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‘The Killing Jokes’ fails on multiple levels and should frighten fans

Vulture pinned down Timm at SDCC who said this about the Batgirl storyline: “We were aware that it’s a little risky. There’s definitely some stuff in that first part of the movie that’s going to be controversial. Here’s where we came down on that specific issue: It was really important to us to show that both of the characters make some pretty big mistakes. I mean, his ‘parental skills’ aren’t that great. Maybe never having had any kids of his own, he doesn’t realize that if you tell a kid to not do something, they’re going to want to do it even more. And then she makes some mistakes and then he kind of overreacts to her mistakes and then she overreacts to his overreaction. So it’s very human; it’s a very understandable story. It’s tricky because it’s messy, because relationships are sometimes messy. But to me and to [co-producer] Alan Burnett and to [screenwriter] Brian Azzarello, Alan and Brian, it was all very fascinating to us to explore that angle.”

Batgirl photo The Killing JokeParental skills? Messy?

It’s not legally incest, but Batman treats Robin and Batgirl like crime-fighting offspring NOT equals and she would NEVER be a sexual option. It was NOT a ” very fascinating” angle to explore, it was disgusting, weird and distracting. FAIL. FAIL. FAIL.

A report by The Hollywood Reporter adds some context to the heated discussion:

“I don’t think she’s pining over Bruce at all,” said Azzarello. “She’s pining over the violence.”

Executive Bruce Timm acknowledged “it’s complicated.”

“I actually like that in that opening story both Batman and Batgirl make a series of mistakes and then it kind of escalates, because Batman kind of overreacts and then she overreacts to her overreaction,” said Timm. That’s a very human thing.”

“There’s clearly an unstated attraction between the two of the characters from the very beginning and I think it’s there in the comics. If you go back and look at the Adam West show, its’ there in the Adam West show,” said Timm. “It’s subtle, but to me it’s always been there.”

The creators wanted to manufacture Batgirl going to this “edge” which could tie-in with the Joker-Batman relationship and it was tedious and lame.

Additionally, Moore’s fantastic story just doesn’t play well as the “empathy for the villain” plot has been so overplayed that it has lost its impact. Conroy spouting this dialogue in speech after speech was tiresome. The Joker rang loud and disturbing as you’d expect, but the climax was a bigger let down than one could predict.

Warner didn’t use modern animation with some dynamic qualities, but kept the classic Animated Series approach and again, this made the film seem dated….rather, outdated. The comic book is a single issue so there is not a lot of action with the main thrust of focus on Joker’s backstory, all done as well as can be expected, but the film just droned on and by the end, you just want the journey to end.

I knew there had to be additional story added to deliver a product, but the Batgirl storyline should outrage feminists as well as Batman fans. The relationship drama, Batgirl being reduced to a love-struck “girl” pining for Bruce/Batman and ultimately their parting doesn’t set up a positive affinity for Barbara before the Joker attack, it shows that she’s more pathetic than the thugs in the film think she is.

The only saving grace is knowing that all of Alan Moore’s projects get jacked up by the studio. Are they ever going to try again with The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen?

The Killing Joke receives 2 stars out of 5 stars (Thank the Joker for that)

Mark Hamill delivers a short history of his career, touching on his resume of voicing Joker and the twists and turns along the way. This was more engaging and interesting that much of the film. My heart goes out to Moore (But I know he’s used to it by now) and the cast, Warner needs to embrace traditions and what makes franchises great, not re-write them for the times or to placate their egos.

Fans should be afraid what Warner will do next. Villains are good guys in Suicide Squad, but what will do with Wonder Woman?

Batman The Killing Joke Alan Moore comic book Joker

 

 

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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