Pointless Nonsense

Posted in movies by Bill on September 29, 2012

The Dark Knight Returns Part 1 is the animated adaptation of the first two chapters of the classic comic book that tells the story of an aging Bruce Wayne seeing Gotham City going to hell and deciding Batman needs to come out of retirement.

Normally, the voice acting on all of DC’s animated projects is top notch, but here it’s very strange. Peter Weller voices Batman, and while he does have an old guy quality to his voice, he sounds oddly calm. Like I thought this brief exchange in the trailer was really goofy how relaxed Batman sounded, and I was hoping it was an aberration, but that’s pretty much how he played it the whole way. Frank Miller’s comic is gritty to an extreme, and Batman should be somewhere between simmering rage and “oh, how I missed the fun of beating up punks.” But Peter Weller’s voice has the tone of “sigh, I suppose I need to beat up punks.” Michael Ironside did the same voice for the Batman Animated Series homage to the same story, and although I didn’t think it was quite right either, it was much better.

Although I’m judging him on only a few words, I also did not like what I heard of Michael Emerson as the Joker, even though his casting was the one I was most excited about. He’s featured heavily in chapter 3, but his most famous line comes at the end of chapter 2, and I didn’t like the way he said it at all. There were a couple bright spots in the voice cast, Wade Williams, the guy who played the guard Bellick in Prison Break was quite good as Two-Face, and Ariel Winter from Modern Family made a very good Carrie Kelly.

I do also wish they had gone a little bolder with the visual style. Though Batman is still presented as a behemoth and that one news lady has a crazy hairstyle, everyone else looks pretty normal. But I think an extreme take on a character works better with extreme visuals, and the stark style of the original fit it perfectly.

Anyway, I think this is just an adaptation that didn’t work right. I’ll probably watch the second half out of curiosity, but anyone remotely interested in this would be better served reading the original comic. But I kinda feel like splitting it up this way is a genius move from a business point of view, since even the fans that hate the first one will kinda want to see the fight with Superman in the second one.


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  1. Pointless Nonsense said, on January 30, 2013 at 1:52 am

    […] Dark Knight Returns Part 2 is the continuation of the first part that I didn’t like very much. But the second part has a fight between Batman and Superman and […]

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