Movie Review: The Killing Joke
Updated: May 28, 2019
One of the most iconic cooks in the Batman franchise was finally adapted to a WB Animated film. WB Animated has been on a role with a constant flow of comic book animated films which also includes The Dark Knight Part 1/2, Assault on Arkham, Flashpoint Paradox and more!
I have been finding myself diving into the other DC character story’s that never intrigued me before because of the high caliber of these films. When they announced the Killing Joke, it came with some hesitation as it is one of the most controversial stories as it revolves around Barb Gordon(Batman) being shot by the Joker and this being paralyzed. Also it is insinuated that the Joker perhaps raped her, but to this day no-one from from DC including Brian Bolland ever confirmed that it is in fact true.
This film veers a smidge off of the Killing Joke storyline at the beginning. And it made sense to me why they did it. I read some reviews previous to watching the film and people seem to make a big deal out of it. But “critical” comic book critics must understand, not everyone can walk into a story like this and just understand the what/why/how of the story. Backstory needed to be built for Batgirl’s untimely demise as a superhero. The Killing Joke novel had years of buildup of hundreds of storyline arcs that could explain why Joker did what he did. A newer audience simply cannot just walk into it the film and not be confused why he chose to shoot her after all this time.
The other concern that was brought was the fact that Batman and Batgirl had sex. Are you telling me after who knows how many decades that these characters knew each other in the comics, they never once tried? I am no historian(Wikipedia does not count as a valid source of information) nor do I have time to read hundreds of back issues of the comic to illustrate the point, but I am willing to bet they at least kissed once over the years. And who really cares? The girl was infatuated with him since day 1 and it’s one of the reasons why she became batgirl to begin with. So I am confused why it was such a shocker to people. After the Batgirl backstory, the film goes on to follow the book frame by frame right to the end.
But what REALLY made me want to see this film was the fact that Mark Hamill came back to be a part of the film. Right after he announced, so did Kevin Conroy. Both actors who gave their “Au Revoir” after Batman: Arkham Knight, came out of retirement so to speak for this film. Being as which I grew to watching Batman: The Animated Series, how could I pass on this film? Also John DiMaggio(Bender from Futurama and has played the Joker before)plays a thug named Paris France, Tara Strong voices Batgirl(Known for her voice talent with Harley Quin), Nolan North plays a thug named Mitch(Known for Nathan Drake in Uncharted and voiced the Penguin in the Arkham video game series) and finally Bruce Timm(creator of Batman the Animated Series) voices a random Patrolman as an additional treat.
With all this epicness, how could you pass on it?