If you have not read my review of the 1989 Batman film allow me to give a quick recap of why Batman is so huge in my house. Ever since he was little my brother has thought Batman is the coolest person in the world and his obsession with Batman has not died down. My family basically own almost, if not all, of Batman movies and TV series. Batman: Gotham by Gaslight is the latest Batman movie to come out, and this was one I was actually interested in. Let me explain, while I love Batman I also enjoy reading about true crime and Jack the Ripper is one of the most legendary killers to never get caught. I was curious to see how they would interpret the legendary comic. Word to the wise if you think about cheating and reading the comic to understand the movie, here is a spoiler alert, it is not even close to the movie. As always spoilers will be ahead. I DO NOT OWN THE PICTURE.
In Victorian times citizens of Gotham are afraid of Jack the Ripper who is going after women on Skinner’s End, a less than honorable part of the city. After trying to convince orphans Dick, Jason and Tim from getting off the street Batman is sadly too late to save Jack’s latest victim, Ivy. At the presentation of the Gotham World’s Fair, stage actress and the self-proclaimed protector of Skinner’s End Selina Kyle as well as Sister Leslie calls out the police Commissioner Gordon, Chief Bullock and District Attorney Harvey Dent (whom despite having a wife lusts after Selina). Bruce Wayne arrives to calm the crowd down, and later on that night as Batman aids Selina when she tries to trap Jack, doesn’t go exactly as planned. Batman must team up with Selina and the police department to figure out who Jack is and why he is targeting the women considered to be less than honorable. I won’t go into too much without spoiling.
My brother had seen something revealing who Jack is and warned me and my mother it would be “heartbreaking.” As I watched the movie it stayed with me, and as we got closer to the end, I said to my brother “if it’s who I think it is you’re right.” When we got to the scene where Batman slowly realizes who Jack is my mom went “No”, like an “I don’t believe it, no.” The writing and voice acting by such actors Bruce Greenwood and Jennifer Carpenter as Batman and Selina are pretty good. While I would not go so far as to say it is the best direct to DVD Batman movies it is definitely among the best. I think if you are a true comic book fan than you may have a problem with it. Other than that I would give Batman: Gotham by Gaslight the go ahead (as long as kids are not watching, but that’s just my discretion.)