Reviewing Batman the Killing Joke is tough for me. It has been quite awhile since I read the graphic novel of the same name for one. Second, I am a big animated Batman fan (anything after the first live action movie has been “eh” to me). I know the animated movies carry a slightly different story arc than the live action ones do so it is not a problem of crossover fatigue. No, reviewing Batman the Killing Joke is tough because I am a big Batgirl fan and this is the story that ended her character as we knew her. That has to be it.
First let me address the animation and audio. Batman the Killing Joke is almost like a continuation of the old Batman the Animated Series to me. Almost like had DC Comics kept that series going that this is what it would have eventually evolved into visually. Well done everyone. For anyone that has read, and loves, the graphic novel this movie is based on may be thinking they have already experienced everything in the story- you are wrong. You will definitely need to watch Batman the Killing Joke to see the swerves and slight changes to the original story- it is worth the price of admission/renting at least, if not buying a copy.
The setup for Batman the Killing Joke is probably going to set off feminists that watch it as it kind of plays Batgirl off as weak. I don’t really think it is a big deal but well, it is out there and someone will complain about it. Another change to the mythos of these characters is the apparent underlying relationship between Batman and Batgirl. I was kind of shocked when it happened as I was specifically avoiding news about this movie. It changes the idea behind the story as it is no longer simply avenging a fallen crime fighter- the writers made it personal.
This is how Batman animated features should be done. If it means going with an R rating then so be it. The character is dark, his movies can be too once in awhile. Batman has the most varied rogue’s gallery in comics outside of the X-Men, let’s see some other iconic villains come forward in grand fashion and have their chance at handing Batman his butt.
If you are on the fence about Batman the Killing Joke then get off it and watch the movie. It is nostalgic while being new, it is true to the source material while veering just enough so you don’t feel like you have seen it already. This is what animated Batman movies need to be like.
Want to watch Batman the Killing Joke? Check Ebay for copies of the DVD or digital codes or try your favorite video on demand provider.