Batman: The Dark Knight Returns PT.1
September 25, 2012
4 out of 5, well paced action brings out a new side of the Caped Crusader we don’t know about
In the latter years of Bruce Wayne’s life, he seeks a change of pace for his boring and monotonous days. He left the cowl and cape behind a decade earlier, ever since Gotham has plunging ever further in to the depths of its crime under belly. Now , Commissioner Gordon ,Gotham’s last sentry is about to retire. A new breed of criminal known as the “Mutants” are committing senseless crimes without provocation is running rampant in Gotham. Bruce Wayne feels the city growing restless under his feet. The Dark Knight returns to his ailing city, but is he up to the task now that he is and old man?
Frank Miller wrote the graphic novel this movie is based on, so naturally this is one of the darker, grittier stories in the Batman mythos. He is faced with several hard choices. Should he even return to the cowl? Should he take in yet another impressionable young mentor? Is he willing to sacrifice his morals to take that last step to truly rid his city of crime? The art style used in the animation is more on the realistic side as opposed to the art-deco style that we are accustomed to seeing the Bat in. It gives a harsher ambiance, and it allows the audience to focus on the true matter at hand; Wayne’s inner turmoil. The action begins almost right away, the build up is accumulated in the first fifteen minutes. In spite of this, the action doesn’t seem rushed or unexplained. The pacing is very well done in the movie; action where action needs to be (all through out) with sprinkling of character development to allow for a chill moment before the next fight scene comes up. The voice casting in the movie was done well. The actors sound a bit like the animated series cast , just with a few more years under their belts. Peter Weller plays as an aging Wayne. Weller brings a cool, calculating , almost hollow characteristic to Batman’s voice, which in my opinion fits the character more , since he is a seasoned detective and warrior.
As a “What If?” stand alone story, this is worth watching for any Batman geek. Just to see the Dark Knight in a very different light. As for the rest of you non-fanboys, you should definitely stick around for the awesome story, voice acting and dark ambiance that this cartoon-noir brings to the animated feature circuit. The ending is some of the creepiest stuff I have ever seen come out of a Batman flick.