In Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham, Bruce Wayne is on an expedition when he crosses paths with an ancient, supernatural force. Upon returning to Gotham City, he is approached by the mysterious Jason Blood, who brings a warning that a terrible danger is on the horizon.
Believing the two incidents are connected, Bruce takes to the streets as Batman in search of information. This leads him to Dr. Kirk Langstrom; a scientist who specialises in bats, and who is convinced something dreadful is coming to take over the world.
Langstrom is correct in his assessment, and Batman soon finds himself coming face-to-face with a new enemy. This enemy is prepared to unleash Hell on Earth, leaving Batman as the only line of defence.
But this is far from just a battle of good versus evil. The Dark Knight is more connected to this supernatural force than he realises, and in order to defeat it, he may have to embrace the darker side of his persona.
Directed by Christopher Berkeley and Sam Liu, and featuring the voice talents of David Giuntoli, Jason Marsden, David Dastmalchian, and John DiMaggio, Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham is an animated Batman movie about the Caped Crusader’s battle against an ancient evil. The film – which is based on the comic book of the same name – is the latest release from the DCUAOM collection, and is available to rent or buy from March 27th.
Set during the 1920s, Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham is a period piece, featuring monsters and supernatural beings, and is loaded with a wealth of well-known DC characters including Oliver Queen, Jason Blood, and Harvey Dent amongst others. But strip away the novelty of the setting, as well as the various nods to the wider DC Universe, and this is quite a slow Bat-movie, filled with exposition and not a lot of excitement.
Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham isn’t a dreadful movie, but it is far more of a slog than a delight. The first half of the movie is a bit too dialogue heavy, the pace is plodding at best, and there’s just too many ideas and characters to keep things coherent.
This feels like an adaptation of a comic which has tried its best to retain all of the key elements from the original source material, but has failed to make them work on screen. The end result is a mish-mash of ideas, with scenes playing out like random puzzle pieces which are slotted together even when they don’t quite fit.
On the bright side, the animation in Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham is decent, some of the character designs are fun, and from time-to-time there is a bit of enjoyment to be had in the more macabre aspects of the story. If you’re well-versed in DC lore you’ll get something out of seeing all the references to the wider mythology, and the voice cast is pretty good too.
The colour palette is also strong, and there are a few scenes which simply pop off the screen. The film also gets a bit of praise for attempting something different, and this picture is most certainly a break from the norm when compared to other Bat-movies.
But Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham seems far too convoluted for its own good and it is not particularly welcoming to newcomers. Despite the fact this is a standalone tale, Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham will alienate those who only know the basics of the character, and if it doesn’t alienate them, then it sure will bore them instead.
While Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham is OK in places, it is patchy at best, and not an example of the Caped Crusader at his finest. There are plenty of fantastic animated Batman movies out there, but I’m not convinced this is one of them.
So, it’s a ‘well done’ for attempting something new, but ‘commiserations’ for not quite pulling it off. I’d say this one is for die-hard Bat-fans only.
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