Monday, April 17, 2023

Batman The Doom That Came To Gotham

I'm not entirely sure where I stand with this.

When I saw the trailer I thought, oh shit yeah Gotham By Gaslight meets H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulu mythos, sign me the hell up! I mean what a fascinating idea, to do a late 19th/early 20th century story where Batman has to stop some whacked out cult from essentially doing what Rasputin was trying to do in Hellboy and summon some Outer God leviathan to our realm, that's a solid ass plot that I think is awesome! That really is not entirely the movie I got, and I truthfully 100% can absolutely see this from both sides. There's Batman iconography present, you do get some of the characters but they pretty much take the lore, throw it up in the air, watch it fall into a shredder, and take a flamethrower to it just for good measure. I kind of expected this to follow the Gotham By Gaslight adaptation with Bruce Greenwood returning, but it's an entirely other adaptation of a comic I had no clue existed until the credits rolled, and it's just so fundamentally different to an almost extreme level. On one hand I kinda appreciate that, they don't do some partially by the numbers Batman movie and do so much original and innovative things with the concept of these characters but at the exact same time it's such a radical change that it's almost alienating even to a hardcore fan like me. I know they wanted to tell a grand epic story mixing and melding these two very different worlds together but I think the direction was in the wrong place while their hearts were in the right place. And the same goes for the Cthulu mythos themselves, it takes pre-established facts about these enormously unnatural beings and kinda just wanted to use the imagery but not the essence of those literary sources. Bruce stares down an outer god not once but twice and retains his sanity almost fully, and I'm like.....???? Beg pardon? Cause that's kinda what they do, that's part of the horror of it all to see such overwhelmingly just unearthly creatures to where your mind can't process it and you go insane instantly. When fucking Bird Box does a better job with this shit, I don't think you get it. I really do think this is a film that appeased neither fandom and falls through the cracks. And yet there are aspects I quite like! I think the animation is very solid, I like the idea that Talia and Ra's are the head of the cult trying to summon Yog-Sothoth pretty much, I like how Etrigan comes into play he fits perfectly with this kind of story, seeing the steampunk detailing for the gadgets are fucking sick honestly, even just as simple of a concept as Batman having to utilize science to fight magic is fascinating. There are little gold nuggets here and there, and you could tell they were onto something good but it came apart at the seams. That sucks man. Especially when the story really didn't seem that hard to fuck up. Craft a story where Bruce returns to Gotham and becomes the Batman, have him wander across a truly disturbingly brutal ritualistic killing case, do some detective work into the Cthulu mythos that leads him perhaps to Ra's perhaps to some Otherworld's variant of the Court Of Owls, he learns their plan, you pepper in some fights against henchmen and maybe individuals who enhance themselves with dark magic throughout the movie, maybe he employs the help of Jason Blood at one point to equip Batman with some magical protective gear, they go stop the ritual midway as this multi-eyed tentacled creature is coming through a portal, bada-boom! Perfect! End of movie. Brevity is the soul of wit, you keep it nice and simple and it most likely will turn out good! So I can't fullheartedly recommend it to fans novice or experienced in either camp, but it certainly isn't horrible either. I give it 2 stars, 5.5/10. We got some more horror stuff so fingers crossed and I will see you next time.

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