The Dark Knight Returns part 2

The Dark Knight Returns part 2 2013

It’s early into the year, and already time for the first superhero movie of the year, and it’s a doozy. I’ve mentioned time and time again how much I enjoy DC’s animated features, and the part 1 was quite good. Part 2 surpasses it in every way and easily overtook Under the Red Hood as my favorite of the bunch, and may even go up a couple notches on my overall top 10. Even though it’s an adaptation of a known comic book story, it’s one I hadn’t read and I was glad I hadn’t because it went to so many places I would have never expected for a Batman story. It’s the bloodiest DC movie I’ve seen aside from Watchmen, but it’s used in all the right ways. If you’re a fan of Batman at all, you must check this movie out, and while part 1 sets things up for what happens in this part, it can easily be watched as a stand alone piece with little confusion.

Dark Knight Returns Part 2

The first part has Batman coming out of retirement and Commissioner Gordon going into retirement. Batman still has what it takes even at his age and shows his worth taking out a mutant leader, inspiring a young girl named Carrie Kelly to become the next Robin, some of the ex-gang members to become a pseudo-vigilante group called the Sons of Batman, as well as the Joker to come out of his unresponsive state. If you hadn’t seen the first part yet, it almost immediately shows you that it’s not your kid’s Batman when the first thug that shows up is a brute of a woman named Bruno with Swastikas covering her breasts. Then it moves on to some very bloody and violent scenes with the Joker and his henchman before going into a full on brawl between Batman and Superman.

She must be from the gang Nazi Strippers with Big Guns.

She must be from the gang Nazi Strippers with Big Guns.

The voice acting was a little interesting this time around. Peter Weller does a great job again as Batman, and Michael Emerson comes in as the voice of the Joker. It’s a tough job nowadays to live up to the great performances of the past, especially Mark Hamill, but he really makes it his own. It’s a much quieter and yet more sinister version of the Joker than I’m used to, though he does become a little more lively towards the end. The entire arc with the Joker had a lot of turns in the story that threw me for a loop, with a couple deaths that had a pretty major impact. It’s also interesting to see what became of Selina Kyle, who’s let herself go quite a bit, looking like an older Elizabeth Taylor and running a brothel.

It's a little hard to see with a Batarang in your eye.

It’s a little hard to see with a Batarang in your eye.

Aside from the Batman story, there’s also a subplot featuring Superman. Like the Watchmen which I just watched, this is set in a somewhat alternate 1980’s. Reagan is still the President, and there’s a full blown conflict with Russia. Superman, like Dr. Manhattan, is working for the government to help win the war, and they actually do fire a nuclear missile which is diverted by Superman but still explodes close enough to create an EMP knocking out the country’s power, and a perpetual cloud over the country. This creates chaos in the US, but Batman uses his influence to restore order in Gotham City. That, along with the situation involving the Joker leaves him out of favor with the government and they send Superman to take him out for good.

Batman on horseback, hells yeah!

Batman on horseback, hells yeah!

I’m not lying when I say that this is one of the best fight scenes I’ve ever seen. It’s not very often that you get the chance to see an epic battle between Superman and Batman, to the death. Batman has an Iron Man-like suit, and the nuclear fallout cloud leaves Superman at least somewhat weakened due to the lack of a proper sun, so they are on more or less equal footing, and it is spectacular to watch. There is some amazing animation at play here and Batman of course has some tricks up his sleeve. The ending, which I won’t spoil, is on par with the Dark Knight Rises ending.

Setting the scene for pure awesome.

Setting the scene for pure awesome.

One of the very few gripes I have with this movie is the design for Superman. There’s a scene fairly early on with Clark talking to Bruce, and Clark literally looks like he came straight from the cover of a cheap romance novel, complete with Falcon on his arm. I know he doesn’t age the same as the other characters, but he also thought he looked a little bit too young compared to Bruce. Carrie Kelly was also a character I didn’t too much care for in the first part, and while she did get a little more screen time and development in this part, she still felt just a little bit shallow and underutilized. But overall, this has quickly become my favorite DC animated movie to date and it is absolutely worth a watch if you’re at all a fan of Batman. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.


About Bubbawheat

I'm a comic book movie enthusiast who has watched and reviewed over 500 superhero and comic book movies in the past seven years, my goal is to continue to find and watch and review every superhero movie ever made.

Posted on January 12, 2013, in 10's movies, DC and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. I think I’ll pass on this one… I still consider Frank Miller’s take on Batman to be the heart of what was wrong with Batman from the late 80s to the mid 2000s.

    • I can see how some of the morality of Batman can be questioned, but I thought it made perfect sense based on where he would have been in his life at that time. And it is pretty impressive overall.

  2. Hahaha! I loved that version of Clark with the falcon, and I’m glad to know it’s in this one, too. (assuming it’s the scene I’m thinking of) It’s clear to see when reading Miller’s stuff that he has no fondness for Superman, and that scene is one of several where Miller makes fun of him. In Miller’s world Superman is something of a pompous buffoon who is unable to comprehend the world as it really is.

    • Hearing that makes Superman in this movie make quite a bit more sense. I got a hint of that idea, but as I’m so used to seeing Superman in a positive light, it was hard to get a sense that he was being portrayed as though the writer didn’t like him, instead he just felt a little off. I think the filmmakers tried to go to a middle ground and make him less of a pompous buffoon, while still keeping the story elements that led that way, which threw me off a bit.

  3. Still waiting to see this. can’t wait.

  4. Romano Frediani

    Totally agree with Stephen and the shot is right out of the book, to a ‘T’. The Showdown with Supes is truly epic and, to me, Miller scripted the high point in all of the canon of the Batman – the mortal standing in defiance of an alien god – “I want you to remember, Clark… in all your years to come… in all your most private moments… I want you to remember my hand at your throat… I want you to remember the one man who beat you…” Truly great stuff! Gonna go watch again…

    • That was a great line, and such an amazing fight sequence in general. Would love it if they came out with a combo pack, or even a version that cuts both parts together, it would only be like two and a half hours or so, less than the Dark Knight Rises i bet. Thanks for stopping by!

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