What comic lovers don't like about Batman the Killing Joke movie

Batman: The Killing Joke is a 2016 American animated superhero film produced by Warner Bros. This is the twenty-sixth film in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies series as well as an adaptation of the graphic novel of the same name, Batman the Killing Joke comic, by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland. 

It premiered in theaters and on home video and was released digitally on July 26, 2016. However, some comic lovers don't really enjoy this movie. Fans bought tickets for the screenings by the score before they heard about its big Batman-Batgirl sex scene. Here in this article, let's find out what people don't like about Batman the Killing Joke movie, and get more information about this film trailer, comic, movie, online. Film facts.

Batman the Killing Joke

Batman the Killing Joke movie review

Negative buzz and bad weather surrounded Monday night’s screenings of Batman: The Killing Joke, the highest-selling event in distributor Fathom Events’ history. Variety reports that Fathom has booked 1,075 screens for the company’s biggest release to date, while Comic Book Resources adds that Fathom has expanded its initial one-night-only release to include a second evening Tuesday, July 26. But early ticket sales for the screenings preceded controversy surrounding the film’s adult content, particularly a sex scene between Bruce “Batman” Wayne and Barbara “Batgirl” Gordon.

The film is based on Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s brutal graphic novella The Killing Joke, one of DC’s top sellers since its release in 1988. In the comic, Moore explores the origins of psychopathic Batman villain the Joker via a grim story that leaves Barbara Gordon shot in the stomach and paralyzed below the waist. That trauma is meant to shock Police Commissioner James Gordon, Barbara’s father, into going insane, thereby proving the Joker’s point that anyone is “one bad day” away from becoming just like him. Aside from that traumatic moment, Barbara is barely featured in Moore and Bolland’s comic.

In the film, however, written by comics writer Brian Azzarello—Barbara has a romantic relationship with Batman prior to her paralysis. In fact, the two characters have sex while still wearing their costumes. This addition to Moore and Bolland’s comic doesn’t sit well with some fans, given how much older Bruce “Batman” Wayne is from Barbara in most Bat stories. At last weekend’s San Diego Comic-Con, Azzarello took the criticism head-on, insisting that Barbara is “stronger than the men in her life in this story.” Bleeding Cool’s Jeremy Konrad scoffed at Azzarello’s claim from the safety of the peanut gallery: “Yeah, by using sex, and then pining for Bruce.” Azzarello yelled back: “Wanna say that again? Pussy?”

And Konrad’s not the only one who finds The Killing Joke unsettling. In a 1990 interview conducted by The Comics Journal’s Gary Groth, Moore insisted that he was “uneasy” with his story’s dark content. He attributed his discomfort to his general ambivalence toward “the adventure genre,” a comic mode that he applauded Frank Miller for mining in his equally influential The Dark Knight Returns. Moore has since said that he thinks The Killing Joke doesn’t say “anything very interesting,” and that he regrets both The Killing Joke and Watchmen’s influence on contemporary superhero comics. “[Superhero comics] have lost a lot of their original innocence, and they can’t get that back,” Moore said in 2009. “And, they’re stuck, it seems, in this kind of depressive ghetto of grimness and psychosis. I’m not too proud of being the author of that regrettable trend.”

Audience members also laughed heartily at a scene where Batman warns Batgirl that small-time crook Paris Franz is only “objectifying [her].” The sex scene’s ending is supposed to lighten things up; Batman’s admonition, though, is an over-serious stab at making a comic-book character sound adult and self-aware.

Azzarello tries to give Barbara a meaningful role, but The Killing Joke can only really be taken seriously during scenes in which Hamill sells Joker’s metaphysical spiel about the relativity of good and evil. Director Sam Liu doesn’t always know how to film the Joker’s more long-winded speeches, but Hamill single-handedly elevates his scenes. Some fans didn’t care for the Joker’s dialogue, much of which is taken verbatim from Moore’s original comic. One anonymous viewer complained that the screenwriters were “trying to cram in as many SAT words as possible.”

In fact, the only times Barbara steps out of Bruce’s shadow are, first, when she chooses to have sex with him, and, second, when she decides—before she’s shot in the stomach—to step away from crime fighting. These choices make it harder to see Barbara as a strong, independent heroine. Your enjoyment of Batman: The Killing Joke ultimately depends on how you take Barbara’s story—and like it or not, the Joker didn’t get the last laugh Monday.

It received mixed reviews from critics and audiences, who praised it for its voice acting and faithfulness to the source material but widely criticized it for its 30-minute prologue and its portrayal of Batgirl. The film has grossed $4 million worldwide. 

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