The Dark Knight (HAS) Returned Pt.1 Review
Fourteen movies ago DC Universe Animated films released Superman: Doomsday, a movie fans demanded to see turned into an animated film. Though the DC Universe Animated film team had their ideals in the right place, the film did not meet most fan's expectations. Fourteen movies later with much experience in trial and error, and going through some of DC Comics' iconic stories (as well as creating some of their very own) they have finally put together a masterpiece that should be enjoyed by fans who loved the original story or are just fans of Batman.
The Dark Knight Returns is an important aspect on Batman history. It was one of the few, if not the first, Batman story of the 80s that catapulted Batman into the status of a "dark" character. Though T.D.K. Returns isn't necessarily in continuity, Frank Miller should be congratulated for his success in making Batman a character that people can respect.
The animated story T.D.K. Returns doesn't stray to far from the comic books, however at times there are scenes that were extended just for the sake of it being an animated film. The story still is really dark and nothing is cut out for the sake of it being a (DC Comics) PG-13 flick. From start-to-finish the story progresses nicely with only a few scenes that did not really need to be added to help the story progress (an example is with Carrie Kelly running on the rooftops), but other than that the movie was enjoyable.
Batman's voice is unique. When the voice of Batman is heard, fans would want it to be an iconic voice actor like Kevin Conroy. While he is still a great Batman voice, Andrea Romano has kept an open mind for this movie. This is a guilt driven Batman, a Batman most fans are not familiar with, we are usually use to a Batman that is always at his peak and always trying to do the right thing. However, in The Dark Knight Returns we have a Batman that is nothing like that. This Batman is guilt driven (much like Batman Beyond's Batman), retired, and allowing crime to run rampant through his streets. While it does take a little time to get used to Pete Weller "The Guy that played Robocop" to voice Batman, he should be applauded with his performance of the Dark Knight. Not many people can pull off the voice of Batman, however Weller seemed to fit naturally into the role.
Carrie Kelly (voiced by Ariel Winter) did a good job, Commissioner Gordon (voiced by David Shelby) didn't really make Gordon sound as profound as he usually is in Batman The Animated Series. He sounded more like an elderly police commissioner, than the guy that always has Batman's back. However, other than that all the other actors did a great job in their roles.
If you haven't had a chance to pick this movie up, you should do yourself a favor and check it out. The movie really captured the core essence of Frank Miller's story within a 78 minute time constraint. And thankfully the DC Universe Animated team has learned from their previous mistakes (like with movies Superman/Batman: Apocalypse) and are splitting the movie into two parts allowing fans to gain the full experience of Frank Miller's story.
Also this movie is available OnDemand, Blu-Ray, and DVD. Price varies from $14.99 to $19.99 depending on where you buy it. If purchased digitally (via iTunes, Playstation Store, Xbox Live Marketplace etc) bonus features found on the Blu-Ray Combo Pack are included with no additional charge.