Batman: Gotham Knight (2008) Reviewed


BATMAN: GOTHAM KNIGHT ( 2008 )
I’m not the fan of Japanese anime that fellow nerds might expect, but I can’t turn down a good superhero show and this 6-tiered Batman epic pays off in spades. The six segments of this ambitious animated feature are rendered by 6 different creative teams, each with their own unique vision of the dark knight. The stories stand alone fine by themselves but about three chapters in you realize they’re painting a bigger picture — a story in which Batman is caught between Gotham City’s Italian and Russian mobs. The appearance of the malevolent Dr. Crane/Scarecrow ties the events to Batman Begins and The Dark Knight and adopts their tone and specific version of reality. The animation ranges from visionary to merely passable, but the consistency of characterization help render the aesthetic variance as elements of an animated fever dream.  Each segment takes its own approach to defining Batman, and we explore him as mythological entity, guardian angel, vigilante, human being and indestructable force — all without compromising the tone or undermining anything established in prior segments. It’s a neat trick and in many ways makes this the most vivid, uncompromising and fulfilling interpretation of Batman I’ve seen. Kevin Conroy is the voice of Batman and Bruce Wayne in every segment, and has provided the caped crusader’s voice in nearly all of his animated incarnations since the 80s. BMGK is not only an inventive masterpiece in its own right — it also makes an engaging supplement to Christopher Noland’s two live-action outings.
***1/2

~ by Number5ive on August 4, 2008.

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