Directed By: Sam Liu
Written By: Brian Azzarello
Based On The Graphic Novel Written By: Alan Moore
Based on the Graphic Novel Illustrated by: Brian Bolland
Based On Batman Created By: Bob Kane & Bill Finger 

Voices: Mark Hamill, Kevin Conroy, Tara Stong, Ray Wise, John DiMaggio, Bruce Timm, Maury Sterling, Brian George 

 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.

The film actually feels like two R-Rated episodes of the classic animated series put together and padded out.

It tries to rise to the occasion. Yet doesn’t have the owner or strength of the original series.

It never feels like it runs the whole gamut as we never see batman outside of his costume. He never goes to his alter-ego Bruce Wayne which offers a kind of disconnect. As we see the action heroes one side. So it’s all aggression not really the human or humane part of him.

The first half of the film feels like filler. As it seems like a typical batman adventure story. That gives some perspective and we get to see Batgirl in action. In all her glory before the tragedy that is the second half.

As at least the filmmakers decide to give her some dignity before it seems like they take it away with this hook-up turned partly obsessive love story. Which makes her seem like she is guided more by emotion. Where as batman can easily hook-up or romance and then put his feelings aside while on his mission. So it undermines her and makes her seem weak. It even makes it look like before she was fine defining herself and now she feels the need to be defined or completed by a male.

This could have been done better and in a more caring way.

The film involves blood, violence, sex and cursing to show this isn’t child’s play and they are really going to push the envelope.

The love scene feels unnecessary and adds a romantic and sexual element that keeps the material more adult, it feels out there not only to be more controversial. But also add a romantic kind of love story subplot to it all. As well as give batman seemingly more motivation for is to cheer on batman and his ultimate vengeance. Though it isn’t really needed as because of other acts we can believe his anger. As here this just seems here to make it a bit more personal.

Understanding this was written into a classic graphic novel before the animated series. The film reminds one of the episode where under the scarecrows influence. We are shown batman’ worst fear throughout an episode where he gets Barbara Gordon aka batgirl killer and Jim Gordon hunts him down throughout. Bringing his world collapsing. That managed to have the same kind of effect in storytelling and didn’t need an invention to undermine certain characters.

The second half of the film is so good. It almost makes you forgive the first half or at least wish this was more a short feature and just consisted of it and maybe if needed. Have some flashbacks for. The first half to pad it out a little more. In other words if this film kept to it’s source material a little more directly. It might have come of more winning. Though understand it had to be padded out a bit in the beginning. If too much of a change the audience might complain the film got side tracked.

This film ends up not only being a reunion for the cast. But it also feels kind of like a goodbye from them also. Like this story was one last hurrah for all of them. Making the ending bittersweet.

Though It still leaves the audience shocked where it goes. Especially if you don’t know the original story. As it is no holds barred that shows restraint in some scenes though not in the earlier parts of the story.

The animation is top notch but not as bookish and exciting. Though doesn’t seem to use the shadows and darkness as much.

Overall it is worth watching, but falls short of the classic it could have been.

Grade: C+

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