Kevin Conroy vs Mark Hamill. Batman vs The Joker. The superhit formula fails to shine as unnecessary sex scenes and mindless character development hampers the “punchline” for “The Killing Joke”.
It starts from Barbara Gordon’s (Batgirl’s) perspective and continues to bore the audience for 25-ish minutes. 3 years with an overprotective-boyfriend-material Batman and still not into a relationship with him, Batgirl likes being bossed around by The Dark Knight, as a tough case of a mafia lord causes a rift between them.
Now, here comes the problem. After being removed from the same case, Batgirl goes on to take care of things (and isn’t able to) and after being saved by Batman, they have sex on a rooftop. Yes. Sex. ON A ROOFTOP.
Batman, you sly (pedo) dog.
Some unnecessary dialogues make up the first half until we finally see the big baddie, The Joker. He escapes prison and goes on a full-scale ape-shit rampage to paralyze Barbara and traumatize Jim Gordon (her father) to prove that one bad day can change a man’s life and turn him insane.
He almost succeeds until Batman takes care of him. The movie explores how an ordinary guy became The Joker, which is THE BEST part about it.
All in all, it wouldn’t be fair to say that it is a disaster.
Conroy does a good job as Batman, Hamill does brilliant with his Joker portrayal but the real problem lies with the Barbara Gordon a.k.a Batgirl. She’s portrayed as a rebel and a rather unnecessary love interest to a seemingly older version of Batman and the rooftop sex scene has already received planet of flak.
The movie, which focuses on the Joker’s origin in the final 40 minutes or so should have done that throughout to maintain the gritty and dark nature of the comic and paying it a fitting tribute.
Much of the movie clings on to make sense (only clings) that one bad day is enough to make a man insane but that’s all there is to it.
The ending is rather bland and anti-climactic, where Gordon tells Batman to catch The Joker “by the book”, in order to show that his mind is still stable enough even after the mental torture by The Joker.
The movie tries to stay true to the novel but the Batgirl’s development and an old-school touch to the animation is kind of a letdown. The movie, however, does well with its voiceover work and fantastic dialogues by Mark Hamill, who happens to be the only saving grace of an otherwise sinking ship.
It’s a movie with plenty of innuendos, inappropriate jokes, etc. which makes it fit for mostly adult people to watch it.
Had the starting sequences been dealt with the same emotion as the second half, I’d have given this a much higher rating.
But for now, as for the reasons stated above, I’m gonna have to rate this one 2 / 5.
One for Conroy and Hamill as Batman and The Joker and one for storyline and flashbacks about the Joker in the 2nd half.
You’ll probably watch it twice only if you’re a Batman fan.
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Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.