Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Batman: Doomsayer

Author(s): Tony
Location: Pittsburgh

"Batman: Doomsayer"

Directed by Takashi Miike and Robert Rodriguez
Written by Timothy Sexton
Produced by Andrew Macdonald
Music by David Julyan

Main Cast

Benicio Del Toro as Black Mask/Roman Sionis
Billy Crudup as Batman/Bruce Wayne
William Mapother as Cornelius Stirk
Ian Mckellen as Alfred Pennywood
William H. Macy as Commissioner Jim Gordon
Laurence Fishburne as Lucious Fox
Madeline Stowe as Silver St. Cloud

Tagline: "The break of defeat calls for the most desperate times"

Synopsis: Bloodied and battered was Black Mask, crawling to what looked like the end of his evil existence. Mask escaped the wrath of Batman, the merciless beating he took from the Bat only led to the demise of the death of his partner, Two-Face. Mask finds himself in the darkest pit of Gotham where he is approached by a familiar face, Circe, the love of his life. When he wakes up he's not greeted by Circe, but by delusional serial killer, Cornelius Stirk.

Cornelius Stirk has the psychic ability to make people see him as whoever he wants but often looks like a normal man. He thrives on the fear from his victims which allows him to live caused by the body chemical and hormonal response, norepinephrine. How he endures this hormone is by eating the hearts of his victims. He abducts them, mostly small time crooks that aren't missed to keep a low profile after escaping Arkham Asylum years ago. He creates trusted figures such as Abraham Lincoln and Jesus to get close to them before he transforms into a face of evil, his natural face, torturing them until they die of terror. Stirk was an admirer of Black Mask, but Roman attacked Stirk after the thought that his Circe came back to him. Stirk then turned into Bruce Wayne, the man that took everything from Sionis.

Stirk thrived on Mask's blackened hatred towards Batman. Sionis was willing to give up everything for Stirk to help him rid of the Bat once and for all. Not only did Mask want to kill him, but turn everything against him. Stirk accepted, but under his own conditions. Meanwhile, the Riddler now rests in Arkham Asylum as Bruce's butler Alfred returns with full health. Months go by and rumors are speculating that Black Mask will make his return to crime with the False Face Society. Bruce prepares for Mask but is distracted by the sights of Silver St. Cloud on the streets, restaurants, and parades. In order to hurt Batman, Mask sacrafices his own gang at the hands of Stirk. Cornelius would strike fear in the gang one by one as Batman in order to frame him, torturing them and eating the fear from their hearts, posing as the Bat in front of the likes of Commissioner Gordon.

Batman loses the trust from the citizens of Gotham. An evil Batman lures in the shadows as Bruce must find him and return as Gothams savior. Black Mask knows that Stirk's actions are no longer in his control. To seek answers, Bruce must confront his old friend Roman to put a stop to it. Stirk was taking over the business and crime aspect of Gotham as he continued to play mindgames with Bruce, taunting him as Silver. Together, Batman and Black Mask battle Cornelius until he is finally brought down near death, until he takes shape of Bruces fear, himself as a child on that dark night. He must overcome the fear and kill the boy that pleads in front of him, he does so and falls to his knees. It was enough time for Black Mask to inch behind him and raise his axe up high for Batman to meet his doom.....

What the Press would say:

No one can deny that the new Batman series is the most intriguing and vividly horrific old school tribute to the old comic books, "Doomsayer" is no exception. With Doomsayer we get an extra treat, two directors with a great contrast of styles teaming up for a perfect combination of harrowing violence with conceptually disturbing images along and intense, charismatic action sequences. Returning is the writer of the first two, Tim Sexton, who once again challenges himself with the most complex script of the series. It's the story of the fallen and reborn Black Mask in his last attempt to vanish Batman. The film virtually consists of returning actor Benicio Del Toro as the lead as we get a different perspective of the super hero flicks. Here we are introduced to the villains lifestyle and how he must confront his own problems while dealing with our dark knight. Del Toro gives a masterful performance as a man driven to the end of the remaining sanity he had left avenge his lifes work by eliminating Batman. In order to do it, he must seek help from an unusual serial killer Cornelius Stirk, played by Lost's William Mapother. Mapother gives a nigh-flawless, frightening performance in the supporting role. Whether it's his slow, menacing voice, constant snarls, or demonic like glares, it's the most haunting portrayal of a comic book villain we've ever seen. Miike thrives on Stirk scenes as they are done in his thoughtfully constructed, realist outlook on violence. Lastly, Billy Crudup returns as Batman only this time in the supporting role. Crudup brings all emotions to the table. There is always one scene that will dazzle you as far as the emotionally traumatizing event in our heroes life, the scene is when Bruce stares down at himself the night his parents were murdered in front of him. He must destroy it with Stirk on his final breath, one of the most tearful scenes in any super hero film, bar none.

As the series gets deeper more boundaries are crossed. This newly found Batman series doesn't follow your basic guidelines, it's not aimed for young demographics or people who want a realistic look at Batman stories. It shows the risk and purity that came from the comic book that produced demonic villains such as Cornelius Stirk and Black Mask. A story that truly tackles the emotional aspect of Batmans circumstances and the horror he faces. As entertaining as an adult super hero film will ever get with an ending that'll stick with you for years, unless they make a fourth.


Best Picture
Best Actor - Benicio Del Toro
Best Supporting Actor - Billy Crudup
Best Supporting Actor - William Mapother
Best Original Screenplay - Timothy Sexton
Best Art Direction
Best Makeup
Best Score
BEst Sound Mixing

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