Its been a good couple years since I’ve read the comic this is based off of, but despite that I know that this is very much like the animated take of Year One. Mainly, if it isn’t word by word and scene by scene, it is extremely close to it. I’m also going to confess something else here. While I really enjoy the story behind the comic story, I admit how it was told didn’t make it one of my top comic stories. Mainly the art, the many panels, and all that jazz. Perhaps it’s just that I didn’t really start into comics until the 2000s that I was slightly put off by it. It doesn’t matter though, for the team behind this movie does an amazing job bringing it life.
The art is really well done here. While they do copy the styling of the comic, its a lot cleaner due to needing to animate it. Slightly reminiscent almost to the old 90s series. Frank Miller’s story is simply amazing brought to life here. My favorite aspect of all this though would be when Batman comes back out. This is not like the 90s cartoon, the old movies, or even the more recent Nolan films. They focused on Batman, and while this does too, its in a different way. Instead of constantly seeing him, we tend to get a view of the criminals he is taking down. Only catching glimpses of Batman as he suddenly pulls a person through a wall or his grappling rope drags them into the shadows. Seeing that come to life is amazing.
Now for voice acting, this does not have the hiccup I felt Year One did. Great story, but the cast in it (mainly Ben McKenzie) took away some of it’s power. The voices here are absolutely golden. I’m a huge Kevin Conroy Batman fan, but even I admit Peter Weller was completely perfect in the role of the aged Batman. David Selby voicing Gordon seemed spot on as well. Even the supporting cast down to the young Ariel Winter (Robin) does a great job in this film that I have nothing to complain about in terms of acting.
Just go watch this.