We live in an era where superhero movies have evolved from earning small figures at the box office and not being taken seriously by, well, most anybody, into one where not only are they very prominent, having like three new releases each year, but are earning insane buckets of money and praise amongst all genders and ages. For Warner Bros. and their DC characters, there has been an obvious winner – if maybe the only one – and that is Batman, through an almost perfect trilogy that recaptured Batman’s essence while paying homage to the masterwork Year One graphic novel by legendary comics’ writer/artist Frank Miller. However, if DC’s characters have suffered harsh criticisms and a series of reboots on the big screen, WB seems to have found its formula on the small screen, creating a DC Universe on TV showcasing some of its A-list guns. For example, they have introduced Green Arrow (and others) with the so-far successful Arrow, and the upcoming October release of The Flash, will feature, well, The Flash in a shared universe with Green Arrow… and now there’s the subject of this review, Gotham; a spot-on look at the origins of most of Batman’s underworld crazies that explores the rest of the themes that Frank Miller so skillfully made an intrinsic part of the character’s mythos in the aforementioned Year One, and that Christopher Nolan revitalized for new generations with his movie trilogy. Gotham’s pilot works very well both for the non-comic-book versed and for Batman’s fans, as it presents an intense but not overly-complicated murder mystery – the murder of Bruce Wayne’s parents – which in turn serves as the impetus to introduce the main cast of the series along with the classic villains before they were such, as we meet them at a very early age or before their psyches have been broken (as is the case with Edward Nygma – played by Cory Michael Smith, who works with the GCPD but is already speaking in riddles, to the annoyance of everyone around him). Though Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz), as a child robbed of his parents, has an important presence in the pilot — where the interactions of the characters involved feel genuine and true to the source — this apparently random kill sets in motion a police investigation where the real star of the show, Detective James Gordon (played by a too good-looking, mustache-free Ben McKenzie, from the OC’s fame) gets to see first-hand the crooked ways of his police department, and how corrupted his partner, Detective Harvey Bullock (played by a superb Donal Logue), is already. The pace of the pilot is very well handled, as it is obviously difficult to juggle introducing more than fifteen characters, giving each of them meaning and a purpose to be there, while at the same time making the relationships that exist between each of them clear to the viewer. I was happy to see that McKenzie’s performance was above my expectations, helping to convey the tone that Gotham needs to work. His portrayal of an honest detective who still believes in the integrity of the Police Department at the beginning of the pilot but who has his eyes opened a couple of times throughout, is a great starting place. He eventually even has to fake shooting a creepily depicted Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor) — soon to be the Penguin — in the head, in order to save the life of his wife Barbara (Erin Richards) from the looming figure of Gotham’s kingpin of crime, Carmine Falcone (John Doman). With just one powerful and important scene, where the dialogue is pitch-perfect, Falcone shows that he has the Gotham Police under his thumb. The real menace to Falcone, however, is the other big player in Gotham’s criminal underground, Fish Mooney (played by a really good Jada Pinkett Smith), a character specifically created for the series in order, I believe, to have an already established and powerful figure who could oppose Falcone in the Gang war, while leaving room for the origins of the classic Batman criminals. Oswald Cobblepot, for example, only lasts this pilot as a henchman for Fish Mooney, as his lust for power has him take too many risks, and it is only Gordon’s humanity that leaves him room to escape and potentially become another Lord of Crime, as he is in the Batman comics. All in all, this was a very nice pilot. Well-driven, with performances that leave room for hope of a great Batman origin story that manages to rekindle that unique Frank Miller flavor that has characterized the character and his surroundings since the ‘80s. Much like New York in Spider-Man, Gotham has always been another character, a very important one that helped define who Bruce Wayne and Batman are. That spirit is definitely captured in Gotham and that might be its biggest win so far. Now if only Jim Gordon would grow a moustache… Gotham 1.01 “Pilot”4.0Overall ScoreShare this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.