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Batman: Gotham Knight Reviews

Reviewed By: Skyler Miller

Batman: Gotham Knight would seem to be a comic book enthusiast's dream project: Take four anime studios, team them with six writers, and create a PG-13 anthology film based one of DC Comics' most enduring superheroes. And though the result doesn't quite live up to expectations, it's worth a viewing for fans of the Dark Knight.Its underlying flaw is the hit-or-miss nature of the anthology structure itself. Though there's a small narrative thread running through the six episodes, the 12 or so minutes alloted for each just simply isn't enough time to develop anything more than a sketch of a plot. "Have I Got a Story For You" is a potentially clever concept about three youths' run-ins with Batman that doesn't really pay off; "Crossfire" focuses on two uninteresting Gotham detectives; "Field Test" is another interesting idea that that feels truncated; "In Darkness Dwells" succeeds because of its creepy atmosphere; and "Working Through Pain" is an ambitious but meandering look at some of Bruce Wayne's past. "Deadshot," written by Alan Burnett, is the standout, deftly packing suspense, action, and a compelling villain into its allotted running time. It's also the most straightforward of the bunch. Burnett, a veteran of DC animation since the days of Super Friends, clearly knows the episodic format well.No one can argue with the level of talent involved. The differing styles of animation in each segment present some evocative visuals, and the writers do their best to capture diverse takes on the Batman mythos. But ultimately, having so many writers and directors makes the film feel like a technical exercise rather than a complete vision. The wisest choice was bringing Kevin Conroy on board -- having voiced the title character since Batman: The Animated Series, he is Batman, and gives a small sense of continuity and history to the somewhat schizophrenic proceedings.