The Jokes on Us
The original Killing Joke written by Alan Moore is considered by many to be a classic. The quintessential Joker story that both manages to show Joker at not only at his most sadistic but also at his most tragic. The story at its core was so dark it didn’t seem likely that it would be adapted into a movie. So it became a big surprise to everyone when Warner Bros announced that it was being to be adapted into a R rated animated movie. It was also a pleasant surprise that some of the cast from Batman the Animated Series returned to play the roles they made famous.
With a cast that includes Mark Hamil, Tara Strong and Kevin Conroy this movie could not fail right? Unfortunately not even there acting abilities can’t save the fundamental flaws with this movie. One of the flaws in the movie is the voice acting. With the exception of the formentioned actors everyone else ranged from OK to horrible. In particular the voice of Bullock which is almost laughable.
The biggest problem with the movie is the portrayal of Batgirl. One of the complaints about the original graphic novel is the role Barbara Gordan plays in the story. To remedy this a another story arc was added to flesh out her side of the story. Unfortunately this side story does not work and in some ways even hurts the story. In trying to tell a story of empowerment for Batgirl it came off more like a story of a girl who does nothing but depend on the men in her life. Her interactions with her male counterparts just don’t work. It’s a sharp contrast to the more independent Batgirl we see in the comics.
For the most most part the Killing Joke is a Joker story. Fortunately, that part of the story works very well. Mark Hamill is as excellent as always in the role of the Joker. At times in the movie he goes from a completely vile character to a very sympathetic character. On the opposite side of the spectrum Kevin Conroy ‘s stoic demeanor is very fitting for the movie. While it doesn’t feel quite like BTAS it gets close at times. Overall A Killing Joke is a good effort to bring to life a classic but it may have been better to leave this one in its original format.
Score 6.0 out of 10