Title: Batman: Gotham by Gaslight
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Sam Liu
Starring: Bruce Greenwood, Jennifer Carpenter, Chris Cox
Runtime: 1 hr 18 mins
What It Is: In an alternate version of Gotham it gets turned into late 19th century London. A killer is on the loose but instead of Scotland Yard on the case, we get the Gotham PD. Their lack of ability to close the case (no surprise there) has to lead to Batman (Greenwood) to interject and assure no more of Gotham’s women lose their life at the hands of this brutish heel of a slasher.
What We Think: Short, sweet and to the point. At only 78 minutes this direct to video DC animated film does what all the others do. It tells it’s story and gets out. Much like Batman: The Killing Joke, which was also directed by Liu. Here’s the problem I felt like the R-rating was something that they went out of their way to get. It’s a similar issue that Batman: The Killing Joke suffered from. Greenwood’s voice works well and gives Batman the gravitas needed for the 19th-century setting. Carpenter’s Catwoman is equal parts fiery and fierce. I’m sure the script follows the comics, I’ve never read this run, but I think the script was a bit problematic.
Our Grade: C+, Solid animation, and good vocal performances lent themselves to a script that perhaps follows the source material a bit too much. This is a film that’s fairly easy to grasps and should satiate fans of the comic books. I think. It’s a quick watch so, despite a small recommendation, I cannot say the film itself is all that great. So if you’re into the animated DC Universe it’s a must watch, despite not being the best of the bunch. Also, the steampunk 19th-century aesthetic is a nice touch.