Feature Batman Gotham Knight July 24, 2008 You’ve seen the Dark Knight and can’t get enough, check out our guide to the tie-in DVD – Batman: Gotham Knight “Kapow” “Bam” “Crash”! If you are looking for these classic cheesy lines on screen, as villains are sent flying into conveniently stacked piles of crates, then Gotham Knight isn’t for you. However if you are looking for the latest evolution in the animation of DC’s Batman then this is a MUST see. Six mind blowing chapters will take you across the streets of Gotham, scale the buildings and lurk in the shadows with the Bat himself. The story takes off with Batman’s increasing influence over the city of Gotham, starting a little after where Batman Begins left off. Here we bring you a guide to the Gotham Knight – out now on DVD. CHAPTER 1: HAVE I GOT A STORY FOR YOU The first, and possibly best, chapter is told through the stories of children, each one accounting their sightings of the Batman. Directed by Shoujirou Nishimi and written by Josh Olson, its charm lies in the nostalgia and childhood memories of Batman and how we in turn imagined him to be. CHAPTER 2: CROSSFIRE Written by Greg Rucka and directed by Futoshi Higashide, ‘Crossfire’ juxtaposes the innocence in ‘Have I Got a Story for You’ with the corruption of Gotham and the anger and frustration of its police officers. Lt. Gordon’s support of the Batman vigilante rubs a number of his officers up the wrong way. The animation is also a lot more grown up than in the first chapter and it takes a far more violent and dark approach. CHAPTER 3: FIELD TEST The film is a look at all aspects of Batman’s character and where would he be without his trusted equipment. Lucius Fox, the CEO of Wayne Enterprises has invented a new piece of hi-tech bat gear, a device that can deflect any bullet. Of the six pieces this was possibly the weakest, while it does hint more at the larger storyline running throughout the entire film, this one falls short of the bar raised by the pieces that run before it. CHAPTER 4: IN DARKNESS DWELLS A return of Scarecrow voiced by Corey Burton instead of Cillian Murphy, Batman goes in search of a kidnapped priest who has been campaigning to help the city’s poor. Fans of the Batman comic are quickly introduced to an old nemesis of the Bat, Killer Croc. The darkest of all the chapters, the viewer is assaulted with the hallucinations of Batman after he has been affected with Scarecrows toxin, the violent and ferocious nature of some of Gotham’s most insane criminals, the piece is directed by Yasuhiro Aoki and written by David Goyer. CHAPTER 5: WORKING THROUGH PAIN An exploration into the training Bruce Wayne underwent to hone his abilities as the Batman. On an excursion to India in search of pain control techniques Bruce encounters a mysterious Indian woman who offers to teach him the ways of controlling physical pain. This chapter offers an insightful look at the man behind the mask, and his inner demons. It is directed by Toshiyuki Kubooka and written by Brian Azarello CHAPTER 6: DEADSHOT Another Batman villain is raised from the DC archives and given life in this chapter. Deadshot, a superior marksman and all round professional killer has set his target on bringing down Gotham’s Dark Knight. Deadshot and Batman are on opposing sides of how to tackle an adversary. Batman chooses not to use guns while Deadshot embraces the sleekness of his rifle and poses a deadly threat to Batman. The perfect piece to end the film with ‘Deadshot’ is directed Jong-Sik Nam by and written by Alan Burnett VERDICT A lot of the buzz surrounding this animated film seems to focus on this being similar to the ‘Animatrix’ which was to run alongside the release of the ‘Matrix’ sequels and while ‘Gotham Knight’ does fill in some gaps between ‘Batman Begins’ and ‘The Dark Knight’ it goes further with it’s stories than the ‘Animatrix’ did. Gotham Knight feels like a salute to the different styles in which we have seen Batman be interpreted with; film, animation, manga and comics. The voice acting of Kevin Conroy, the voice of Batman with which many will be familiar with as the voice of Batman in the cartoon series that ran during the early and mid 90’s. Watching the six chapters of Gotham Knight, it is very much like reading panels of the great comics that inspired the writers and directors of the film. Gotham Knight is a welcome addition to any collection and one we highly recommended to any Batman fan, no matter what genre or style you prefer your Batman in – there is something in this film for everyone. Batman Gotham Knight is out on DVD now.