Batman Year One is an adaption of the bestselling Frank Miller series of the same name that tells the origin of two heroes of Gotham City. One is the Caped Crusader, who haunts the night as a masked vigilante, and the other, a heroic cop who battles not only crime, but also corruption within his own police department. Corruption goes very high up the ladder. Together, Batman (Benjamin McKenzie, The OC, Southland) and Lieutenant James Gordon (Bryan Cranston, Malcolm in the Middle, Breaking Bad) tackle the crime family led by Carmine Falcone (Alex Rocco, The Godfather). However, there many players to handle including a mysterious cat burglar creatively named Catwoman (Eliza Dushku, Angel, Tru Calling).
Bruce Wayne returns from a long journey of training and preparation to honor a vow he made to his parents after they were murdered in cold blood, meanwhile James “Jim” Gordon returns to the Gotham City PD after a long exile caused by mysterious circumstances. They both have similar goals, yet they are worlds apart in their methods. At first, Bruce has an impromptu fight on a “scouting mission,” where he ends up stabbed, beaten, and finally shot, leading to the famous scene where a bat crashes through his window, thus beginning his journey as the Batman, the Dark Knight Detective. Meanwhile, Gordon has to overcome both personal and professional obstacles to achieve his goals, where he’s hindered by the current commissioner Loeb and his trigger happy SWAT commander. The tale of these two icons of the Detective Comics world brings a climax that is true to the comics, and true to the legend of the Batman.
This is one of the best DC animated features! It does an excellent job adapting the comic book true to form, however I am glad the animators chose a more modern art style as opposed to the old pulp technique of that is illustrated in the graphic novels.
My one problem with the film is Gordon gets more screen time. It would have been better if Batman had received the lion share of appearances.
Outside of that, it is an noteworthy adaption of Frank Miller’s masterpiece.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Violence, foul language, sexual content.
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This post has been updated from a previous version.