“As Batman hunts for the escaped Joker, the Clown Prince of Crime attacks the Gordon family to prove a diabolical point mirroring his own fall into madness.”
DC animation is freaking phenomenal. The rich content they adapt from their comics are translated brilliantly through the animation of their television series and films. Young Justice, Teen Titans, Superman The Animated Series, Batman Beyond, Justice League, Batman The Animated Series, Justice League Doom, Batman Beyond: Return of Joker, Under The Red Hood, Mask of The Phantasm, and etc.
The Killing Joke, which in my opinion the DEFINITIVE story between Batman and The Joker, was being made into an animated film and I was extremely happy. It was also a dream come true to hear that the genius mind of Bruce Timm would be a part of producing the movie along with the DEFINITIVE voices of Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill returning! I was going insane because of how long I’ve waited for this adaptation and feeling ecstatic about seeing it finally. Let’s get started 🙂
The majority of the film stayed very faithful to the comic which was a relief because that was very worrisome. I wouldn’t have had a problem with the movie if it decided to add risks that were creative and interesting, but the element it decided to add did not work at all for me. They added this unnecessary dynamic between Batman and Batgirl at the beginning of the film which was about 15-20 minutes.Because of this direction, there were certain choices made by the characters that felt out of character and had me and the majority of the crowd saying WAIT WHAT?! You’ll know what I mean when you watch the film.
The reason I felt they started off with Batgirl was because they wanted to let general audience fans get to know her and maybe connect with her, that way if and when she’s in danger, they feel worried for her. Unfortunately, the filmmakers didn’t express that well, it had potential, but it just felt distracting and pointless, once that arc was over, there was a cut scene to where the film should have actually started making the film a lot better, possibly even great!
Mark Hamill is an extraordinary performer. After decades of Luke Skywalker playing The Joker, one of the most iconic and fascinating villains in literature, he still has the magic. The ability for him to bring this character to life through just his voice and laugh is just impeccable and I thank him so much for spoiling us fans of films and superheroes.
He was clearly my favorite character in this story because he captivated me every time he was on screen. His performance was full of passion and spontaneous insanity. The line delivery was just like how I imagined the words would have been said when reading the comic and he gave Joker so much depth with two different performances, one before Joker’s transformation and after. I love him!
Kevin Conroy I believe is Batman, that voice can’t just be put to sleep at night, I’m sure he uses it to intimidate the bad guys and fight them if they don’t comply..because he’s Batman. Surprisingly, I was actually a little underwhelmed with Conroy’s voice performance as Batman. At times, I felt his acting was flat and didn’t bring as much weight to the character like I’ve seen him do before. It was still amazing to hear his voice once again, I just hope it’s not the last.
Batgirl I thought was written poorly. There were several sexual innuendos revolving her character and I didn’t enjoy that. Barbara Gordon’s Batgirl has usually been mistreated throughout the DC comic universe and it continued here, I really believe she has so much potential as a character being the daughter of Commissioner Gordon, I think her costume is sick, and she was so awesome in Young Justice.
Commissioner Gordon I felt was also expressed not as well as he could have been. It would have been great to get more focus on Joker, Batman, and Gordon since it’s really about them at it’s core as a twisted psychological tale. I felt this movie had a great opportunity to give Gordon some great dialogues of his emotional and mental distress, but they only touched the surface with his arc.
I loved the theme of this story, always have and always will. From what I interpret, Joker is trying to convince Batman that even the most morally just can be driven to evil. This message is expressed with Joker fulfilling sadistic actions to prove his point. Batman’s opposing ideology is that even through the worst, not everyone goes insane. It’s truly a theme of good vs. evil, sane vs. insane, batman’s ideology vs. Jokers which is amazing and handled perfectly in the movie.
My main negative I have for this film is the animation and the choice of color they decided to choose to put on screen. The year is 2016 and I just felt at times, the animation was very simplistic and have minimal detail, but maybe they wanted to keep it that way and stay really faithful to the comic book. Either way, maybe being too faithful in that aspect caused me to dislike that choice.
The comic book also has such distinct colors in every illustration of the panels. It’s a huge part of why I love that comic book so much because it gives the pages personality, tone, and kept me so focused. There was a fan made trailer of someone editing the trailer with the colors of Killing Joke and it was a lot better than the real trailer. I feel that was important to translate to the screen because it felt dull compared to the comic.
Another negative I had, and this one is probably just me again, but I prefer to have The Joker’s origin ambiguous, they gave us a point where he cracked and started to laugh like a maniac and I didn’t feel convinced that was the breaking point to becoming the Joker. The imagination, the mystery of his origin makes him a lot more terrifying and fun because he’s an unpredictable character.
I thought this adaptation was very good, but not great! This movie should have been a short film and the extension of the story they provided did not add anything to the movie. I thought the majority of the movie was faithful to the comic, I loved Mark Hamill’s Performance, Underwhelmed with Batman, Batgirl, Gordon, really disliked the first 20 minutes, loved the theme, and I wish the animation and color was done better. My rating for this film is 7.5/10! 🙂