It’s peculiar how the direct-to-video DC Animated Movies are actually better managed and better written than their live action counterparts. Sure, they have their ups and downs and some stuff is better than the others – The New 52 Animated Universe is way better than the adaptations of those classic stories like The Dark Knight Returns and The Killing Joke.
Unfortunately, Batman: Gotham By Gaslight falls with the second.
Based on an elseverse graphic novel by Mike Mignola and Brian Augustyn, Gotham by Gaslight takes place in a Victorian Age Gotham City in which Batman has to solve the mystery behind Jack the Ripper.
On paper, it sounds effing awesome and I was really excited to watch this one, mostly because I’ve never read the original graphic novel.
But, as I already told you in the subtitle, it kinda falls flat.
The movie has a great setting, a great voice acting, and an undeniably interesting premise, alongside an R-Rating.
It has some good moments, such as the part in Arkham Asylum and Blackgate – although both felt cut short and watered down due to budget restraints, they still managed to convey some distress.
The resolution of the case is also, on paper, very interesting and unexpected, yet it’s the worst managed thing as it falls flat.
You see, it’s very hard to guess, on the top of your head, the identity of Jack the Ripper, which is an extremely good and positive thing. However, the revelation didn’t felt as surprising and as garish as it should have been.
Which is a real pity, because they made the most out of the steampunk setting, which is incredibly detailed and believable for such a project.
The voice performances are incredible, although I have to be honest Bruce Greenwood played a better Batman in Batman: Under the Red Hood – I get it, different story, different context, more detailed character-wise, but honestly it felt more lively.
I was honestly pleased by Jennifer Carpenter as Selina Kyle, and how she perfectly conveyed the idea behind the character – despite Selina is not really the same Selina of the classic timeline.
Overall, I do not think about Batman: Gotham By Gaslight as a bad movie per-se, it’s honestly good for a home-entertainment product. But at the same time, it feels like this elseverse story adaptation could have been better, especially since pretty much everyone who read the original graphic novel claims these feature doesn’t do it justice.