Monday, October 22, 2018

Batman: Gotham By Gaslight (2018)

Batman: Gotham By Gaslight is Batman re-imagination set to 19th century Gotham. Steam punk Batman sounded good but we didn't get one. There is steam punk imaginary but it is inconsistent. Batman has motorbike when there is nothing even remotely like that around except a zeppelin which is as much out of place in world where people move with horse carriages. I wouldn't talk about this if the story was engaging.

Batman is trying to find Jack the Ripper who is killing women in streets of Gotham. This is not origin story but Batman is not well known yet. Some think he is the killer. Movie relies heavily on you knowing the original characters and wanting to see different versions of them. Characters are not who they are in regular Batman but versions they could have come if they lived in different era. This could have been strength but there is one big problem.

This should be detective story but there is very little investigation. Batman literally stumbles into Jack the Ripper's room when he is there for totally other reason. This came out of the blue. All hints given pointed to wrong direction. Maybe if I watch this again knowing who the killer is I might see hints given during the movie but I won't be seeing it again.

This should have been clever detective story. But it is not clever nor detective story. There is a scene where old woman shouts to Bruce Wayne in front of police he will be hanged if he doesn't pay her. Police doesn't react to this at the time but you can see how this could be important in the story later. Story telling was this subtle. Everything else was thrown at us like this but detective story was two or three scenes showing microscope and having references to Sherlock Holmes without giving any real hint who the killer was. Batman found it out by mistake.

Batman fought Jack the Ripper three time. Jack didn't have any problems dominating Batman. But for some strange reason Jack wanted to run from Batman and Batman fight Jack. This wasn't used as story element or character development. Batman just wanted to catch Jack. He didn't plan fight or trying to gain advantage. He just got lucky last time.

There was lot of potential but only memorable things were few visuals. They had some good ideas but something doesn't work. Movie doesn't find correct tone. Sometimes it feels they wanted to show too many 19th century versions of Batman characters. For example everything with Hugo Strange could have been cut off. Movie is about 80 minutes long but it feels much longer because story doesn't go forward. There are just lot of scenes which doesn't lead to anything. If they do it is much later when you have forgotten the scenes.

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