Comic News! The Dark Knight Returns – Part 1 Review!
Hello everyone! I thought I’d take the time to review the newly released “The Dark Knight Returns – Part 1.” Batman is among one of my favorite super heroes. Although that doesn’t mean I’m not one of those “Batman v.s. anything,” and Bats always comes out on top, type of guys. The character of Batman has a long, deep, rich history with many different “versions,” from different time-lines, different Earths, etc. Christian Bale’s performance as “The Caped Crusader,” has drawn all sorts of attention to the character. Although I can’t help but feel those unfamiliar with some of Batman’s iconic moments are really missing out on the sheer depth of this character. Examples ranging from, but not limited too, Batman outsmarting the Darkseid on his own planet, Batman taking out one of the Horseman of the Apocalypse, Pestilence, by himself, solving the Hush murders, and not to forget Frank Miller’s 4 issue comic book series The Dark Knight Returns published in 1986.
Miller’s work is a completely new spin on the character, and the movies helps water down and make the experience of the comics more approachable by comic lovers new and old. I have to say I was extremely impressed at how closely the movie stuck to the comic. The movie was nearly spot on! It opens with an older Bruce Wayne, who had been retired from being Batman for ten years, which we all know ushers in Gotham City’s return to crime during his retirement. Bruce struggles with dealing with what Gotham has become become, you’ll see an the confrontation with the all new Two-Face’s gang, Carrie Kelley, the mutant gang, and a brand-new take on the Batmobile! Unfortunately this movie was given a PG-13 rating, meaning quite a bit of the more mature atmosphere and graphic nature of the original comic were lost.
The style of the movie is a genuine reflection of Frank Miller’s style throughout the majority of the movie, but I was not expecting some of the Low-Resolution CG that had been thrown into the movie. Yet it IS quite selective where it is used and I hope it doesn’t make an appearance in the second half of the movie. Personally, the movie felt rushed, and somewhat shorter than it should’ve been. I wanted some more of the dark, gritty, pleading, inner-monologues. The voice acting was either spot on or completely off. Batman is voiced by Peter Weller, also known as Robocop! He did a respectable performance, but to me the voice of Batman will always and forever be Kevin Conroy!
David Selby’s performance as Commissioner Gordon was a pretty good, Wade Williams’ Harvey Dent was pretty average, Gary Anthony Williams’ Mutant leader sounded like your average, big, muscle bound, idiot with the stereotypical frog in his throat and Michael Jackson’s Alfred Pennyworth was respectable. Joker is voiced by Michael Emerson whom you’ll remember as the creeper from Lost in Person of Interest. The Blu Ray/DVD combo features a preview of The Dark Knight Returns Part 2 and also shows an awesome rendition of the Clown Prince of Crime that compares to the renowned performances by Mark Hamil.
In the end, The Dark Knight Returns Part 1 is a good buy, that being said, as long as you go for the Blu Ray. This is the only version that has all the mentioned extra features! Why not spoil yourself? I mean, it IS Batman! I’ll admit I’m kind of a snob when it comes to movies like these, but, as a whole I found the movie to be highly enjoyable and I can’t wait for Part 2! (Superman comes into the equation, and Joker begins his BIGGEST plan ever to take care of The Bat!) Hope you’re all as excited as I am!