Once I saw how much attention and advertising this movie was getting I wanted to jump out and preview it to see what all the hype was about. Quite often when distributors overload us with advertisements and previews the best part of the film tends to be the previews. After viewing the Warner Brothers/ DC Universe Animated Original Movie release I feel my quickest review of it would be too much drama, not enough action.
Batman Year One follows the origin of the caped crusader and Jim Gordon (who later becomes Commissioner Gordon of Gotham City) during the first year of Bruce Wayne’s (Bruce Wane/Batman voice portrayed by Benjamin McKenzie) dual identity as a crime fighter. Gordon (voice of Bryan Cranston) and his pregnant wife, Barbara (voice of Grey DeLisle) move to Gotham City, a town riddled with crime and corruption. The story line reminded me more of a cop drama with it’s adult situations and reality based themes. The animation and art direction are great quality works which is what I’ve come to expect from DC Universe released animated movies like Justice League; Crisis on Two Earths and Green Lantern; First Flight. I feel somewhat robbed of more action from this tale though as the fight sequences were superb, just few and far between. One other criticism would have to be the over use of familiar characters from various Batman movies. A good portion of the story seemed to involve references out of the Batman Begins film starring Christian Bale. We are introduced to Selina Kyle/Catwoman for no apparent reason as she does not become a nemesis in the movie; also it seemed too coincidental that Selina lives with a young ward, Holly Robinson, from the Batman Comics (ref. #404, 1987). Character references and names pop in and out just to make the tie-in; Vickie Vale, Carmine Falcone, Harvey Dent, names synonymous to the Batman franchise but somehow almost a mere namedrop in the Year One movie.
I wouldn’t deny you the chance to catch this Batman adventure but keep in mind that it will not compare to the action-packed thrillers you’re used to from DC Universe films.