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Batman: The Killing Joke Movie Review
The Killing Joke was a fantastic graphic novel, probably even one of the most shocking. The animated movie adaptation was almost fantastic, but hit just shy of the mark. What hindered the film was the added backstory that was not only unnecessary, but also not even canon.
The film opens with Batgirl aka Barbara Gordon tracking a criminal down. Whatever she did, no matter how hard she tried, he always evaded her one way or the other. This area of the film, I believe, was only added as a way to create an emotional connection with Batgirl so that the part of the audience unfamiliar with the novel will have a reason to feel sorry for the girl. That's all. Once the real story begins, then that's when things get interesting.
Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill team up once again as Batman and Joker respectively. Conroy's Batman is serious and emotionally tormented, carrying the weight of inevitability. He knows that he will either die by Joker's hand or he will kill because of Joker. Either way, it's inevitable that he will lose himself one way or the other. Hamill's Joker was chilling and actually frightening in places this time around. He's determined to prove a point, one that could turn fatal for everyone involved.
When I first saw the trailer for the film, I was not impressed with the style of animation. Now that I have seen the film, I think it worked completely. The animation was respectful to the novel and worked well on screen.
In conclusion, I really didn't care for Batgirl's backstory, which wasn't even canon with The Killing Joke storyline. It was forced into the film and onto us and that's a mistake that DC Animations doesn't usually make. If you can make it past the first 25 minutes, you'll love the rest of the film. It's exciting, frightening, and at times, emotional. It's almost the perfect film.
© 2016 Alec Zander