Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham REVIEW – Why So Indifferent?

No doom, no gloom, it just kind of is.

The Doom That Came to Gotham
The Doom That Came to Gotham

Based on one of DC’s most popular comic book miniseries, Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham had some pretty high expectations to live up to, and unfortunately, it doesn’t reach them.

A reimagining of the Batman mythos, the movie takes place in 1928 as it follows Bruce Wayne coming back to Gotham City for the first time in 20 years. A terrible thing from beyond space and time has awakened and it’s up to Batman to save his city.

It’s not really a problem with the plot — aside from a few changes here and there, most of the film faithfully follows the storyline of its source material. It’s more the art direction and atmosphere. The comic book miniseries felt dark and sinister with a gritty edge, with many of the pages boasting alluring art of the caped crusader looking his most mysterious.

This is true for the villains of this miniseries, too — one look at them and you can instantly tell how big of a threat they are to Batman, as well as all of Gotham. While the movie doesn’t go in the complete opposite direction, it instead seems to not go for anything at all, creating the impression that it’s content that simply shows the events of the comic book miniseries in motion.

The dark mood and atmosphere are all gone — scenes just happen without much build-up of tension or aesthetic creativity. This becomes apparent in the first scene when the characters are in Antarctica. You almost feel yourself freezing when reading the comics, but watching the movie, it’s hard to feel any sort of danger in their location.

Maybe this isn’t such a big deal for viewers who haven’t read the comic books, but they do still have to deal with a movie that feels indifferent towards its own characters and events. The Doom That Came to Gotham has to be Bruce Wayne at his least interesting.

It’s difficult to get emotionally invested in any way with this version of the character. He responds too quickly to situations, he never seems to show any genuine worry or fear, and most of the comic book moments of him just thinking or contemplating are gone. That’s another big problem with the film adaptation: its pacing.

Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham moves too fast, leaving little room to show characters in emotional turmoil or even just to build up tension in scenes to make them feel scarier and more threatening. The antagonists here don’t feel much like threats at all, and none of the characters ever feel like they’re in peril. Sure, logically, we can gather from the plot that their lives are at stake, but the direction doesn’t seem to be acting like that’s the case.

At the end of the day, though, there are so many Batman adaptations that exist that it’s hard to feel any strong emotion for this one, be it positive or negative. Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham will please neither the comic book fans nor the newcomers and is bound to be forgotten in the vast sea of superhero movies we have today.

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The Doom That Came to Gotham
Unlike its source material, there is no doom in the film Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham. Instead, the film settles for a paint-by-the-numbers experience with nothing memorable to offer.