Over the years, we have seen Batman and the Joker fight it out time after time, usually ending with Batman avoiding death by a hair and defeating the Joker just to bring him back to Arkham Asylum. This fight has also been described as the fight of Good vs. Evil, and Light vs. Dark; a fight that will go on for years without having a true victor or an end. Which brings us to, The Killing Joke.
The story of The Killing Joke is a simple quest for the Joker, to prove to the world that it’s not what we all believe it to be. The Joker has once again found a way to break out the high-security mental prison, Arkham Asylum. The Joker has a theory that the world is just as crazy as he is, so he takes Jim Gordon to help him prove his point to the world. With Gordon’s whereabouts unknown Batman must dig through the scum of Gotham City to find Joker’s trail. There are moments that will make you wonder if the Joker is mad or if he really does see the world through a clearer lens than the rest of us.
The overall the pacing of The Killing Joke was slow at the beginning, but then picks up about half way through the film. The reason I believe the beginning is slow is due to the added content featuring Batgirl. There is some merit in having this section in the movie, but it could have been written differently and could have also been shorter. Once the pacing of the movie picks up thoug, there are some great moments where Batman will have to make tough choices that might make him break his own rules. There are even moments that will make you wonder if the Joker is mad or if he sees something that we are all missing. Joker has some great speeches during the movie, which will make you think that you might be the insane one.
For fans of the series, there are some voices coming back in this film that will be like music to their ears. Mark Hamill voices the Joker, just like he did during the run of the 1990’s Warner Bros’ animated Batman series. Another familiar voice is that of Kevin Conroy, bringing back that dark, brooding voice of Batman and Bruce Wayne. Having these two voice actors back together make me feel like I am a kid again watching my favorite Batman show on a Sunday afternoon. Tara Strong takes on the role of Barbara Gordon, but she is normally known for voicing the right-hand lady of the Joker, Harley Quinn. In this movie, she does an excellent job voicing the daughter of Jim Gordon and really brings the character to life.
The animation in The Killing Joke was hit or miss for me, but mostly it was a hit. My main issue during the movie was how the Joker looked during certain scenes. I did go back to the graphic novel to make sure I was remembering the art style correctly. It was spot on for key shots but sadly, for others, it wasn’t. During other parts of the movie, such as fight scenes and speeches, it just didn’t seem to be up to par with the rest of the film. The movie does have the feel of the animated series from 1990 and that made the movie experience amazing but I think some of the scenes might have been rushed near the end of production.
Overall, The Killing Joke will bring back some great memories for fans of the series but it does alter course from the graphic novel. The voice acting is almost as good as the original series from the 1990s. Having that many familiar voices coming at you all at once really brings the movie together. The only thing I was annoyed by was the animation of the Joker, as I said earlier there were just some animations that just did not feel right to me. Another main issue I had with this film was the pacing during the beginning of the film. Other than that I would recommend people watch this film if they are fans of the Batman series.
Things I liked:
- Voice Acting
- Action Scenes
Things I did not like:
- Animation for some of the Joker
- Pacing of the movie