Random Review: Batman: Gotham Knight

I’m a big fan of superheroes in general, but Batman has been my favorite ever since the first Tim Burton movie. Outside of the atrocious “Batman and Robin” I’d have to say I’ve liked all of the movies and TV shows, and he kicked all kinds of ass in the Justice League animated series.

Needless to say, this means that the new straight-to-video Gotham Knight movie was a Day One purchase for me. The fact that Superman:Doomsday and Justice League:New Frontier rocked made it all the easier. All I knew was that it was going to be a series of shorts done by different directors that formed one long story, and some of those directors were going to be from Japan. Would it be called Batmanime then? In any event, the story seems to take place around the time of Batman Begins, before Batman is really established in Gotham City.

The first segment featured a bunch of kids exchanging their stories of how they ran across Batman during the same day. At first the episode “P.O.V.” came to mind, but the twist here is that we literally get to see Batman through the descriptions and imaginations of the kids, which was pretty cool. Needless to say, none of them come even close to the real thing. The overall look reminded me of Aeon Flux somewhat, but without having the super-skinny characters. The ending got a good laugh out of me, and I enjoyed this segment.

The second segment focuses on the Gotham City PD, with a pair of detectives playing “clean up” after Batman, as they take a perpetrator to jail. One trusts Batman, the other does not, its pretty straightforward stuff, but the visuals were pretty cool. Instead of being just a prison, Arkham Asylum is now literally an island of madness, and there are some pretty awesome views of Batman. Not too bad, the visual kickassery makes up for the by-the-numbers plot.

On to segment three, this one looks more anime-ish, to me, at least. The first thing that struck me as odd is Bruce Wayne looks about 20 years younger than he sounds, Kevin Conroy’s voice just does not seem to fit the character’s appearance. Aside from that, a good piece featuring Lucius Fox and Bruce Wayne, very reminiscent of Batman Begins.

Halfway done, and I like what I’ve seen so far. Our two detectives briefly return in the fourth segment (I wonder if they’re in the upcoming movie?) as we see Batman tracking down a kidnapper. Some freaky stuff goes down in this one, not much story to talk about, just Batman kicking ass and taking names to some pretty awesome visuals.

Flashbacks rule the day in the fifth segment, as we see Batman at the end of a pretty rough day. There is a interesting story that is told, though, and I have to say this has been my favorite segment so far.

Last one to go, the look is more Western, and Batman is up against an adversary the likes of which I certainly haven’t seen before…I haven’t really spoiled much yet, but this should be good…and it FARKING KICKED ASS.

I’d say overall the movie is worth watching for the casual Bat-watcher, but a definite buy for fans. Gotham Knight has some great visuals and while a few segments don’t have much to offer story-wise, the package as a whole works. It has something different to offer but it takes a look at sides of Batman that we don’t normally see.

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