Last updated on March 3rd, 2017 at 03:24 am

The Killing Joke(‘s) On You

by Jul 27, 2016Batman, Movies

We’re happy to have Robert Lee give us another review – this time of Batman: The Killing Joke animated movie released in theaters for one-day only on July 25, 2016, digital-only release on the next day, and a BluRay + DVD + digital combo pack will be released on August 2, 2016.

The Killing Joke
2.5 Hometown Geek Team
Very faithful to Alan Moore’s story from head to toe.
It’s too faithful.
It’s still worth it to watch, but at this point, if you’re new to it, it’s a coin toss as to whether to read the story first or watch the video first because it’s almost identical… except for the prequel.
Bat Signal Rating
Fellow Geeks Reviews
3.8 Fellow Geeks (2 votes)
Bat Signal Rating

Leave your own review below ↓

(minor spoiler alert, i.e. not spelled out, but alluded to the outcome)

My brother, Josh, surprised me by first saying they were airing the video in a real, actual movie theater and we thought we’d be in for a treat to see a story of this grand of a scale treated accordingly.  Yes, we couldn’t wait to see it and were wondering how it would all come together.

The Killing Joke - Joker Flashback

Yes, I felt like a little kid again, eager for the day to go to the movie.  Ah hell, I’m still a kid at heart….

Mark Hamill by Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 3.0Though in my head, as I’m reflecting on what I saw, It’s very hard for me to be critical, In my opinion their approach to the story was excellent and they were faithful to the source material. They brought a stellar cast, where the original Batman: The Animated Series’ voice talent of Kevin Conroy, Tara Strong, Mark Hamill [yes, Luke Skywalker!] and Ray Wise assuming the role of Commissioner Gordon in lieu of the late Bob Hoskins, resumed their roles. DC even brought back the original behind-the-scenes crew of Bruce Timm as producer, Tucker as story board artist, Lolita Ritmanis as the music director, to helm the movie.



The Killing Joke DVD-Batgirl
Barbara Gordon panel from Alan Moore and Brian Bolland's The Killing Joke graphic novel

Art work: they did a great job of adapting Brian Bolland’s art style, but I have to agree with my brother – it’s inconsistent. The main characters Batman, Gordon, and The Joker are very Bollandish, but Barbara Gordon/Batgirl – not so much. She seems a lot younger in the cartoon, but in the comics she appears a lot older. I’m not sure why that was done (maybe to play up the the girl aspect in Batgirl I suppose and if they portray her as a mature woman, it would be awkward for them to call her Batgirl instead of Batwoman…

They didn’t stray from the original story. If anything, they added more to the story, (a prequel story of Batgirl’s relation to Batman, heavily emphasizing the relation part of it, struck me as odd, and with others in the theatre as well, but was pleasantly delighted…. You’ll have to watch it for yourself, if you don’t catch my drift, for it’s one you have to see to believe.   

The Killing Joke - Batman and Batgirl

The music number was done well, but I was surprised at how much I forgot about it, and how Josh had to remind me how it was in the graphic novel.

The ending was a nice surprise and not sure if they’re alluding to a new story involving a certain cyber-savvy hero that would run circles around The CW Arrow’s Felicity Smoak. 😉 

The real treat was what occurred before and after the movie. In the beginning they aired an interview with Mark Hamill on how he got the role of Joker and explained his approach toward the character. After the movie concluded, they showed interviews of the producer Bruce Timm and artists Tucker and Ritmanis.  That was really an eye-opener. In hearing their approach, it’s very apparent that they were very respectful and faithful to adapting Alan Moore’s story to the movies.  The constant theme is, “Don’t screw it up.”  I can’t help but think that with that approach, it may have hurt more than enhanced the story.  Also, I couldn’t help but think that someone was playing a DVD rather than playing an old 35mm movie projector while showing the extras/interviews, nonetheless it was great and stuff I totally geeked out on.

Directed by:Sam Liu 
Produced by:
 Written by:Brian Azzarello 
 Based on:Batman: The Killing Joke 
by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland 
 Running time: 76 minutes


The Killing Joke (2016) movie poster

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