Batman: Descent Into Mystery

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9.1 (23)
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Overall rating
 
9.1
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.3(23)
Visual Editing
 
9.7(23)
Audio Editing
 
9.4(23)
Narrative
 
9.0(23)
Enjoyment
 
8.9(23)
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(Updated: May 07, 2020)
Overall rating
 
6.8
Audio/Video Quality
 
8.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
8.0
Narrative
 
6.0
Enjoyment
 
6.0
As a fan of the comics, the intent of the cut is obvious, but the editor ends up tearing the heart from the original movie and creates a sterile watch.

Firstly, there is no compelling reason to cut the Bruce Wayne / Vickie Vale relationship. Without it, Bruce becomes a one-dimensional character with little development. Without Vickie providing a background to it in her investigation, the death of his parents is utterly without place within the context of the story. The absence of a romantic relationship also creates an oddness in the edit's continuity at times (Vicki goes to the museum and waits for nobody in particular, for example). Alfred is almost pointless if he cannot coax Bruce to pursue Vickie, as is Knox (as the "other" man).

Secondly, the Batman / Joker relationship in this story is shallow without the parent connection, even if that connection is distasteful to a comics purist. Batman passionately beats the hell out of the Joker in the climactic scene in the belfry, with no dialogue in a jarring manner. Without that verbal back and forth, the scene lacks tension. There is little to underpin Bruce's obvious anger aimed towards him.

The editor tries to paint Batman as an invincible monolith, as he sometimes is shown in the comics, but I would argue Batman's best interpretations show him as vulnerable and human. Even when Batman is brought crashing down in the Batwing, we are not allowed to see his injuries as per the original cut, nor his struggle against the Joker's goons in the belfry. There is never any fear that this Batman might fail, which in combination with Bruce's stunted character development, makes him uninteresting.

Besides this, the cut is impeccable in terms of the visual cuts, though the edit is not stellar in terms of visual quality (the blacks were at times pixelated), and the audio transitions on occasion were too sudden, such as when Bruce remembers his parents' death from the preceding scene. The volume of the cut seemed very low.
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