropolis” started a sequence of stories that explored the issue from a number of different angles. In “Brave New Metropolis” Lois finally realises how much Superman loves her when she sees what a parallel universe Superman did in her name after his Lois died. Then in “Ghost In The Machine” Mercy’s one-sided affection for Luthor is explored. The route that this move takes, of pushing Lois and Clark even further apart by putting Bruce Wayne between then, is interesting and makes Clark realise that Lois isn’t going to be single forever. For all the action in this episode I really think it’s Dana Delany’s acting as Lois Lane that stands out the most. Her worry as Bruce/Batman goes back into action is palpable. By contrast, the ever so smooth Bruce Wayne looks almost callow as he hands her over to Clark Kent.
As mentioned in the first two reviews, this Batman is drawn with a broader brush that in his own series. He has access to what Grant Morrison once referred in a story as his “sci-fi cupboard” – that strange stash of super-weaponry that he only ever seems to use outside of his own cartoon/comic-book. Examples here include the glove talons and the electrified batarangs. I do wonder, however, where upon his person he kept that massive explosive charge he used to break into the Lexwing. The fight sequence with the robots illustrates part of the problem of teaming these characters. The smaller version chases Batman all over Metropolis, but was no match for Superman. Yet the the larger versions that do give Superman pause are dropped instantly by the Batman’s wonder gadget (which he somehow forgot to use against the smaller robot). Despite that the unevenness of their abilities doesn’t stand-out too much.
I’m conflicted over what rating to give this third part of “World’s Finest”. It’s a great episode, but doesn’t really grab me as much as a single episode as the first two parts did. On its own I give it 3 stars, but I’d given the entire movie 3.5 stars.
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