Fans have been begging for it for years, and finally, one of the Dark Knight's most beloved comics has been adapted to the big-screen in animated form: The Killing Joke.
Largely regarded as the definitive origin story for The Joker and one of Batman's most cerebral stories, The Killing Joke is an inarguable classic, yet the widely-anticipated film is admittedly something of a mixed bag.
Though this R-rated take on the source material is easily one of the most anticipated animated films DC and Warner Bros. have ever put out, it only half lives up to the promise that a Killing Joke movie starring Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy suggests. Some creative choices fall horrifically flat, while a few unexpected additions do admittedly pay off. Let's face it, though, you're going to watch it either way.
Here are 5 ups and 6 downs from Batman: The Killing Joke...
Downs...6. The Dull, Overlong Prologue
Because The Killing Joke is a relatively short comic, the movie has been given an extreme amount of padding to bring it to feature length, resulting in an opening half-hour of new material that's really pretty damn boring.
The opening act largely focuses on Barbara Gordon as Batgirl going after a criminal by the name of Paris Franz (yes, really) who is utterly obsessed with her, all while Batman repeatedly insists that she needs to give Franz some distance and let him deal with it.
Bruce and Barbara then end up having sex, and after Bruce gives her the cold shoulder, she spends a good deal of screen time pining for him like a mopey teenage girl. It's terrible.
Honestly, Warner could've just released a 50-minute movie at a lower price point and fans would have likely been fine with it. Instead, you'll probably want to skip the first half-hour if you decide the rest of it is good enough to give another viewing.