Review: Legends of the Knight

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After an incredibly successful Kickstarter campaign and a theatrical tour around the country, Brett Culp’s documentary Legends of the Knight is finally available on DVD and Blu Ray today and it’s an incredible look at just how powerful and positive comics can be.

The movie follows a number of individuals who have either taken on the persona of Batman to do good in the world or have used Batman as an inspiration to overcome adversity.  There’s Lenny Robinson, who’s an incredibly successful businessman who has created an incredibly accurate Adam West Batmobile and Michael Keaton batsuit and spends most his year visiting various children’s hospitals to lift he spirit of the kids there, Petaluma Batman, who patrols his college town and helps organize charity events and was the driving force behind trying to find a missing girl, Brian Elliott, a missoniary who runs marathons for charity as Batman, Jill Pantozzi, who was inspired by Batman to not be beaten by Muscular Dystrophy and lives by herself in NYC working as a journalist.  If you’re looking for some sort of character study or history of Batman, this is not the film for you.  There is a bit of a focus on the psychology of Batman and why the character resonates but the focus is on the people.  All of the stories and people featured are incredibly inspiring and the room will probably get a little dusty by the time you finish the film.  It’s not a downer though by any means and there’s fun to be had as well, like Petaluma Batman staging fights with The Joker on the streets of Petaluma.  There’s also interviews with people from the comics and movie side of Batman, like Michael Uslan, who’s story about getting the Tim Burton Batman made is sort of the spine of the movie, as it intercuts the segments with the other people, and Denny O’Neil, one of the legendary Batman artists.

The movie isn’t flashy as far as shots go but it’s done extremely well and each segment feels like you spend enough time with each person to find out why Batman was such a huge influence on them as they go about their daily lives.    The one bit of style that Culp puts in are the incredible pieces of art that are used to cut between segments.  They are very different from your typical Batman artwork but it works because this is not your typical Batman documentary.

If you’re looking for a history of the comic or a character study of Batman, there are other documentaries that will fill in that information for you.  If you want to see just how much good Batman and comics can do for the world, then Legends of the Knight is a must watch.

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