REVIEW QUICKIE: THE KILLING JOKE

I don't want to go too in depth on this, it's not meant to be a full review, this is meant to give my thoughts quickly(ish) and be a fairly quick read... But, I suck at quick... so, bear with me. Also, as this is based on an old graphic novel, I will not be putting in spoiler alerts. I will also strive to avoid any major spoilers, just in case...

I went into "The Killing Joke", admittedly not remembering the entirety of the story. I remember a character I love getting shot, I remember an ending I absolutely hated due to its utter ambiguity. Beyond that, a lot of the details were sketchy. (Note to self: Find copy of The Killing Joke, and reread).

The movie has a great voice cast, and for brief moments, I was transported back to my childhood, listening to two of the actors that helped make the animated series (and subsequent games) so enjoyable. And adding in the prolific Tara Strong to the mix definitely helped. So, suffice to say, I absolutely loved the voices.

The music was also a thing of beauty. Setting the mood perfectly (and after teh movie, they showed a wonderful little documentary about the music... complete with a singing Mark Hamill) Again, wonderful to listen to, at times subtle, other times very in your face, and even an odd Joker Broadway number, that was apparently ripped straight from the pages of the graphic novel! (Seriously, Frank... find your copy of that damn book....)

The thing that I find to be a little off, and completely unnecessary was some sexual tension between Barbara and Bruce. A subplot that I felt undermined the strength of the Batgirl/Barbara Gordon character, Honestly, this had absolutely no purpose... it felt awkward, it is turned into a major plot point, and subsequently discarded, as if it never happened. Unfortunately, that sour taste is left behind, and really taints the remainder of the film.

Ultimately, it was a fairly enjoyable flick, which I feel could have done a lot more to expand on the Batgirl character without going down the route they went... If they absolutely HAD to go this route, they could have added in some Nightwing, since they weren't 100% beholden to the original story...

Ultimately a passable entry into the DC Animated catalog, and I look forward to a repeat view (after rereading the graphic novel) It will soon join my BluRay collection, and after that, perhaps I will come back for a more in-depth review.

TO BUY, OR NOT TO BUY?: That is the question... I honestly believe that having Kevin Conroy, and Mark Hamill return is enough of a reason to buy this. And despite some mishandling (in my opinion) of Batgirl, having a story that at least initially focuses in on her, is a welcome thing. So yeah... Buy this one if you can.

FINAL SCORE: C+ (or perhaps a B-) ... it's kind of close, and I've been going back and forth between the two, on my ride home from the theater.

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