Batman: The Killing Joke was supposed to be the combination of two great things: an iconic graphic novel by Alan Moore and Brian Bowland, and DC’s highly praised animated films. In reality, the animated film was met with mixed to negative reactions thanks to reasoning like Batgirl’s treatment and the uninteresting first half. The graphic novel was relatively short, so the animation department had to figure out a way to lengthen the script. In the process of adding to the original material, they ended up adding a Batgirl-centric story that was unflattering to her character, especially considering what she already goes through in the source material.
Other reviews claimed that the voice acting was uninspired. Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill have a very strong track record of praise for their voice acting of Batman and The Joker. This time around, not so much, as it seems the general consensus was that their performances were flat. Not to mention some of the awkward cursing, just because the film was rated-R.
Batgirl’s treatment takes the bulk of the criticism, as she is repeatedly talked down to, objectified, and even roofied at one point. Nothing original added to the film did anything to add the Barbara Gordon’s character, and it is a shame because Batgirl would have been a fun character to explore in the DC animated universe under different circumstances.
Make sure to check out the full honest trailer, below:
Were you a fan of Batman: The Killing Joke, or did you think it didn’t live up to expectations? Make sure to let us know in the comments.