Let me start off by saying I never read the actual comic book. Don’t kill me. I just always heard about it how dark and crazy the storyline between Joker and Batman was from this 1988 graphic novel written by Alan Moore and artist Brian Bolland. Many critics consider the graphic novel to be the definitive Joker story and one of the best Batman stories ever published. But after seeing this movie, I definitely want to want to read the actual comic book and see how the movie mirrored to the actual graphic novel or didn’t.
In DC Comics’ and Warner Bros. Animation latest work, Batman: The Killing Joke, directed by Bruce Timm and Sam Liu, this adaptation was a great film that brought justice to the critically acclaimed graphic novel that was released almost 30 years ago. Fans of the comic book have been anxiously waiting for this film ever since its announcement and some even believed that it’s long overdue. It isn’t a perfect film, but there’s a lot to enjoy when watching it. I can see why it was rated “R”. It did contain violence, explicit language and some nudity scenes. But I would say I loved the graphic animation in this film. The fight scenes were pretty cool even though they could have taken more advantage of the “R” rated to show more fight scenes. I also loved the way the moment of the background art to the foreground art was done. The comic relief was funny as well. I laughed out loud when Batman said, “I will count to 10, 1 – 9”. And Joker towards the end of the film, when he got upset when he pulled the wrong gun out and said, “Well damn it”. I just love how it was written strategically and placed in at the right moments.
The story mostly centered around Batgirl and Batman for the first half of the film. This film gave a background history on Batgirl, which I was excited for. The daughter of Jim Gordon, she fought along side with Batman, but had such a love/hate relationship with him. He never showed her emotions until that “one scene”, which I think they could have left out and still have been a good animated film. But I am glad she got her little feature spotlight both good and bad ways.
The highlight of the film has to be the character everyone came to see: The Joker. In The Killing Joke, we get to see the Joker in a different light and by the end of the film, we actually feel compassion towards him because like many other people, he has been through many struggles that have shaped him to be the man he is.
All in all, I think they did a good job with this animated film from the 1988 graphic novel. It has made me want to go back and read the comic book to take a deeper dive into this story. I give it a 8 out of 10 MEL rating stars. Let me know what you guys thought of this film if you have seen it. Have a great day! –xo Mel