I had to go see Batman: The Killing Joke in theaters for the one night only Fathom event. This is an iconic Batman story and I was excited to share it with my daughter. She is becoming quite the Batman fan herself. We both really enjoyed the experience, and despite some issues with it, I still think The Killing Joke deserve the Decent Watch rating. Yet, for Batman fans, I think it’s a Must See.
Batgirl (Tara Strong) and Batman (Kevin Conroy) stop a robbery, but Paris Franz (Maury Sterling). After Paris demonstrates an obsession for Batgirl, Batman benches her. In the meantime, Joker (Mark Hamill) has escaped Arkham and attacks the Gordon family.
The first part of the movie lets us get to know Batgirl and Barbara Gordon a little well. The take on the character is different and puts Batman as a love interest to Batgirl. Traditionally, there would have been a pretty big age gap, but this Batgirl seems slightly older than in usual iterations. Some have been very bothered by this and claimed that it even made Barbara less of a strong character. I didn’t feel that it did, but it did seem like an unnecessary change. I did like the story of Paris Franz and it was an interesting, yet unnecessary, addition to the comic.
Mark Hamill is my definitive Joker
The real highlight was the retrospective of Mark Hamill’s time as the Joker. It aired at the beginning of the film and really made me love him even more than I already did. The animated series is one of my favorite Batman iterations and, while I love Heath Ledger’s Joker, the Joker Hamill created is who I hear in my head when I read the comics. Seeing the Killing Joke on-screen was an amazing experience and I really loved every minute of it. Once Joker showed up and the iconic moments from the book were realized in the animated film I was overjoyed.
This is a film I’m definitely going to buy and probably re-watch. I love the story of Joker and I believe he is the best villain in literature or film…EVER. He is everything a villain should be. Crazy, unpredictable, and capable of almost any heinous act, yet he is lovable, sympathetic, and often funny. He is a great counter to my favorite hero and I’m glad this story was voiced by Mark Hamill.