Sunday, 24 July 2016

Film Review: "Batman: The Killing Joke" (2016).




"The madness begins" in Batman: The Killing Joke. This animated superhero film directed by Sam Liu; adapted by Brian Azzarello; based loosely on the graphic novel of the same name by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, the film is the twenty-sixth film in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies series. As Batman hunts for the escaped Joker, the Clown Prince of Crime attacks the Gordon family to prove a diabolical point mirroring his own fall into madness.

The movie originally went into production in 2009, but it was canceled after Watchmen (another R rated DC Comics movie) failed at the box office. In 2011 during San Diego Comic-Con International, after the release of Batman: Arkham Knight (2015), Mark Hamill stated that, due to the strain it put on his vocal cords, he would never voice The Joker again unless The Killing Joke was adapted into a film. Since then, a Facebook page titled "Petition to get Mark Hamill to play the Joker in animated Killing Joke" was set up by his fans. In 2013, Bruce Timm also expressed a desire to create the project. So when he was offered to reprise his role for the film, Hamill gladly accepted. Later on, he changed his mind after he and Kevin Conroy agreed to reprise their roles in the upcoming Cartoon Network show Justice League: Action. In July 2015, during the Justice League: Gods and Monsters panel at San Diego Comic-Con, Timm announced that an animated film based on the novel was in development and slated to be released in 2016. Sam Liu will direct and Timm will executive produce the film. The film was originally made to be released straight to video, but since its popularity had grown so much after its announcement that Conroy and Hamill would be reprising their roles as Batman and The Joker, Fathom Events and Warner Brothers announced that it would be getting a special one-night theatrical release on July 25, 2016. This was the second DC Animation's film to ever hit theaters, with the other being Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993). In January 2016, Timm revealed that the film would be screened at San Diego Comic-Con in July.

It features the voice talents of Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill, Tara Strong and Ray Wise. The cast gave another set of terrific performances with Conroy and Hamill once again proving that they are the only ones to perform their iconic roles. Conroy's brooding presence with Hamill's manic personality have always complimented each other ever since working on Batman: The Animated Series.

From first glance, Batman: The Killing Joke has the image of an exciting and serious adult entertainment that would satisfy longtime fans and newcomers as well. However, after the viewing, it feels as though it was brought dead on arrival – a lifeless bore with stale voice work and a disjointed, sporadic narrative that was best kept on the pages of Alan Moore and Brian Bolland's stellar graphic novel.

Simon says Batman: The Killing Joke receives:


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