I'm not a huge fan of the DC animated films, but the source material is one of my favorite Batman storylines because of its characterization of The Joker, so I knew that I would be seeing it. While the Joker elements of the film pleased me, there were a lot of added elements involving Batgirl that just ended up falling flat.
The graphic novel was already controversial for being misogynistic due to elements involving the debilitation and implied assault of the previously strong female character of Batgirl. Unfortunately, the film went even further with the misogyny. The first half was a melodramatic romance tale of Batgirl and Batman. Batgirl was sexualized, and Batman became stereotypically overprotective of her. I thought that it was a really bad choice on the part of the writers to incorporate this unnecessary, melodramatic, formulaic subplot into the film. For me, it just countered the dark tone of the film that I thought it deserved.
On the other hand, The Joker's elements of the film were very well done. Hamill was a great Joker, portraying the amount of emotion necessary to allow the audience to somewhat relate to the character, which was a major element of the graphic novel. Conroy was also a good Batman, but there wasn't really anything that stood out in the performance. I didn't like Tara Strong as Batgirl, but I don't think that it is her fault, as she didn't have the most well-written character to work with.
I don't think that the animation used was the best visual medium to express this storyline. It was too bright and cartoonish, sometimes distracting from the dark tone of the film. While I acknowledge that a live action film would not be financially feasible, as it would alter the DC Universe's storyline, I think that a slightly darker style of animation, or even an audio play would have been a bit better.
So overall, I didn't dislike "Batman: The Killing Joke". The second half pleased me as a fan of the graphic novel, however, I could have done without the first part. Fans of Batman, like me, will likely enjoy the greater development of the Joker, but may also dislike how the film chose to develop Batgirl.
Batman: The Killing Joke
Big Tuna's Rating: B-
How Did I Watch It?: Digital that I own.
Had I Seen It Before?: No.
Would I Watch It Again?: Maybe.
I am a huge movie fan that wants to tell people about my very varying taste and opinion of film.