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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Gotham "Pilot" Episode Review

The buildup and fan frenzy that has surrounded the urban crime drama “Gotham” finally made its premiere on the Fox Network. This new series is centrally based on that horrific night that young Bruce Wayne witnesses the senseless murdering of his parents. “Gotham” threads that story-beat throughout the first episode. However, the real story that the creators of this new series are trying to tell is that of young Jim Gordon and of the origins of the various nefarious villains in Gotham City before they were famous criminal masterminds. 

“Gotham” has many good things going for it and the character of Harvey Bullock is just one of those amazing things. Donal Logue is fantastic as the brash and semi crooked detective who takes a young Gordon under his wing. Logue is a chameleon as Bullock, he not only has the look of that character but the way that he plays it, it is almost as he jumped right from the comic book pages and onto our television screens. The way that Logue is able to play him you really never know what his character is going to do.

Mckenzie is magical in his role as well, and he may not yet have that classic look fans are all familiar with, but what he lacks in that he makes up for in the way that he is able to flawlessly play the character of Gordon. McKenzie is a able to bring that youthful unwise dimension into his character. He is always trying to do the right thing in Gotham, but when he finds himself being the only honest person in a corrupted city, and that weighs on him, and you can see that in his eyes when he consoles young Wayne minutes after the murdering of his parents.

The major relationships that are being established in this first episode are really well done. You can tell that the series creator and Executive Producer Bruno Heller took great meticulous time getting the relationships between Gordon and Bullock right. The relationship between Bruce and his man servant Alfred Pennyworth are well done and some of the strongest scenes. The relationship between those two need to be established and need to have that emotional weight and the way that the two interact you can tell that there is mutual love and respect between the two.

The character of Fish Mooney who is played by Jada Pinkett Smith, is the worst thing about this
good show. Smith's character is so poorly and underwritten it is a shame that her character is used at all in this show. The character of Ms. Mooney is a complete waste of screen-time that you could write her character out entirely and you would be doing audiences and the narrative a favor. Her theatrics and over the top performance is tiresome, annoying and full of camp and does nothing to favor the story whatsoever. It seems like they needed to write a role for a big screen star and actually forgot to write anything worthwhile. Smith is a waste, all her screen-time could have been given to the young Bruce Wayne character who is played by David Mazouz. Mazouz does what most young child actors are unable to deliver and that is depth of a major layered role. The emotional range that Mazouz has is unforgettable, I just wish that his character would have been utilized more since the story is based in Gotham and is a semi story about the young life of Wayne.

The fan service at times was a bit much as well, there was a line about a road named Grundy, presumably after the villain Soloman Grundy, and the use of all these characters that were set up in this one episode was a bit much as well. The creators and producers of this world did not need to throw everything in this first episode. They should have established a few things and made the story about young Wayne a little bit stronger so that in future episodes you could get to those others characters that are so well defined throughout Gotham City.
“Pilot” is a solid start to a series that hopefully lasts longer than just a few seasons. A lot of hard work was put into making this series happen, and hopefully they keep the tone of the series serious and the narrative a strong one as well.


Here is the promo for Episode 2 below 

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Contributor of Superhero Movie News, Batman-on-Film and movie critic for The Michigan Times. Obsessed Batman fan and movie lover. When I am not watching movies, working or in class I run my own movie blog called The Gotham City Files