The mean streets of Gotham have gotten even meaner since Batman hung up the cape.
French film maker Pierre Desgranges has fused a cornucopia of influences together to create his short noir-style movie, Batman: Deliverance. These include - bizarrely enough - the exploits of the mutant berserker Wolverine, who pops up for a rather stylish Marvel vs. DC grudge match with no explanation whatsoever.
The film's plot takes some of inspiration from Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns, with an aging Bruce Wayne who has given up his nocturnal vigilante activities. In Deliverance, Wayne has also developed a drinking problem, and his Batman costume talks to him, taunting him that he is nothing without it. There's also the whole bit with Wolverine that I mentioned before, but unless it represents some a very fan-service-y inner struggle, Desgranges seems to have just thrown it in for fun.
Even with the mysterious addition of metal-boned Canadians, Deliverance is a wonderfully made movie, which uses light and shade to great effect. It doesn't hurt either that the tired-sounding French voiceover gives the whole thing a great sense of gravitas. If audiences ever see The Dark Knight Returns up on the big screen, we can only hope that it has as much weight as this short film.