Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (2013)

Movie Title: Batman: The Dark Knight Returns

Year Released: 2013

Rated: PG-13

Runtime: 2h 28min

Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure, Crime, Drama

Director: Jay Oliva

Writer: Bob Goodman (based on the graphic novel by Frank Miller)

Starring: Peter Weller, Ariel Winter, David Selby, Wade Williams, Michael Emerson, Paget Brewster, Mark Valley, Grey Griffin, Tress MacNeille, Maurice LaMarche, Michael McKean, Andrea Romano, Tara Strong, Bruce Timm, Frank Welker, Conan O'Brien

Review: It has been years since Batman patrolled the crime-ridden streets of Gotham. But when a new, brutal breed of criminal overruns the city, a middle-aged Bruce Wayne must don the cape and cowl once more and dispense the type of justice he deems fit for these deplorable degenerates. Is Batman still the right man for the job or has he become more of a danger to the city he swore to protect? Watch The Batman take on The Joker, mutants, the Gotham City PD, and Superman! Prepare for Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns is the highly-anticipated animated feature adaptation of Frank Miller's graphic novel from the mid-1980s that re-defined the Caped Crusader as a dark, gritty vigilante. It's blunt, brutal, and loaded with "timely" politics. The graphic novel is arguably one of the best Batman stories ever, and this adaptation certainly does it justice.

Peter Weller is the voice of Batman/Bruce Wayne and shows no difference between the two. He is always Batman and has no problem with it. He has no time to keep up appearances. He knows that the world has changed and that Batman must change with it or he and it won't survive. He's awesome! Great casting! The rest of the cast really make these well established characters their own, but it's Ariel Winter as Robin/Carrie Kelley that really shines! She adds a much needed humanity to a world full of characters that have lost theirs. She helps Batman to remember who he was and what he stood for. And if she does listen to him, she's fired!

Now, with that said, this is certainly not for your casual Batman fans. Fans of the graphic novel will certainly enjoy it more, with minor nit-picks, But some fans might not enjoy Batman's freezing-cold demeanor, unflinching brutality, and his new view of vigilantism. And it certainly helps if you have read the Miller's story beforehand. Some things may not make complete sense, seem odd, or out of place if you go in completely cold.

The version that I watched combines the original two-part series, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 (2012) and Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2 (2013), into an almost two-and-a-half hour unabridged and seamless epic animated feature. It's definitely the way it should be seen.

So if you're looking for the darkest knight of them all you might want to suit up and strap in for the epic adaptation of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.

Stars (out of 4):

Fun Fact: The scene where Batman pulls the Mutant through the wall is similar, if not, identical to the scene where RoboCop pulls the gunman through the wall in RoboCop (1987), both are played by Peter Weller.


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