Over the years I have grown to love murder mysteries. Most mystery films tend to be stodgy reproductions of classic themes, and most thrillers tend to relay too heavily on shtick to get the audience to squirm. Those people who have watched film or have read the source material tend to see these cinematic slight of hands coming and are often not surprised with the outcome.
Gotham by Gaslight surprised me.
It surprised me how much I loved the setting of a Victorian Gotham that was based on Brian Augustyn and Mike Mignola's one-shot from 1989, where Batman hunts down Jack the Ripper.
I was surprised at how much the brutal animation made me squirm.
I was surprised that the the film didn't follow the source material.
I was surprised at how much I loved this film.
I refuse to spoil the story, so I will only tell you this: Gotham by Gaslight is a murder mystery that is adept at misdirection that flips the script on several Bat-family characters.
The movie isn't without it's flaws, however. The short run-time (74 minutes) leaves the viewer with wanting more exposition. Certain characters motivations and personalities were not adequately built upon for it to make sense in a the broader narrative. Parts of the story seemed a bit rushed as a result while others lingered for too long.
But concerns about "pacing" an animated film tend not to bother me too much when the setting wraps the viewer in soot covered streets of the late 19th century. This film is so different from other Batman films, which seem to be in a bit of a rut of late. The voice acting was fantastic. The fight scenes were raw. The conclusion was satisfying.
All In all, a great DC Animation Studio addition to your library.
Rating: 9/10 Poison Ivy Burlesque Shows