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The Dark Knight Returns (2016)

Super campy but amazing Batman film!

Adapted from Issue #1 of Frank Miller‘s seminal 1986 comic series, filmmaker Wyatt Weed (“Shadowland,” “Four Color Eulogy”) offers his unofficial fan’s take on the Batman mythos. Following the death of Robin at the hands of the Joker, Bruce Wayne (Weed) hung up the cowl and cape 10 years ago. But now Gotham City is in the grip of a violent crime wave, and the venerable 55-year-old billionaire has to decide if the time is right for the Caped Crusader’s return.

Rating this as a fan film rather than mainstream. As such it’s pretty decent; we’ve all seen a lot worse. Good sets (especially the Batcave) and acceptable acting. Ava Osthus as Carrie (future Robin) has the looks, but doesn’t carry herself as a gymnast would. Directing issue or needs further coaching? Hard to tell.

Wyatt Reed plays a respectable and believable middle-aged Batman. But serving as director as well has often been a flaw in fan films and this is no exception. The scenes with Batman are slow, more clownish than frightening, and don’t carry the foreboding nature of the graphic novel. If anything it makes the viewer realize how unlikely the Batman character would be in real life. Having no actual super powers– trying to take on a gang in an open indoor mall would be the worst possible setting for his guerrilla tactics. As such, most scenes with the Batman come across as superficial. In this episode Bats just wasn’t sinister enough. Need to remember he put FEAR into criminals, not make them laugh at his costume.

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Written and Directed by: Wyatt Weed
Starring: Wyatt Weed, Rick McGougan, John Contini

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