August 14, 2016
The real mistake with The Killing Joke
All props to Movie Bob, who explains well why The Killing Joke didn't work as an animated movie, but here's one addendum I have to make as a fan of the book from way back.
The problem isn't that they do 30 minutes of putting Batgirl in context before Joker shoots her to start the main plot. That had to be done. The problem was they made that prelude a story about Batgirl's relationship with Batman, when the Killing Joke is less about how her crippling injury affects Batman and how it affects Gordon. The movie would have worked soooo much better if those first 30 minutes had been about a Barbara Gordon-Commissioner Gordon conflict, possibly one that has her giving up The Cape (tm), but definitely one that brought them closer together as father and daughter. And then, *boom*, she's shot, and Gordon goes to pieces, and the rest of the piece flows from there.
One change, could have been a good movie. They had everything else they needed, Conroy, Hamill, a good 2nd and 3rd act. Maybe it didn't need to be made, which was Bob's point, but still, missed opportunity.
Oh, and while Doug Walker apologizes at the end here for thinking that the end panel possibly indicated the death of the Joker, which the movie disavows... as far as I knew that was left ambiguous deliberately and that his was a perfectly valid reading... one which um, yeah, the movie would also have done better by not "clarifying." The beauty was you never knew if this was how Joker died, or not. It was a multiple choice ending, as Joker would have said, and there was no reason in the movie to straighten that out.
"endearingly macho" -- Mark Steyn
"wonderfully detailed analysis" -- John Allemang, Globe and Mail
"unusually candid" -- Tom Ricks, Foreignpolicy.com
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