Batman: Gotham by Gaslight is a murder mystery set in a Victorian-era Gotham City that has Batman pit against Jack the Ripper. While DC has its difficulties with their live action movies, their animated films continue to impress. DC’s attempt at a Batman horror story is dark and full of thrills, which leads to a great climax. The film is a welcome change of pace for Batman fans, and one that we hope DC will continue.
The Story is inspired by Gotham by Gaslight, a comic book from writer Brian Augustyn and artist Mike Mignola. The comic was 52-page one-shot story about a Victorian-era Gotham. Despite being an interesting concept, the story was short and only presented one real suspect. So in that sense it wasn’t much of a mystery.
The animated film attempts to rectify this by populating the cast with familiar Batman villains in order to make it a proper mystery film. This works to keep the viewers guessing. Although, one thing that I felt was lacking was Batman actually doing some detective work. While the film presents these villains, the Dark Knight rarely is detecting anything. By the same token, Batman is more reactive to the events as they unfold. Although, none of this pulls the viewer out and in some cases makes for some thrilling moments. One or two times, I genuinely jumped in my seat or was glued to the screen the way I would be in any horror flick.
There will be little to mention about Jack the Ripper to not spoil the film. Unlike the historical accounts of this serial killer, the movie presents Jack to be a physical match for Batman. This change results in some hair raising and exciting battles between the two.
One of great aspects of this story is watching Batman traverse 19th Century Gotham City. Additionally, Batman fighting crime with steampunk versions of his gadgets is pretty cool. This is a welcome change to see a different version of the Caped Crusader and will no doubt make for some cool collectibles.
Also, Actor Bruce Greenwood, who previously voiced the Dark Knight in Batman: Under the Red Hood, reprises the role. Again, his portrayal of Batman is outstanding and adds to the effect of the film. Actress, Jennifer Carpenter, joins Greenwood as Selina Kyle. Likewise, her acting is purrrfect! She really sinks her claws into the role and brings a confident and fun energy.
The film is rated R due to some of the graphic violence the movie presents. Although, it is not a gory bloodbath that most horror films tend to be. Overall, Batman: Gotham by Gaslight provides an entertaining and thrilling new take on the Dark Knight. Fans of Batman will definitely want to check this one out and fans of horror mysteries will be pleased with the story.
But what did you guys think of the film? Did you enjoy it as much as we did? Let us know in the comments.
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