Really, anyone on here who will rant and rage about how "It's for kids" really must be no fun at all because this movie comes out of the same mindset that brought us Transformers, Ninja Turtles, G.I. Joe, Skeleton Warriors, Thundercats, Cow-Boys of Moo Mesa, He-Man, and perhaps the greatest thing to ever come out of the 1990s, King Arthur and the Knights of Justice: it was made to sell toys.
Now, that's not to say it's bad, just a bit disappointing. On the one hand, the movie had the perfect opportunity to paint Oswald Cobblepot as a sympathetic villain, being a deformed man driven to villainy in a misguided attempt to garner fear and respect from those who shunned him. However, any sympathy I had for him quickly evaporated in the face of his "wipe out the human race" scheme. If they had made it more about the dilemmas he faced in high society, the movie might have been much stronger without sacrificing its toyetic animal robots.
On the other hand, a lot of elements were at play that made this movie a ton of fun to watch. First, the time placement. The film doesn't state it outright, but I'm convinced that it takes place somewhere between Justice League Unlimited and Batman Beyond in terms of in- world chronology. Gotham City looks considerably more high-tech than usual, weapons are much more laser-like, and Batman's batsuit looks like the precursor to the one Terry McGinness would eventually don in Batman Beyond. Yeah, I know it's just more attempts to sell toys, but they didn't have to make said attempts with stuff that of old school Timm/Dini fans would recognize.
Second, the cast. Even though Batman is on the front, the movie actually features half-a-dozen heroes. Aside from Batman, we also get Green Arrow (who also pulls a pretty cool stunt out-of-costume as Oliver Queen), Nightwing, Red Robin (Tim Drake), and Wally West as The Flash, further leading to my theory that this takes place after Justice League Unlimited. And there are an equal number of villains, leading to a lot of fun action scenes with various combinations of both sides facing each other.
Really, the thing that everyone seems to hate about this movie is that it's not complex and is clearly made to sell toys. Well, I'll admit I'd prefer if they'd done a bit more in terms of story or at least giving one character an arc aside from Nightwing becoming friendlier towards Flash, but as a dumb, direct-to-DVD Saturday morning cartoon that never was, it's not bad, certainly not as bad as everyone seems to be making it out to be.
And, like I said, something being made to sell toys isn't a sin. Hell, it's what gave birth to most of today's pop culture. The fun parts, at least. And, really, that's all I ask for from a movie like this.