Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Book Hunter Watches A Movie

Perhaps if they'd gone with adapting The Dark Knight Returns, my enthusiasm might've skyrocketed. Instead, they decided that the right card to play was to adapt Batman: Year One. Don't get me wrong, the graphic novel is a classic. You don't get anymore raw with the origins of Batman than the Frank Miller story, save the Nolan-verse origin in Batman Begins

Then again, the story is shared between the two hopes for Gotham - the cop sworn to uphold the law and the vigilante who goes after the untouchable. Though I want to say it's Gordon's story, rather than Batman's despite the shared narration. Perhaps the Dark Knight can keep the graphic novel. 

The story opens as both heroes enter Gotham. Jim Gordon, a cop who's looking for a fresh start in a new city; Bruce Wayne, a wealthy bachelor returning home from living abroad for several years. Neither of them are aware of each other. Neither of them know that soon their paths to justice will intersect. The adaptation stays true to the graphic novel. Jim finds it difficult to fit in the corrupt department. Has an affair, regrets it and breaks it off. He has his first son. He attempts to clean out the department and make right by his wife. Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne is growing impatient, wanting to start cleaning out the city before he is ready. He finds a symbol. He finds an ally with Harvey Dent. He finds one in Jim Gordon. 

The internal monologues are present and the script is the same - for the most part, anyway; I'm working from memory here. Bryan Cranston voicing Jim Gordon was memorable. Ben McKenzie as Batman/Bruce Wayne was less than. Hopefully someone in the production makes a note of this and the mistake is never again repeated. And I hardly recognized Eliza Dushku voicing Selina Kyle/Catwoman, despite the excellent job she did with the role. 

On the scale, I'd say Batman: Year One ranks at least three-out-of-five. Average. The perfect companion for the graphic novel

Batman: Year One is out now, available at Amazon in single and two-disc editions, as well as, Blu-Ray/DVD combo + digital copy edition. You can watch it now on Amazon Instant. Until next time, keep on huntin'.

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