Wednesday, 3 August 2016

The Killing Joke: Sometimes all it takes is one bad day

A few things before I start. First, what does it take to get an R18 rating for people in America, this is MA15+ along with Deadpool. Also: Two timely movie reviews in a row? Does this count as a comic review? It's directly based off a comic, that's good enough right? No? Well I'm doing it anyway. Regarded as the backstory of The Joker, armed with an all star cast and crew "and an R18 rating" in America, seriously? Regardless, this got attention, this got hype, did it deliver?

Starting with the plot, and I'm actually skipping about half the plot for now, I'll come back to it. The Joker has escaped Arkham Asylum and has set about a new plan. For you see, what happened to him was, basically a really bad day. His wive and unborn child dying, a failed robbery leading to him falling into a vat of chemicals in the place they were robbing, which he once worked for and, he broke. Out of the chemicals came The Joker, and he now wants to prove that anyone can be like him, if given enough of a push. His target: Commissioner Gordon. To do this, he shoots Barbara in a way that, should she live from the blood loss, would be paralyzed from the waist down, potentially rapes her, or at the very least objectifies her, hard to tell in that particular scene, and then has his minions strip and subject Gordon to a demented Ghost train ride trying to break him... that sounds f#^@#) now that I write that, but it is up to Batman to stop it. Is it effective in terms of a plot? Call it desensitization, but not really. Was it effective back then? Yes, but the problem now is that Alan Morre's style, his shock value, has been what DC has been trying to keep a hold of, especially in their live action movies lately. The shock value isn't really there anymore. Don't get me wrong, it is still a good story, just that age, and industry trends, have taken their tole.

But, Killing Joke's story wasn't really long enough to fill out a movie, and one issue people had, was how Barbara was used. All she was there for was to get shot. So, the film makers added something akin to a prologue, discussing her as Batgirl. And I agree with other critics, this makes the problem worse thanks to one part. The plot of it is a gang leader, given the title after killing his father, has his eye of Batgirl, trying to get personal with her. They try to play him up as her Joker, just in a more "sexual predetor" way. If it was just that, it would be ok, nothing too major. But, I do have to bring up that scene. In context, Batman tries to keep her off the case, to protect her. She doesn't take it well and tries to fight him and when she's on top of him, they start having sex. It's not a full sex scene, but it is outright stated. In terms of writing, this is a turn for the worse, as you are breaking characters with it, or rather, one in particular. Don't get me wrong, its a bit of a character break for her as well, though some would disagree, but the one that is the big character break is Bruce himself. The reason being that he is a man who rarely, if ever, let emotions get the better of him, relying on logic, though not as much as say Shockwave. How many moral red flags get raised at the idea of having sex with not only your partner for taking out crime, but your best friends daughter, who herself is probably at least half his age, who is in charge of the police? How big of a "BAD IDEA!" sign would you need?

I don't really have much to say on the rest of the movie. The animation is nice and from what I have seen of the original comic, this looks like the style was chosen so that iconic parts of the comic can be faithfully recreated. It looks great animated, and with a solid soundtrack to back it. Voice acting is spot on, literally the only flaw is just that scene, taking a ok prologue for the main event, and making the one problem of the main event even worse. I promise Sunday this time will be the current BIONICLE wave, I just wanted to get that video out. For next week, something a bit more cheerful. Roses are red, And violets are blue. One day we'll cruise down Blood Gulch avenue. I'm not quite done yet though, because I found this while looking for the image in the review. So... have some well made nightmare fuel.

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