One of the most overrated graphic novels, is now an okay movie. Batman: The Killing Joke is based on the DC one shot of the same name, written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Brian Bolland. It was controversial due to the scene of the Arkham Asylum inmate shooting and paralyzing Barbara Gordon, ending her career as Batgirl. The film is produced by Bruce Timm, directed by Sam Lui, and starring an all-star cast which includes: Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill, Tara Strong, Nolan North, Ray Wise, Robin Atkin Downes, John DiMaggio, Brian George, and a few others known to fans of DC Comics Animated films.
The film opens in Gotham City with a backstory of the relationship between Batman and Batgirl. It is contentious as Batgirl is furious that Batman continues to treat her like a sidekick. However, this blossoms into a budding romance that ends quickly.
To make matters worse, Batman discovers that the Joker has escaped from Arkham Asylum. As he looks for clues, the Joker shoots Barbara Gordon in her apartment and “stages” her in an attempt to drive her father, Commissioner James Gordon insane. Meanwhile, we get a look at a possible origin for the Joker.
The voice cast was incredible. Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill are the best when it came to animated Batman and The Joker. Their chemistry has never been matched. Also, Tara Strong was great as Barbara Gordon. She was perfect for the part and born to voice it. The animation was superb and one of the best. Though, I was not a fan of the ears on Batman’s cowl.
The backstory did not seem to fit the original comic. Granted, the graphic novel is too short to make an entire film, but I would have filled it with the main villain the Joker. Instead, it comes off as almost a standalone story. I never understood the big deal with the original comic book to begin with. It took away one of the best of the Batman family, ergo Batgirl. No other character truly clenched it, maybe the character Cassandra Cain a bit, but not much. There also was no climax. The movie just kind of ended. Most of the movie, Barbara narrated until the last act. It just stopped with no transition.
To sum up, I would say that the movie is average. It is okay, but not great or even good. Was it as bad as some of the other animated films? No, but it could have been way better.
FAVORITE QUOTE: We are partners, but we’re not equals.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Extreme violence, disturbing images, and foul language
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