Alan Moore’s “The Killing Joke” is considered to be the greatest “Batman” story ever written. It was so inspirational that DC even made it canon for years. An animated adaptation has finally been released and it’s a faithful adaptation with some low points.
The Joker has escaped from “Arkham Asylum,” bought an abandoned carnival, paralyzed Barbara Gordon by shooting her and kidnapped Commissioner Gordon. The only difference here is that The Joker may do something beyond comprehension; perhaps even Batman and The Joker killing each other.
This movie perfectly adapts Alan Moore’s vision to the T. Every line from the comic is here, as well as all the scenes. The scenes are nicely animated and are on par to how the reader would imagine it. The stellar animation also helps, combining 3D and 2D animation into something looks nice.
Well, mostly nice. Some scenes look lifeless and the animation is static. The worst offender is The Joker’s song and dance routine. The Joker looks fine, but his backup dancers look static and robotic in movement.
The acting is one of the highlights of the movie. Mark Hamill reprising his role as The Joker is always amazing. It’s impossible to imagine anyone else doing The Joker’s voice because Hamill’s version is too iconic. Kevin Conroy as Batman also does a fine job. The best that can be said about Tara Strong as Batgirl is her performance is OK. The main reason for that is the extra scenes added to the story.
These extra scenes, the first thirty-one minutes of the movie, are about Batgirl trying to prove to Batman that she can be on his level. It also shows Batgirl and Batman’s relation. It has nothing to do with “The Killing Joke” and the dialogue is cringe-worthy (“it was just sex for god’s sake. It doesn’t have to mean anything.”) It also comes across as a cheesy teen drama show and adds nothing to the main plot of the movie.
“Batman: The Killing Joke” is a faithful adaptation of the comic with some great art and acting. Just skip the first thirty-one minutes. They’re not worth watching.