The second chapter to the “Batman: The Dark Knight Returns” saga concludes with this story and it’s all kinds of amazing (see what I did there?) Loaded with great themes and even a poster to Christopher Reeves Superman.
Batman sure can take a beating at the old age of 55. Starting out right where the last left off with the Joker now becoming aware of his surroundings, he gets the Batman to lose control in the eyes of the public… To which point Superman is brought in to stop him.
The themes from the last one are reintroduced, and then put into practice. One being the story of Pearl Harbour as told by Jim Gordon to Ellen Yindel of how that event sparked a nation to get behind sending troops to World War 2. That’s probably the most paramount theme in this half story. It has the most weight to it aside from the propaganda that may be in the book/movie.
This one, I remembered more, and loved that I either registered more scenes from the comic or the animators used more. The joker scenes were the best, (see above) whereas the ones that seemed to be flat were the Superman scenes right after the nuke explosion. I think that scene was better in the comic whereas you get to read it versus seeing it without the narration.
One thing I didn’t mention in my part 1 review was the actors. Peter Weller as Batman for 99% of this movie is incredible. The breakthrough performance however was the Joker. Just for the way that he was drawn in the book and how he is known to act was superbly presented through the work of Michael Emerson. Andrea Romano, the voice director, is way past “infinity and beyond” in terms of greatness (if I’m ever so lucky to work with her, I will have to first not act like a crazed fan) the only one I felt could have used more, was Oliver Queen’s actor: Robin Atkin Downes.
Another thing I didn’t mention in part was the use of music. In the Nolan directed Batman saga, Hans Zimmer was the man who made everything seem even more epic in those films, notably the best batman movie, T.D.K. Here, the work of Christopher Drake captures a great essence to carry you through the hour 15min motion picture. It’s very close to T.D.K. in terms of how to explain it, especially with the Joker scenes. A lot of the reasons why I like this one, is because of the music.
The rating system is as follows. The 1st rating is what you really want, the rest is just what I thought of each other category as it’s listed (art/animation is how the movie translates the art from the book in animation).
- Overall: 4.5
- Art/Animation: 4.8
- Voiceover Work: 5
- True to the Source Material: 4.8
THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace” and May the Force be with you!
– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW