Sunday, August 7, 2016
#JustaQuickiePlease: Batman: The Killing Joke Review
This animated retelling, and in some ways rebooting, of the classic comic and unofficial Joker origin story, wins and loses as the same time. In actuality, this is unintentionally two films, with the first part solely focused on Barbara Gordon/Batgirl and her relationship with both Bruce/Batman and a new criminal madman with the single worst villain name in all of the genre's rich history. The idea, I suppose, is to adequately introduce Barbara to the mainstream while paralleling her burgeoning interconnection to her newest adversary with that of the Caped Crusader and his infamous arch-nemesis; the Clown Prince of Gotham. That fraction of the movie is done well, with solid storytelling, performances, and animation. The second half, however, which is designed to be the most compelling, and true to its source material, disappoints in every way imaginable. Burdened with sloppy, haphazard editing, a disjointed script, near Scooby Doo style animation, and shockingly stale performance by the iconic Mark Hamill as the legendary homicidal trickster; the most crucial part of this long awaited DC homage fails miserably, right up to its underwhelming ending. Hamill's pre-Joker portrayal lacks any and all emotion, and his normally outstanding interpretation of this seminal villain is absent, replaced by a stagnate and utterly frustrating shadow of past incarnations. Conroy still owns the Dark Knight, but it's not enough to carry this cartoonish calamity. 1 out of 5 Kernels; the only joke was on the audience who waited far too long for a big screen version of such an important and controversial tale only to be wholly dissatisfied.