Batman Dark Knight Returns Part 1: Review

Frank Miller! Never has a name been so synonymous with success and abject failure. (Except for maybe Sylvester Stalone.)

Frank Miller is an American comic book artist/writer who’s famously popular for his tenure on Daredevil (Marvel) and his crimebusting comeback of Batman in Dark Knight Returns. He’s also the original creator of one of my favorite films Robocop. And Writer/Director/Artist to the Sin City film/comic series . He’s got a very identifiably artistic style that is easy to pick out of a crowd and is great for Noire or Batmans…

…and that’s all most people know about Frank Miller if they know anything at all…The comic book reading audience however shares a different view of the once great Miller, with his slow crescendo of utter madness from the utter trash of Dark Knight Strikes Again to the total crap of All Star: Batman and Robin and let’s not even talk about The Spirit.

It’s suffice to say that Mr. Miller has fallen from grace, most people say post Sin City is all junk and I would tend to agree…But today we are looking at the movie adaptation of his definitive Batman comeback story DKR…no not that dumb DKR we’re talking about The Dark Knight Returns Pt 1.

Now for those of you whom are unaware let me say this. Every single thing that DC has licensed into Animated Film or Television shows has blossomed into solid GOLD! Bruce Timm was the man behind the mask driving the studio from Batman: The Animated Series (1992) all the way through Batman: Gotham Knight (2008). Gotham Knight is an amazing cross between the Animatrix and Batman ala Bruce Timm even including an amazing adaptation of the VERY BEST episode of the Batman : The Animated Series where a group of kids describe their run-ins with the Batman himself. Bruce Tim was also Co-Director on Batman Superman: Doomsday where the World’s Finest fight Mad Hatter ooh wait no Doomsday. I could literally geek out about Bruce Timm all day. Maybe another day… basically Dark Knight Returns Part 1 takes it’s rightful place amongst the awesome collection of the DC Animated Universe.

Now before I get onto some other kind of post let’s talk about DKR:P1. This movie is a faithful and stylish recreation of the comic it was based on (at least the first half). All your favorite scenes are there from Carrie Kelly run in with the Mutants to the Bat-Tank and even when the Dark Knight Returns! (Oh that’s why it’s called that!)

I really don’t want to ruin any of the movie, but it’s a really good one. The only thing missing from the comics is Miller’s trademark “monologues” inside Batman’s head, which aren’t imperative but when Peter Weller (Robocop) is playing Batman it’s hard to know that he’s silent for 75% of the film. All the voice actors are right on, Ariel Winter is a great Robin and Peter Weller does a great Batman it’s not gruff growling, it’s a unique take of Batman. The animation also deserves a special nod for greatness as it really set’s up the Batman universe well and has a lot of great keynotes from the pages of the DKR comic. Also Batman is huge in this story but he’s also old, and he moves mostly on the ground preferring to stay on his feet rather than flipping around, he feels really heavy. How old bats would move.

Overall I’d strongly suggest this for fans of Batman, Good Miller, and Peter Weller. I’m giving it 8 Batmans out of 10.


Freelance Artmans, Full-Time thing liker! A man with a plan, and a rhyme on time.

One Response.

  1. brett says:

    It was a pretty good movie, I really enjoyed it. And reading the original Frank Miller novel as a kid it was fun to see it brought to life. I’m a huge fan of most batman animated items… I always wish Kevin Conroy was mandated by law to voice bats :)

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