Batman: The Killing Joke (DVD) – Movie Review
Follow Genre: Action, Animation
Director: Sam Liu
Distributor: Warner Bros Home Entertainment
Duration: 74 minutes

Batman: The Killing Joke (DVD) – Movie Review

Site Score
Good: Nearly flawless animated interpretation of the original graphic novel
Bad: Could have removed the general PG rating and made it even grittier
User Score
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (2 votes cast)

The Killing Joke is something that diehard Batman fans will probably have heard of before, or they might even own said graphic novel. The standalone story dates from 1988 and is a fairly gruesome tale that revolves around Batman and the Joker’s never-ending rivalry, which will clearly only end if one of them loses their life. Now nearly thirty years later DC decides to bring this story back to life, albeit in the form of an animated movie. Gotham has always been a rather grim place for heroes and villains alike, but this story dims the lights even further.

Batman The Killing Joke Banner

Batgirl (Tara Strong) has been fighting crime alongside Batman (Kevin Conroy) and while she tends to take things less serious than her male counterpart, she has grown fond of the caped vigilante, but is equally frustrated by him. It’s clear she is attracted to him, and while Batman doesn’t show it, he tries to protect her in his own, quite cold, way. When a criminal keeps taunting Batgirl, Batman orders her to stay out of it and as expected, she ignores his orders. After screwing up a situation she hangs up her mask and leaves the heroic antics up to Batman, nonetheless it’s clear it’s still a sore spot for her.

When Batman is investigating a case that leads him to Arkham Asylum, right to his arch nemesis the Joker (Mark Hamill), he finds out that the villainous nutjob is actually on the loose, as a double took his place. The Joker isn’t aiming for silly antics this time, but to prove his point that even the righteous can crumble and fall and be consumed by insanity. To prove this point he has set his sights on commissioner Gordon (Ray Wise), who is pretty much a monument of justice.

Overall the flow is quite rapid, after a fairly laid back introduction of the movie. You’ll be thrown into a state of constant tension, which is actually quite pleasant for a movie such as this. You’ll be driven to the edge of your seat, not only thanks to the storyline, but also the events that are unfolding and the gruesomeness that comes with them.

Batman The Killing Joke 1

Batman: The Killing Joke has made a beautiful transition from a graphic novel to an animated movie, nonetheless it would have been nice if they got rid of the general PG rating and made the movie for adults only. Due to the current rating some scenes lose its forte because of them being a bit pale in comparison to some found in the source material. Of course, the original graphic novel didn’t show that many explicit things either, but they just came out stronger. That being said, the vibe is certainly there and properly translated from paper to the little screen.

This movie is basically a quartet of four voice actors, which of course doesn’t mean that the side characters have lousy actors voicing their characters. Mark Hamill still steals the show as the Joker after this many years and probably is the biggest Batman veteran on the current voice acting team, albeit followed closely by Kevin Conroy who has voiced Batman on many occasions as well. Tara Strong is also very committed to voicing DC characters and she clearly has a knack for it. Ray Wise dons the robe of commissioner Gordon for the first time and truth be told, it feels like he is doing it for the umpteenth time.

Batman The Killing Joke 2

While the extra features of this DVD version of Batman: The Killing Joke are quite pleasant, they don’t bring that much new content to the table. The sneak peak at the upcoming DCU movie, Justice League Dark is probably the most relevant item in the special features section as the others are ‘sneak peeks’ at movies that have been released on DVD several years ago. Of course the one about Assault on Arkham revolves around the Suicide Squad, thus the creators of the DVD are just trying to link it to the Suicide Squad movie that is currently playing at the theatres.


If you like the original story, you will certainly like this movie interpretation of The Killing Joke, if you haven’t heard of it, or simply didn’t have the chance to read the original graphic novel, this one will probably be right up your alley as well. This dark tale will show you a bit of the Joker’s origin story and will show you what a bad day can do to you all while the events happening on the screen are challenging the sanity of both good and evil characters.

Batman The Killing Joke 3

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Batman: The Killing Joke (DVD) - Movie Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

1 Comment

  1. […] comic books to life. We have seen many different stories, some original, and others adaptations of famous comic book stories. Now, we’ll be taking a look at Justice League: Warworld, which gives a spin to the Warworld […]

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    0 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.