Batgirl Rises full movie review - A nice idea
I love the idea of doing an Batgirl origin story. I even love the passion that comes from doing a DC character as an indie. But this movie was so far beyond unpolished.
I really want to say the acting was bad. But the truth is, it wasn't. At least not entirely. All of the actors (except the brother) had moments of brilliance. There was true emotion and true tension in many parts. And then there were moments that reminded me of the last high school play I watched. Most scenes, that were otherwise well played, were ruined by blatantly poor and over the top delivery of multiple lines. And I'll be honest, that lies more with the director and editing. You can't watch a scene from behind the camera and say "well, that's OK, I guess," and then print it. If you don't have talent, sure, maybe. But the the entire cast (again, except the brother who was just awful throughout) all had great deliver at times. In an indie, you don't have the fireworks and cgi... You have to rely on performance and this aspect missed the mark.
The other piece (and I've never seen a movie where this was such a problem) that was so bad as to be distracting was the lighting. It was beyond bad. You should never see lighting (yes, I'm aware that lighting plays a part in mood and feel, but unless you're on Broadway, you shouldn't see a spotlight on somebody's head). The opening scene puts this on full display right off the bat. It was almost as if there was a crack in the scene ceiling and a ray of sun was following each character.
The story itself wasn't terribly well constructed. It was disjointed and made plot leaps that had huge holes (even for a superhero movie) and the written dialogue was mediocre at best (even if the cast had been filled with Oscar winners). Despite that, I found myself enjoying most of Harlene's performance and a few times I saw something really special in Barbara's character.
If you are a fan of the DC Universe and have 40 minutes to kill, it's worth a watch if only because it's unexplored cinematic territory. But don't expect to be wowed.