By Sam Coles:
Batman has to be my favourite comic book series ever with its dark and gritty atmosphere two of my favourite graphic novels are Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns and The Killing Joke. I was absolutely thrilled that Warner Bros. were doing an animated film and of course they weren’t going to water down the content for a younger audience hence why the film is a 15 in this country. This film has got a lot of negative attention and honestly I don’t see why except for a few minor flaws but overall it’s good.
The Killing Joke begins with a segment with Barbra Gordon when she was Batgirl which takes you through events of a certain mobster she is tracking down; it starts off okay with some decent action where you see Batgirl and Batman in a thrilling car chase. However it starts to go downhill as they completely miss the point of Batman’s relationship with Batgirl he is more like a father figure to her, but instead they end up engaging in an awkward sex scene. This is the weakest part of the film because Barbra Gordon’s voice is rather grating and most of her dialogue is her complaining and wining which will make you want to stop watching the film all together and to be honest you can skip this and start watching The Killing Joke part.
Now when The Killing Joke finally begins as in the graphic novel, it is superb Mark Hamill once again voices the Joker and steals the show with his calm and collective nature to the over top maniacal laughter as he gains pleasure from other people’s suffering. Kevin Conroy voices Batman again and the chemistry between Hamil and Conroy is great they play the parts as if Batman and Joker were real you can really feel the tension between the two in some scenes. The Joker once again breaks out of the asylum, but this time he decides to punish Jim Gordon and his daughter, Joker wants to push the Commissioner to breaking point and make him snap like him. It's a twisted mind game where maybe Joker can get the Gordon to kill him instead of Batman.
The visual art style is great it’s a mix of CGI and hand drawn the hand drawn stuff is generally reserved for the characters and the CGI is used for the landscapes. The visuals for The Joker are haunting at times especially when he arrives at Barbra’s apartment with his bone chilling grin, revolver in hand and his white glowing eyes that could pierce through your soul. This film is very graphic with violence it doesn’t pull its punches you’ll see blood fly everywhere when people get shot etc. or when Batman is getting seven shades of blue kicked out of him.
Overall The Killing Joke is a good film, yes the Batgirl stuff at the start is hit or miss but after that it is The Killing Joke brought to life with animation. If the Batgirl aspect bothers you can skip it to The Killing Joke part and you don’t lose anything.