Saturday, February 25, 2012

Batman: Year One

As Bruce Wayne returns to Gotham City to don his vigilante, crime fighting alter ego, police lieutenant Jim Gordon takes a job on the force and finds graft and corruption at every turn. Soon, both men become outcasts and targets of the police force in their struggle to uphold sanctity and virtue. "Batman: Year One" is the latest entry in the DC Universe Animated Series. While the dark animation services the story nicely, the film is vacuous and off-putting and the voice work leaves a little to be desired. Ben Mackenzie is unmemorable as Batman and is actually a supporting player to Bryan Cranston's Gordon, who is in all out, one-note Walter White mode as the righteous commissioner to be in an uninspired "Serpico" plot. Batman works best with darker treatments, but there is no need or point in it being this bleak. "Batman: Year One" has some merits in its animation but nothing more beyond that.

note: The DVD includes the short "DC Showcase: Catwoman", which is a likewise uninteresting tale of the feisty feline outlaw taking on a diamond smuggler and crossing paths with Wayne.