When I reviewed the graphic novel, my final verdict was Platinum. Then as I’ve mentioned already, me and the girlfriend went to the cinema to watch the animated movie. I don’t know exactly if there’s any differences on the DVD/Blu-Ray version. My guess is that the cinema version had some extras that could be part of some bonus perhaps. So here I’ll review everything that was shown on the cinema. So let’s see if the animated version of this graphic novel deserves Platinum as well – or not.

The movie version I’ve watched starts with an interview with Mark Hamill. He says a few words about Star Wars and then explains how he became the voice of the Joker. He tells us about his first reaction about the role, how he prepared himself, and how he proceeded to give the proper voice, and vibe to this iconic character. The most difficult was, of course, getting the right laugh. But we learn how much Mark Hamill is a fan of this character, and for everyone who has never heard him as the Joker, we can only trust him and be confident that his work will be amazing.

After this exclusive interview, the film begins. And every fan of the graphic novel will start wondering. Because the movie doesn’t start like the graphic novel. Actually, it opens with Barbara Gordon’s voice (Batgirl) explaining us a bit of the story of Batman, her ownself, etc. She does mention that “it won’t start the way we’ve expected” – nice pun.

Warning: Major spoilers ahead.

In this new beginning, Batgirl fights alongside Batman in a case that becomes too personal. A tension grows between Batgirl and Batman. When she’s without her mask, she talks to her best friend about the “relationship” she has with her teacher of Yoga (cool analogy) and how frustrated she feels. At the same time, the case she’s working on makes her angrier and reckless. The villain she’s after lures her into trap after trap as he supposedly falls in love with Batgirl. She wants to catch him desperately and make Batman proud. She becomes too involved and Batman tells her to stay away, but the tension between the two only increases. Until…surprise surprise, she and Batman have sex! Now, this is something that bothered many fans. First of all, the way they end up on the roof makes sense after the whole tension between the two. It feels weird, yes. But it does make sense. Then they resolve the case, they catch the bad guy, and Batgirl decides to step away from Batman and night activity. The ending scene of this introduction involves Batman in a crime scene that looks just like one of the Joker’s.

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And there it starts, the first scene of the graphic novel when Batman arrives at the Asylum. And right there, you start to understand. They couldn’t have completely replicated the graphic novel on the screen. For those who’ve never read it, but also for the sake of consistency, they had to add a beginning that would not only lead to the actual main story of the graphic novel, but that would also emphasize some bits of it. Now, I try to imagine the drawings of the graphic novel on the screen, and I’m not sure it’s doable without CGI. Instead, this style of animation needs more depth to give as much realism as the graphic novel. That’s where the sound, the music, the voice but also the connection from the first part help.

It’s difficult to give life to something that has been created on the paper, and even more to create something that would match the idea in everyone’s heads. When we read, we develop our own idea of the sounds, the voices and music in our head. We create our own atmosphere from what is given to us. In the movie, this atmosphere is forced and it’s chosen by someone other than us. Honestly ? Everything in the movie was close to how I imagined when I’ve read the novel for the first time. The sound of the steps, the rain, it’s perfect. The music fits just right and is impeccable. The voices are brilliant. The laugh of Mark Hamill is as creepy as required, and it suits this Joker.

In the end of the movie, we have another little extra after the credits. We learn how the music was made, and why they’ve made these choices for the soundtrack. They really wanted something creepy but also related to the childhood. Something really weird and disturbing. That’s what they did with the song that the Joker sings when James Gordon is in the ghost train. They say it was the most difficult part since it doesn’t even feel like a song when you read it. To be honest, once again, it matched the style in my head, so it was perfect.

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Overall, the movie was awesome, and longer than I expected. It was a real pleasure to have an introduction by Mark Hamill and this extra in the end about the soundtrack. I always watch every single bonus included in any Blu-Rays, and to have this type of material on the big screen was a first time experience. I personally enjoyed the first part with Batgirl. It was maybe a bit too long and the villain was not enough charismatic, the case not that interesting. But I think the goal here was to build the relationship between Batman and Batgirl. She’s frustrated and wants to make Batman proud. At the same time, he’s overprotective and almost even possessive of her. I liked what they did with their love scene. The connection to the second part – the actual graphic novel plot – is smooth and we get easily into the story. The moment Batgirl is shot becomes more emotional thanks to the first part. This creepily disturbing graphic novel on the big screen is a whole new experience, and the final result was a fine complement to the reading part.

I loved it, and for me, nothing changed. They couldn’t do it better.

 


Final Verdict:

To me, this is Platinum.



Comments

14
  1. I watched it with my boyfriend but it never really caught my attention, I ended up sleeping halfway through the movie. When I asked my bf if the movie is good, he says he thinks it’s kind of overrated. That’s just our opinion though. ✌🏼️

  2. Oooh, I’ve never heard of a Batman animated movie, and I’m not much of a DC fan as well. XD But from the looks of it, I guess DC makes better animated movies than live action ones. Nice and detailed review!

  3. I am actually not a huge fan of DC but I adore some of their characters.. I haven’t got the chance to watch this movie yet but I really find the story quite intriguing and I would love to give this a shot!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Bluedreamer recently posted…National Shrine Of The Sacred Heart of Jesus In MakatiMy Profile

  4. Batman and the joker; classic. It’s always interesting to see how the story goes on between these two! I’ve seen cartoons of it. I always liked the tune of batman.
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  5. I always think its so funny that Mark Hamill does the voice of the Joker. It’s very far away from Luke Skywalker! But I agree that he does an excellent job. I’ve heard mixed reviews about The Killing Joke movie, so I’m glad that you enjoyed it.
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  6. I haven’t seen this yet though I only rely on the husband’s collection of DC movies. I’d have to ask him to get this as you’ve posted a good verdict of it. 😀
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  7. The story is intriguing enough. I have not read the graphic novel but I guess I am watching this because their plots are always inter-connected. I’m not a fan of Batman but since Batgirl is there so this should be good and it’s something new for me. There have not been much movies about her.

  8. It’s not released in India I guess:( hadn’t heard of it until your post… but comics/novels are always better and realistic than movies I feel… your review sounds really interesting. I hope get hands on it some how. ..really wanna watch!

  9. Haven’t watched the movie yet. But im getting into it since my boyf is marvel and DC FAn. Though what i can say is im starting enjoy this kind of comics and the storyline. Wished ive been hooked to this way earlier.

  10. Hi geeks 🙂 I am back checking on you . I can see myself becoming a Batman , Superman , Killing Joke fan soon , LOL , as you write in such an enthralling way. Normally I would just get off posts like this , as this is so not my world. But , don’t really know why , but with your site it is different. Might be the catching layout or really the way you write. Another great job done !
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  11. I thought the portions of “The Killing Joke” that stayed true to the comic were well done. I wasn’t happy with the introduction though. I agree that a little backstory into Barbara’s role as Batgirl is necessary to make readers sympathize when she’s shot, but I disliked the fact that her entire intro was focused around boys and relationships. It made her feel a bit one-dimensional, and since this wasn’t in the original comic, they could have done anything they wanted with this opening storyline. I would have preferred if the student/mentor relationship between Batgirl and Batman was emphasized without placing so much importance on a physical or romantic entanglement.
    It was awesome hearing Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy reprise their roles though, so that was definitely worth the price of admission for me 🙂

  12. Ok, so that was more or less the story. I think for the storyline, it intrigues me enough that I feel like watching it except for one thing. I have this thing on animation and this kind of animation is one I absolutely do not like. I like the way Pixar makes animation, you see. LOL! And oh, I do like Batman, one of my all time favorite characters. Dark Knight I super like, I like Batman getting more violent.
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  13. I enjoyed the movie. The first arc didn’t bug me as I haven’t read the comic. If anything giving Batgirl so much screentime works because it will make audiences get attached to her. What occurs later has all the more impact as a result.
    The Otaku Judge recently posted…Batman: Assault on Arkham ReviewMy Profile

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