Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns is considered to be one of the seminal works in the comics canon, and for good reason: it's an adult, layered work with elements of social and political satire and rich, often-disturbing characterizations of Bruce Wayne/Batman and the other denizens of Gotham. The story's complexity made it clear to Bruce Timm and the DC Animated Universe team that the usual 80-minute long adaptation could not hope to capture the essence of Miller's story, and so the decision was made to split the book into two films.
This Deluxe Edition joins the two halves together for the first time via a "seamless" edit into a single film. Despite not having seen the separate parts, nonetheless there is a moment roughly at the midpoint of the feature that smashes to black before continuing, so it is my belief that they simply removed...
Having never seen the original graphic novel, I have to say I was highly impressed by this adaptation. It's three hours long of pure, compressed awesome as Batman makes a comeback in Gotham City with a vengeance. And while he is older, Batman has lost none of his skills and determination, settling old scores one by one.
Aside from strong action sequences, the movie also has some powerful themes running through it, particularly how it satirizes our media and way of life. Batman's activities and those of his enemies are commented on by a 24/7 news circus, led by a variety of talking heads that are all too often very opinionated but completely clueless. Far from dated, that commentary seems more relevant than ever. Today we live in a 24/7 news cycle, bombarded with information, but most of it's useless at best, misleading at worst.
Another theme is authority figures abdicating said authority by failing to act when it's needed. Only Batman is willing to make the hard...
Frank Miller's seminal graphic novel THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS is a brilliant story-- not just a brilliant Batman story or a comic book story-- it can stand with anything sitting with literature on a library bookshelf.
I'm not sure what went wrong with this adaption which disappoints right from the very beginning. There are so many great lines in the graphic novel that are watered down and re-written here for no reason other than to spoon feed what we're seeing.
In the book- there's a great exchange between Jim Gordon and his friend Bruce Wayne which goes something like this:
"To Batman, I'm glad he survived retirement." The glasses tink together. "He didn't," Bruce responds "But Bruce Wayne is alive and well." "Well, he's certainly learned to drink. Spoken to Dick lately?" "Not in 7 years, you know that Jim. Let's call it a night."
Look at that-- it's brilliant dialogue that moves the...
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