Review: Batman – The Killing Joke (2016)

I have one thing to say before I delve into a little review.  It was a pleasure hearing Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy reciting the lines from the Killing Joke comic.  Hearing them delivered is so much different than reading the words from the page.  It was a different experience from reading it.  I love reading the book and if not for the book, this animated movie would not exist.

On to the review!  SPOILER ALERT!!!

The first thing we have to discuss, the intro with Batgirl.  I liked it a lot, I would love to see DC make an animated movie that centers around Batman.  It was a darker look at Batgirl, but takes me back to one of the episodes of Batman the Animated Series, “Girl’s Night Out”.  Supergirl and Batgirl work together against Harley and Ivy when Livewire comes to town, great episode.  We need more Batgirl in this world, her DLC part in Arkham Knight, the video game.

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There is also the question of a possible on screen romance between Batman and Batgirl.  Well, it happened, kind of.  Batgirl was pretty upset with Batman and pretty much jumped his bones.  It doesn’t show much, so we can leave that to our imagination.  It makes sense, two warriors fighting side by side.  I have always thought of a mentor/mentie relationship, some think father/daughter.  I did not bother me, but I can see it bothering others.

The Batgirl part of the movie was not necessary at all, but I did like it.  I do think it added a little to the story.  Mostly if the average person watches this and they really don’t know much about Barbara Gordon or that she is in-fact Batgirl, it helps.  So maybe it was necessary.  One other thing about it, the movie would have only been about 30 or 45 minutes long.  Like I said at the top, good to see more Batgirl, especially since we saw so little from her in the last Batman DC animated movie, Bad Blood.  Batgirl shows up in the closing seconds.

When the Killing Joke actually begins, it picks up nearly exactly where the book starts.  Batman going to Arkham to talk to the Joker.  He wants to talk about not wanting to kill the Joker, or the Joker killing him.  Then the movie just continues following the book.  I said from the beginning it was great hearing the lines delivered from THE BEST voice actors to do Batman and Joker.  I wish Kevin Conroy would always voice Batman, I cannot imagine why Andrea Romano would ever hire anyone else.  Mark Hamill on the other hand, he has retired from Joker after Arkham City and came back for the Killing Joke like he said he would.  I really wish he would have done the voice work in the Dark Knight Returns animated feature.

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I loved it, I loved this version of the Killing Joke.  Some may complain about the Batgirl scenes, I loved it.  Some may bitch about some of the dialog.  But this may be the best interpretation of a DC book to screen.  The Killing Joke was very good and they were able to capture a couple of the iconic moments very well.

I for sure recommend this to fans of the comic and others.  Parents, be careful watching this with the kiddos.  There are some suggestive scenes in the movie, that maybe the kiddos should turn away from.

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