HomeMoviesREVIEW — “Batman: The Killing Joke”

REVIEW — “Batman: The Killing Joke”


This film has been getting some serious heat ever since its release which is incredibly jarring, because it is easily the most anticipated release from DC Comics’ animated division to date; and for good reason! It’s adapting Alan Moore’s classic graphic novel, which a lot of Batman fans consider to be the best Batman story of all time. In case you aren’t aware, this story primarily revolves around Batman on the edge with The Joker; Contemplating between finishing his despicable acts for good, or trying to find redemption within him. You also get a lot of backstory for him and the iconic “one bad day” that pushed him over the edge. However, for the film, Barbra Gordon/Bat Girl has an extended storyline with Bruce Wayne/Batman. This has been added to make it work as a feature film, but is the sour spot for a lot of loyal fans.


As someone who is a gigantic Batman fan, I found this film to be… good! It’s not as bad as many people are making it out to be, and definitely not as great as it could have been. I’ll try to be controversial here, and say that everything between Batgirl and Batman wasn’t too bad. Not as bad as others are making it out to be, at least. It develops decently, and I can only assume it’s there to reaffirm why Batman is against getting attached to others. Bruce believes that it only leads to pain and loss; this is explored later in the film. My issue, however, is how the film doesn’t necessarily connect it well to the second half of the film; It is so incredibly disjointed and messy in structure. The way it transitions from each section is near horrible, and singularly ruins this film’s chances of being great, and bumps it down to just being pretty good.
With that being said, I did enjoy each individual section. I just wish the film had a better connective tissue that made the full picture a little more clean and memorable. As soon as Mark Hamill returns to voice The Joker, and Kevin Conroy begins to exchange identical dialogue to the novel with him, it begins to feel rather special. It’s not only a lovely throwback to the original animated series, but a tremendous treat for fans of Alan Moore’s Classic. There’s a genuine pleasure in being able to watch it come to life. The animation in this is also pretty good. I feel like their previous films have had a little neater, more detailed animation.. but I’m just being picky. This was still solid.
The second half of this, like I said, is easily the best. When it truly becomes “The Killing Joke” and takes risks. It definitely earns its R-rating, and seeing The Joker’s origin presented on screen was a satisfying emotional hook of the film. The message of “all you need is one bad day” is clear in the second half of this film, and once you reach the iconic ending between The Joker and Batman, where they have to make a choice, it’s just as potent as it is in the novel. It ends just as ambiguous, and leaves you with a chill down your spine. For all of this film’s faults I’m damn’ glad they got this part right. Overall, it’s good. Not as good as I would’ve hoped, but it worked for me and was an entertaining 80-something minute feature, just not an entirely memorable one. “The Dark Knight Returns” is still the best DC Animated adaptation to date. 3.5/5.

Be sure to SHARE this review with friends! 🙂

The Breakdown

Previous post
REVIEW — "Life, Animated"
Next post
Review — "Suicide Squad"

No Comment

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *