Batman: The Killing Joke

Batman: The Killing Joke
Voice Director: Wes Gleason

US Theatrical: Jul 25, 2016

Animation Studio: Warner Brothers Animation

Popularity: 509th All Time, 783rd This Week

Franchise: Batman
Characters on BTVA: 18
Batman: The Killing Joke Batman: The Killing Joke Cast
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Batman: The Killing Joke Cast


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8000 Saiyans
said at 4:20 PM on Wed Oct 18 2017
 3 Shout Outs!
What a disappointment this film was. Conroy was seriously phoning it in and Hamill wasn't as good as he was in the DCAU. Tara Strong gave the best performance though.
said at 11:02 PM on Fri Jan 6 2017
 4 Shout Outs!
I really enjoyed this movie, but I agree with the complaints about the first act. Having never read the comic, it was still obvious how tacked on and detached it felt from the rest of the film. I think Timm and the team could've done a better job at connecting it to the rest of the film. The relationship between Bruce and Barbara doesn't bother me, but I think it would've been more effective if it was merely suggested instead of shown outright. The animation wasn't the best either, but it got the job done. It was at least cool to see Barbara get some real attention, and the actual "Killing Joke" material was well worth watching.

Terrific voice acting too. Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill, and Tara Strong were at the tops of their game here. It was by far the best part of the film.
said at 3:18 PM on Tue Nov 8 2016
Seeing this movie in the theater was fun, but overall not the best effort by Bruce Timm and company. The Batgirl prologue wasn't as bad as everyone else has been saying, but it had NOTHING to do with The Killing Joke at all. It would have made more sense to do a DC showcase short of another Batman/Joker story, like Man Who Laughs perhaps.

The voice work wasn't very good. It felt like they just decided to throw in Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill, because they're fan favorites. Kevin didn't emote very well, and it's the same boring one tone voice he's used for the past decade. Mark tried something different, but felt lifeless overall, which is a shame. They should have casted actors who actually fit the material, instead of a duo who unfortunately sounds too old to portray their characters effectively.

Overall, a steaming pile of wasted potential. A shame. Hopefully they put more effort into the next Batman story they adapt, in both the visual and voice acting department. I would have suggested Grant Morrison's Arkham Asylum, but I don't know if I can trust them to do it justice in animation.

Just a final thought, but this movie did not warrant the R Rating, AT ALL. Under the red hood totally could have, but not this.
An Awkward F*ck
said at 4:04 AM on Sun Nov 6 2016
Good Animation. Good Voice Acting. Bad Movie.
said at 6:49 PM on Sat Oct 15 2016
 3 Shout Outs!
Say what you will about this movie but Mark Hamil delivers those lines written by Alan Moore amazingly
said at 3:10 PM on Tue Nov 8 2016
@batcool I disagree. It was most likely the direction, but the one bad day monologue was appalling. It's played off much more depressing and sympathetic in the graphic novel, but Mark's delivery in the film is too one note and creepy. Watch this fan made version. So much more emotional and thought provoking than the film's, and way more faithful to the graphic novel's monologue.
said at 2:37 AM on Sun Jul 31 2016
 2 Shout Outs!
This movie does NOT look good. They should have contracted Production IG to do this movie. This doesn't do the comics ANY justice.

I know DC said, "It was too detailed!" but GITS SAC looked every bit as detailed, if not more so than its manga. I don't buy that excuse.
said at 11:05 AM on Sun Jul 31 2016
@AntiSabat666 Have they done non-anime projects?
said at 11:15 AM on Sun Jul 31 2016
@Troodon2 It depends on whether or not you consider Gotham Knight an "anime" or not. You could argue that it isn't an anime as it was written and directed (main direction) but Americans. It was also produced by Americans.

But you could also argue that it is an anime as it was episode directed by Japanese animators and had Japanese animation production.
said at 12:53 PM on Sun Jul 31 2016
@AntiSabat666 Well, I'm fairly certain it is since it was animated in japan, the traditional anime way.

But that aside, I do agree the animation here could used used more work. But the voice acting is still good.
EPA Deane
said at 6:02 AM on Mon Jan 30 2017
@AntiSabat666 Madhouse would have been a better fit since their animation style in The Marvel Anime looks quite similar to Brian Bolland's Artwork.
said at 3:54 PM on Mon Jan 30 2017
@EPA Deane Problem is The Killing Joke isn't explicitly marketed as anime like the aforementioned Marvel series, so the more likely outcome of that scenario would've been that the WB developers would have Madhouse make the movie look and move more like any other American-produced movie in the DC library, and to achieve that, Madhouse would be required to waste superfluous animation frames on the non-action scenes to make the frame-rate monotonously even throughout the whole movie. So, as a result of having to make the characters move more through the whole thing, the meticulously-detailed drawings that Madhouse is normally renowned for would have to be dumbed down for the sake of making all the more arbitrary character motions easier to do.

Just for frame of reference, Madhouse had to do this before with Hulk Vs.. The difference between that and, for example, Parasyte or One-Punch Man is fairly evident, to say the least.
said at 12:01 PM on Tue Jan 31 2017
@CatsTuxedo It's a shame how these companies could be getting far, far better looking products from talented Japanese animators for cheap if they just changed their priorities a little. Instead, we're stuck with emotionless, sterile looking stuff like this.

I bought the comic around the time I watched this movie, and it was depressing how even with it being animated, acted, and scored, it makes you feel nothing compared to the comic. Its artwork carryied it farther than everything this movie had to offer combined.

Pretty much the only reason I watched this was because I wanted to hear the voice acting, and even that sounded surprisingly half-hearted outside of Mark Hamill, who, despite his best efforts, sounded like he was being held back by his physical limitations and some poor direction.

This movie is practically worthless, IMO.
said at 12:04 PM on Tue Jan 31 2017
@PsychicVoiceSpy *carried
EPA Deane
said at 8:21 AM on Wed Feb 1 2017
@CatsTuxedo They did excellent work on 'Todd McFarlane's Spawn' (a Non-Anime project).
said at 11:12 AM on Wed Feb 1 2017
@EPA Deane They only did the main title sequence for that one. The actual show was done on standard assembly lines in Korea and India.
Nightmare Crusher
said at 3:49 PM on Sat Jul 30 2016
 3 Shout Outs!
I feel like the worst thing in the actual adaption part is that it really doesn't let itself savor the right moments.

Like, you know that one picture of the Joker. The REALLY iconic one. This one.

That image is in the movie, but they breeze past it so fast that it completely misses the point. Doesn't help that the laugh they got from Mark is just too short and weak for such a visceral and haunting moment. I just don't understand what they were thinking.
TylerMirage (Admin)
said at 4:46 PM on Sat Jul 30 2016
@Nightmare Crusher Not gonna' lie, I think the movie squandered its Joker laughs. There's like, one "heh", the lacklustre laugh in the iconic shot that you mentioned and then the final joke between him and Bats. I'm racking my brain trying to remember any other Joker laugh in the entire movie.

I kept waiting and waiting for a huge, momentous, spine-tingling Joker laugh...and it never came. :(
said at 5:08 PM on Wed Jul 27 2016
Sure it took a while to pick itself up, but once it did I really enjoyed it a lot.
said at 12:51 PM on Wed Jul 27 2016
 8 Shout Outs!
To be perfectly honest, the first half, even omitting the controversial scene, is not well written. It makes Barbara seem like a petulant child and not a very competent superhero, as she got played throughout the entirety of it. Plus there's a lot of contrivances, like the cartoonish couples Barbara saw on the streets and the whole abyss speech that only seemed like was only meant to attempt to tie it in thematically to the actually Killing Joke part.

The second half, though better, also has the problem of feeling weirdly rushed, like the pushed this movie out the door. Some of the line reads are either too quick or kind of stiff and Conroy's performance feels phoned in. Hamill steals the show, but in fairness the others really didn't have a lot to work with to shine. Muary Sterling was pretty good as Paris as well.

Also Barbara becoming Oracle at the end, though happening in the comics after the events of Killing Joke, isn't really set up well a the movie never portrayed her as having any amazing information gathering or computer skills (outside of her typing on one in the library scenes.) Setting that up probably would have been a better use of the first half than what we got.
said at 12:35 PM on Mon Aug 8 2016
@GothamRed Plus the first half is pretty close to pointless , or at least the characterization like Paris Franz's obsession with Batgirl.
said at 10:21 AM on Wed Jul 27 2016
 1 Shout Out!
Mark's clip just made me have flashbacks.
said at 9:49 AM on Wed Jul 27 2016
 3 Shout Outs!
The moment it actually gets to the adaptation of The Killing Joke, it picks up. The adaptation is a little too safe, though. But, I did enjoy it. I wish the animation was better. Then again, I only really came for the voice acting. Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill were amazing. Otherwise, it's just ok.
Stare at the Sun
said at 8:15 AM on Wed Jul 27 2016
 1 Shout Out!
This movie made me feel incredibly uncomfortable. I LOVED IT.
said at 4:57 PM on Tue Jul 26 2016
 5 Shout Outs!
Okay, I'm going to be blunt here, I do not think any of Alan Moore's work were meant for adaptations. Not that I mind the idea though, however there is context to his work that either shouldn't be altered or isn't intended to be translated into cinema; and that's particularly the case when creative teams take their own liberties to the film and do things that only hurt the story.

Another chip that's been bugging me, DC seems to have this very obsessive love affair with the story, as well as Batman Year One, The Dark Knight Returns, and even Watchmen. It's always those particular entities that they keep glorifying and milking for how "Deep and Edgy" they are, when there is a full library of other stories in the mainstream DCU they can be working from.

And even then, if the Killing Joke is such a super duper awesome comic... then I really wouldn't or shouldn't actually care for a movie! I mean don't get me wrong, I love seeing superhero stories adapted into other forms of media, but I don’t sit with baited breath just to see if Kevin Conroy is voicing Batman again in an adaptation of something like, Batman: Fortunate Son or whatever.

The Killing Joke already exists and I enjoy reading it in the medium it was made for. Short, simple, but right on point.

Again I don't object to an animated adaptation, but we all know the story: The Joker's one bad day drove him nuts, a plausible origin, and he assaults Barbara Gordon (Batgirl/Oracle) and tried driving Jim Gordon nuts to prove his point, got it! I mean, most of us practically read the damn book, since Kindergarten! And frankly I thought a lot of people don't seem to understand what the real problem with the original graphic novel was, and that was the purpose of Barbara herself!

It was a prime example of, 'Women in Refrigerators' something which Alan Moore himself regretted but DC apparently was all for it (Even outright telling the guy to, "Cripple The B!+(#!" (Yeah I have this quirk to censor myself, kind of a habit but whatever.)

And to anyone who thinks this was what made Oracle... well, that's true in one way... but false in another. It's the same thing as crediting Rob Liefeld for creating Deadpool, he may have made up the character initially, but if it wasn't for people who wrote stories with the character afterwards we really wouldn't have the definitive Deadpool we have today; and the same goes for Oracle, because since the Killing Joke it was, it was Kim Yale and John Ostrander, a husband and wife team who build upon Barbara's new entity as Oracle, and other writers since then continued building up on it from then on, but not the intent of Alan Moore! It was intended to be a solo piece, but since it was a success of course DC sought to treat it as though it were canon.

It was a double-edged sword frankly. On one hand it was a prime case of "Frigging" but on the other hand it built the character of Oracle afterwards, setting a more positive example of not only feminism, but also how people who generally lost their ability to do something in life can still came out on top and make a positive difference in other ways. Plus it also further developed character for the rest of the bat family, as well as Jim, the Birds of Prey and other characters in the DCU, pave introduction to the Cassandra Cain Batgirl, followed by Stephanie Brown, and it also taught readers another important lesson on how certain characters aren't always going to be the same character. (Exceptions aside)

And I get what they did, they want to establish Babs' position as Batgirl, prior to her latter involvement in the middle, and even build closure and resolution with her more prominent entity; and it did so... but in a misguided direction, especially considering the controversial Bat-Sex thing, which convulsed the character's position when confronted with the Joker, two twists don't make a straight line!

But as is, the movie was okay. I just wish DC can stop praising the ever loving crap out of it, as well as the other aforementioned stories, thus giving them credit for something they didn't really deserve and focus elsewhere.
said at 9:27 PM on Wed Jul 27 2016
Interesting that you say that, since I read somewhere that Alan Moore disliked most of the adaptations of his works.
said at 9:31 PM on Wed Jul 27 2016
@GreenGoblin75 I'm well aware of that.
said at 7:17 PM on Sat Jun 10 2017
@Troodon2 - Honestly, I think the only time anyone ever adapted an Alan Moore story and did it right was the JLU episode "For The Man Who Has Everything"
said at 7:18 PM on Sat Jun 10 2017
@HyperVoiceActing That always comes to mind.
said at 3:56 AM on Wed Jun 14 2017
@HyperVoiceActing yeh alan moore still hates it but approves of the adaptation still hates it but approves that jlu episode
said at 9:47 PM on Mon Jul 25 2016
 4 Shout Outs!
Just saw this. It's pretty good, The reviews are right in saying the first half an hour feels like padding to get it to feature length.

But once the Killing Joke portion of the movie starts, It improves drastically and becomes as faithful an adaptation of the graphic novel as can be with outstanding work from Mark Hamill.

If you can get past the first half-hour, It's a solid movie.
said at 8:16 PM on Mon Jul 25 2016
 5 Shout Outs!
It's pretty decent to be honest. It doesn't really go full on into the graphic novel until about 20 minutes in and they do add some stuff with Barbara that personally I thought was kind of unnecessary, but for what it is, it's a pretty decent film. Nothing amazing, but considering DC animation's streak of crap the past two years, decent is a huge step up.
said at 3:01 PM on Mon Jul 25 2016
 9 Shout Outs!
Just came back from seeing it, and I'm REALLY impressed. Mark Hamill's a great Joker anyway, but he just knocked it out of the park this time. Genuinely horrifying, and yet in one particular scene, amazingly sympathetic. And it was great to hear him matching wits with Kevin Conroy again.
said at 7:27 AM on Thu Jun 16 2016
 3 Shout Outs!
Yes! The theater I work at is getting this as a Fathom Event!
said at 7:02 PM on Thu Apr 14 2016
 2 Shout Outs!
It's getting an R-Rating.
(I also write this article)
SharpShot Shockwave
said at 3:20 PM on Mon Mar 28 2016
 4 Shout Outs!
As if Kevin & Mark reprising Batman & Joker wasn't exciting enough, when I found Out Tara was reprising Babs, I was Over the Moon.
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