Film Review - Batman The Killing Joke
Its taken me a couple of days to get my thoughts together on this movie. If you don't know this is the newest animated feature from WB and DC Comics. It is an adaptation of one of the most famous Batman stories. It is iconic for a number of reasons and also controversial for a few reasons as well. The story revolves around the Joker setting out to prove that any man can be driven insane. To drive this point home he kidnaps and terrorizes Commissioner James Gordon which brings Batman in to save his friend. The graphic novel is a great read and if you are a fan of Batman that book should be in your collection. The movie not so much. The reason why is that the film makers make a number of changes that are just bad. The first 35 minutes of the movie involves Barbara Gordon and in all honesty is one of my issues with the movie as they make Batgirl unlikable in my opinion. That and the fact that the opening story feels like a completely different narrative that was tacked on to the Killing Joke. I won't say what happened to keep it spoiler free but yeah its not a good look for her character. This movie actually shines with the Joker. Mark Hamill proves that he is the best Joker and to me the movie doesn't work if its not him voicing the clown prince of crime. His one bad day monologue is awesome and you get an understanding of why the Joker is the way he is, not saying what he does is right but his origin is pretty much jacked up. Kevin Conroy is back as Batman and aside from the first 35 minutes of the movie I thought it was vintage Conroy as Batman. The way the story portrayed was in no way cool but hey in the words of Gambit "dey all can't be winners." The straw that broke the camel's back for me though was that horrible ending. It just made no sense to me the story was getting good up until that point. I just don't get why they chose to end the movie like they did it was confusing and innately stupid in my opinion.
This feature is RATED R. There is language, a little nudity, and some torture going on in this film. Needless to say this isn't for the little ones but teens and adults shouldn't have a problem with it as it is not a Hard R. Oh yeah and the Joker kills a few people, pretty much par for the course when the Joker is involved. Those scenes that I am talking about are not long but they are in the movie.
I never thought I would ever give a DC animated feature this rating but this is getting a WHAT THE HELL WERE THEY THINKING from me. If they would have just followed the graphic novel I think that the movie would have been fine but that first 35 minutes compounded with what that ending just made me mad and confused. In all honesty this is one you can skip in my opinion. Normally, DC knocks it out of the park with their animated movies but this just wasn't one of them in my opinion.