Batman: The Killing Joke (2016) Review

Rating: 6 / 10

The twenty-sixth film in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies gives us great classical DC universe animation work, good performances but unnecessary additional scenes not in the graphic novel by Alan Moore.

Plot: 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.


  • Kevin Conroy as Bruce Wayne / Batman
  • Mark Hamill as The Joker
  • Tara Strong as Barbara Gordon / Batgirl
  • Ray Wise as Commissioner James Gordon
  • Robin Atkin Downes as Detective Harvey Bullock
  • and many more

Directed by: Sam Liu

Written by: Brian Azzarello (screenplay)

Based on: Batman: The Killing Joke by Brian Bolland and Alan Moore

Let’s start with the prequel of my Batman: The Killing Joke (2016) Review………When I first heard about this animation, I think it was few years ago when Mark Hamill in San Diego Comic-Con International told that he is willing to voice the Clown Prince of Crime – The Joker for The Killing Joke animated movie, I was so freaking excited. I couldn’t wait for it. I was pumped up. The days went by and the trailer comes – also got me more excited than ever. Then the date of the premiere comes – I got lucky that in my country, Riga, Latvia, we had the chance to see Batman: The Killing Joke for just one nigh only on the big screen in a theatre. This was so awesome having that chance to see it – I haven’t seen not one DC animated movie on the big screen until The Killing Joke. It was a delight.

AND NOW THE REVIEW! Weeeel……what can I say? My expectation was so high for this animated movie – maybe I was thinking that this will be the best movie of the year. But it didn’t felt like a good animated movie – plot wise. The biggest problem was the additional scenes that featured Barbra Gordon (Batgirl). Of course the scenes put more emotional weight when Barbra Gordon got shot by The Joker but they could’ve done it differently – not showing the relationship and sex scene with Batman and Batgirl, would been great. For me all the scenes that weren’t in the graphic novel were just unnecessary.

And the main antagonist of this animation – The Joker. We had to wait like 30 minutes till we finally saw him on the screen. I thought I went to a animation movie that was about the origin of The Joker not the origin of shooting of Batgirl. Show us The Joker!!!! Stopping now with the whining. When Joker appeared on the screen was just epic. I just love the performance of Mark Hamill as Joker. For me his is Top 3 best Jokers ever. The voice work is so good. It really reminded me of when Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy worked on Batman: The Animated Series (it was my childhood watching all the episodes). I really hope that Mark Hamill will return someday to play The Joker again. Of course we can’t forget Kevin Conroy’s voice work as Batman/Bruce Wayne. And it is easy to say – he is as perfect as Mark Hamill. They have the best chemistry together playing the iconic characters.

For me the movie fails to capture the magic that the graphic novel brought us. The ending was really weird with Batman and Joker laughing. In the comic it felt really differently than in the movie because you can always interpret the comic much differently than other people execution of a scene in the movie – the laugh felt like it was dragged too much – if it would’ve been shorter it would be ok (just like in the comic). Make us think what will happen after the scene cuts black, like in the comic. And what is with the R-Rating?? You put the R-Rating because you see boobs/sex scene and few guns? Or what? It wasn’t even that bloody to make it in such a rating. There was no point.

The movie would’ve been really good if it were a short film featuring just the scenes from the graphic novel. No additional scenes no nothing. Just shot to shot adaptation of the comic. But of course then they wouldn’t have an opportunity to say it is a full length feature film of The Killing Joke. They wouldn’t even have a chance to show it in the theatre.

Batman: The Killing Joker grossed an estimated $3.775 million in North America and $586,038 in other territories for a total gross of $4.3 million. In the United States, the film grossed an estimated $3.175 million on the first night of the Fathom Events screenings and became the biggest theatrical event in Fathom’s history.

Overall this movie was ok to see. If you’re a fan of the graphic novel The Killing Joke by Alan Moore, you might enjoy it. If your a fan of Mark Hamill as The Joker and Kevin Conroy as Batman or just fan of any Batman or Joker you will enjoy it. If you will not look at the first 30 minutes and the last 3 or 5 minutes of the movie – you will enjoy it more. Batman: The Killing Joke is on Blu-Ray right now, so go get it, grab some popcorn, put your ass on your couch and watch the movie.

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