Batman, Ninja Junpei Mizusaki | Review preview Napoli Comicon 2018


Published on May 01, 2018


Directed by Junpei Mizusaki and written by Kazuki Nakashima, Batman, Ninja is a visual show that takes some of the fundamental characters of the DC Universe and re-reads them through the optics east, sending them back in time to the era of feudal Japan. At the beginning of the movie there is an accident with a time machine – or, better, dislocating space-time – which of course involves Batman, who must cope in a different era and a completely new world, which has his typical gadgets and even less comfort technology of the Batcave.

Beyond the interesting mix that involves one of the greatest icons of the entertainment of the west (the superhero) with elements not only of a historical period-among the most fascinating but, above all, with the tone of the narrative of the highest form of commercial art, eastern (anime), the film is simply dazzling from a visual point of view, and the animation leaves the mouth open for the quality and level of detail: from the sky to the vegetation, from the line of the horizon, to those that outline the expression, facial, without forgetting the design of the characters and the care taken in the production of armor; everything is studied in detail and built with the highest level of dedication possible.

But the reinterpretation of the myth of Batman in the key of jidai geki does not stop, of course the visual aspect: the choreography of the action scenes become as far removed as possible from those to whom the western audience is accustomed to -and that, therefore, we would expect to see as in a concrete way to the territories made universally famous by films such as crouching Tiger, hidden Dragon or the Forest of The Daggers Flying. Everything is swallowed by the aura of magical realism, typically japanese, and though on paper the marriage between these atmospheres and Batman and company would not have to work – given the nature of a little magic of these characters, closely linked to the street and the alleys of Gotham, and that no one would ever have imagined to see in this context – on the screen, instead, it works great.

From the point of view of the narrative they found most interesting – beyond of the time lag – is that to be able to restore Batman to his true essence, not only as regards the element of investigation, but especially the nature from the self-made man of swiftiana memory: without his gadgets ever, on which generally Batman based his strategies and the victories, the superhero will have to find new ways to save the Japan of the 1600's by the super villains of our time.

In addition to the Joker and Harley Quinn, the Dark Knight will have to contend with most of the gallery of his foes, including Gorilla Grodd, Poison Ivy, the Penguin, Two-face and the possible villain of the next film, a live-action Batman directed by Matt Reeves, Deathstroke. They all have a purpose in the script and the frenetic montage leads us up to the final act, where the adrenaline reaches doses so stratospheric by awaken the dead (if this movie had been released before ’95, probably Vincent Vega would have projected to revive Mia Wallace).

But above all, beyond all pippone from a film critic, I can assure you that Batman Ninja to be seen for one thing and one only: the Dark Knight version of the samurai ... what could be cooler than this?

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