REVIEW: Truth of the Mask

by Damian Fasciani
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Batman fans around the globe know who he is. For years, he has donned the cape and cowl and given Batman fans his very own unique interpretation of the Caped Crusader that has made him an Internet superstar. Kevin Porter starred in a short film in July 2014, Truth of the Mask, which was a sequel to the 2013 fan film Riddle of the Mask.

This film is a must-see for Batman fans who want to see another brilliant Kevin Porter performance. The genre and tone of this film is different from those that Porter has done the past, and it is here that he delivers a very measured Bruce Wayne in a well paced drama.

The film starts off with the vicious memory of Bruce Wayne’s parents murdered in Crime Alley, the horrific screams and gunshots clearly etched into his memory. A charity event has been thrown at the Wayne Manor by Bruce. It’s a typical event full of calm, soft music, people socializing and at the center of the room sits a battle-hardened Bruce Wayne that is tired and coming to the end of his quest. If you take your eyes off the main actors and watch the surroundings, the detail of the scene gives a sense of completeness that brings the film together nicely.

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The drama doesn’t show us Bruce Wayne’s alter ego, instead you find yourself drawn to the tired yet stern eyes of a Bruce Wayne who is placed center in a dining room full of people. Helena Bertinelli, Huntress, sits opposite him, discussing events that take place in the first entry in the series. The script is crafted in a way that presents just how human the characters are when they are not flying across Gotham at night fighting crime. Porter times his delivery of a well crafted script brilliantly in a slow, steady, consuming tone. He does it so well.

We also see Edward Nygma who seems to be at a similar point in his journey. Obsessed with the identity of the Batman he believes he is onto Bruce. Having used Huntress in the original film he has come to Wayne Manor to try to get Wayne to reveal that he is Batman and confirm the thoughts that consume Nygma’s mind. The majority of the film centers around the three-way conversation between Wayne, Helena, and Enigma. The camera work cleverly pans across the three and captures the dull, yet calm essence in the Wayne dining room, as the three iconic characters battle back and forward through conversation.

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Two thirds through the film we see a tired Edward Nygma try to take hold of the situation by dictating the direction of the conversation, the camera switches to Bruce and we see a vintage Kevin Porter performance where he lowers his eyes, looks straight at Nygma, and he assures him that he won’t hesitate in ending his crusade. The background music complements the sudden shift in momentum. If there was a film scene that personified the comic book character this would be the moment. Performances of Helena and a stint from Dick Grayson (Aaron Schoenke) round out the film.

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Overall the drama produced by Broad Strokes, Directed by Justin Zagri, Written by Adam & Justin Zagri, with Producer Andrew Gordon is a well made fan film that has been professionally made, shot cleverly, delivering a brilliant story. The film holds the iconic DC characters in high regard by giving fans an angle we don’t normally see, humanizing them and through its originality stands on its own. Kevin Porter is again well measured, pin precise in his persona of the legendary Bruce Wayne/Batman. He won’t let you down. It’s a must see for all Batman fans.

You can watch the film below, sit back and enjoy another great Kevin Porter performance.


 

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