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</script></div>{/googleAds}DC Comics have been doing well with their feature-length animated movies, since they launched in 2007. So far we've seen a decent adaptation of the famous ‘Death of Superman' storyline from the 90's; and recently an impressive period approach to the ‘Justice League of America' comic. It came as no surprise when it was announced that the next cab off the rank was to involve arguably DC's most popular character: Batman.

Batman Gotham KnightDC continues to go to great lengths to supply content that doesn't fall into the basket of predictable, which is no easy task, considering some of these characters are pushing 70. In this ‘tie-in' animated film, set between ‘Batman Begins' and the new box office king ‘The Dark Knight,' DC have decided to follow the same approach the Wachowski Brothers did when their Matrix sequels arrived. What you get is a collection of segments, directed by various Anime bigwigs and written by various comic writers all different approaches, all different tones, styles, but supposed to combine into one sequential narrative. It doesn't work.

While there is no denying there is some serious talent behind this various segments, delivering breathtaking animation, live action level sound, and a talented voice cast (get to the kicker of that subject further down), the presentation and tonal shifts of this film as a whole make it impossible to settle into. In addition, the narrative connections between each segment for the most part are wafer thin, and as a whole the story is simply average: not worthy as a tie in to the Nolan Batman films. This is a film that will appeal to anime enthusiasts, but will have a hard time winning over somebody out for a good Batman story.

Forgetting the film as a single narrative, what you get are some very interesting and different interpretations of the character, told from different perspectives. One is from a group of kids, exaggerating their separate encounters with the Dark Knight; another from the perspective of a vicious assassin. The various segments visit some fan favourite villains, again approaching them in original ways, and also pays attention to Nolan's focus on organised crime. Batman/Bruce Wayne appears in different incarnations in every segment, so you get six different looks (only one of which is anywhere near the current live-action interpretation).

You can't fault the direction(s), the various segments look jaw-dropping in scale and detail. In fact everything about this production is first rate in execution.

As mentioned early, the voice acting is superb, and the real kicker is that they got Kevin Conroy the voice of Batman in the unrivalled ‘Batman: The Animated Series' to come back to the character. Despite Batman looking different in each segment, Conroy proves why he is most often regarded as the best voice of The Dark Knight every recorded. For this reviewers money, since you don't see him, no one else should voice the character until he croaks he's just that good.

Batman: Gotham Knight is not a ‘tie-in,' it's a cash-in let's be honest. Don't have a problem with that at all, just have a problem with a film that's supposed to flow as an unbroken narrative, telling a compelling story, that doesn't deliver.


Component Grades
Movie
DVD
2 stars
2 stars
DVD Experience
2 stars

DVD

DVD Details:

Screen Formats: 1.85:1

Subtitles: English, Spanish, German, Japanese

Language and Sound: English: English: Dolby Digital 5.1; Japanese: Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo; German: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo

Other Features: Color; interactive menus; scene access; audio commentary; exclusive Sneak Peek at DC Universe's Wonder Woman..

* Commentary
o Feature-length audio commentary track with Kevin Conroy, Dennis O'Neil, and Gregory Noveck
* Sneak Peek (10:28) - of the upcoming Wonder Woman release storyboard sketches and snippets from Wonder Woman's comic books

Number of Discs: 1 with Keepcase Packaging

{pgomakase}

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