Wednesday, June 06, 2018

My Review of Gotham By Gaslight (2018)

Written by Jim Krieg
Directed by Sam Liu

Selina Kyle: "Gone, all gone."
Batman: "And the hope of Gotham with it."
Dickie: "It was all phony anyway. We'll make somethin' new, somethin' better."

And now for something a little different. Taking another comic series, this time it's a case of some Victorian murder mystery as Bruce Wayne/Batman (Bruce Greenwood) and stage actress Selina Kyle (Jennifer Carpenter) finds themselves teaming up to stop Jack The Ripper and his spate of killings on defenseless women and the destitute.

I'm not going to lie, I've never read the original comic that came out thirty years ago but I am aware some changes were made for this movie (just like The Killing Joke) and for an Elseworlds type of story, it's not a bad one but certainly not the strongest we could've had as well.

I do like the Victorian setting and teaming up of Batman and Selina, the latter who doesn't get to become Catwoman but certainly has enough of her alter-ego motifs throughout the animated film so it doesn't feel like people are missing out as such. Here we see Selina taking on something of a protector role for the downtrodden, a role also taken on by Sister Leslie (Grey Griffin) as well.

Then there's the Ripper's victims. Four of them are of significance - the first being an exotic dancer version of Poison Ivy (Kari Wuhrer) who only gets about three minutes of screen time before she's gutted by the Ripper. There's also a failed attempt on Selina before Sister Leslie is murdered by the Ripper along with Arkham Asylum owner Hugo Strange (William Salyers) and of course, a drunken old woman named Marleen Maloney (Tara Strong), who blatantly was meant to be an older version of another member of the Rogues Gallery.

We get a bit in the movie where Bruce is framed for the Ripper's crimes and we see a rather vindictive side to Harvey Dent (Yuri Lowenthal), who didn't seem to take to Selina connecting with Bruce more than him. However, while it might have appeared that he could be the Ripper of this particular yarn, it was in fact someone else.

Yup, Commissioner Gordon (Scott Patterson) turned out to be the baddie of the piece and I'll admit, it was a satisfying reveal, especially when we learned that even his own wife wasn't spared his misogyny and bigotry. The confrontation scenes that the Ripper had with both Batman and Selina prior to his fiery death certainly added more to proceedings even if the movie itself ended on a somewhat abrupt note.

- We got to see a group of street urchin named Dickie, Jason and Timmy whom Bruce, Alfred and Selina took in at the end. There was also Grundy cameo during the Blackgate scenes.
- Selina used her own blood in order to make a makeshift Batsignal while Batman got his own Victorian version of the Batcycle.
- Standout music: Selina's version of You Can't Tame A Wild Wimmen.
Selina Kyle, Hugo Strange, (Mrs.) Barbara Gordon, Jason Todd, Harvey Bullock, Pamela Isley (as Ivy the Plant Lady) and Cyrus Gold (future Solomon Grundy) were added to the movie and not featured in the original comic.

Gotham By Gaslight is nicely filmed, has a decent enough story and utilizes it's Victorian setting and infamous killer well enough. Saying that while it is mostly enjoyable and there's good voice acting all round, it's just not quite as gripping as it could've been. Not bad but not amazing either.

Rating: 7 out of 10

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