Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Batman: The Killing Joke (2016)

Director: Sam Liu

Writers: Alan Moore, Brian Bolland, Brian Azzarello

Composers: Kristopher Carter, Michael McCuistion, Lolita Ritmanis

Starring: Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill, Tara Strong, Ray Wise, John DiMaggio, Robin Atkin Downes, Brian George, JP Karliak

More info: IMDb

Tagline:  The madness begins.

Plot:  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.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again?  Probably not.

Talk about a disappointment.  While I never read the graphic novel from (I think) the 80s, I'd heard a lot about it.  It sounded like a really dark and gritty tale.  So when I heard months ago that this was being brought to the screen with Conroy and Hamill back in their iconic roles AND that it was going to be rated R, I was properly excited.  Then I saw it.  It's OK.  When it came to delivering the grisly goods they only kind of went there.  For an R-rated picture there's no bad language, the violence is minimal and there's no nudity.  I guess it's only R for the adult themes...and to boost sales by slyly implying that it's going to earn it's adult rating.  Bullshit, I says.  I'd have to read the graphic novel to know where the film makers departed and expanded but the film they made feels like an extended episode for a late-night Batman animated series.  As it is, Batgirl has sex with Batman for the first, and presumably, the only time (which is fine but I'm not savvy on their history leading up to this point so I just have to assume that she's been hot for him for a long time and that he's totally OK nailin' a child or a very, very young woman) and then she spends the rest of the picture (until she's taken out of it) going through teen romance issues.  The Joker is the best part.  Hamill is outstanding in the role (as if he wouldn't be, right?) and he's the best part.  There was some great imagery but the overall film animation isn't nearly as smooth as you would expect for a movie, even though it was a direct-to-DVD film.  It looked like a rushed job you'd get from a TV series.  Maybe that's what they were going for.  I would have like more time spent on this project before making it this far and that's how the film felt, unfinished and needing more time and care to make into something ballsy, worthwhile and iconic.  The ONLY extra on the Warner Bros. DVD is a sneak preview of a new Batman video game!  Really, that's it.

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