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9/10

The thrilling return of the Dark Knight

TheLittleSongbird11 April

The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 is not the best of the animated Batman films (Mask of the Phantasm overall and Under the Red Hood in recent years), but I still found it terrific and see no problem with any Batman or superhero fans enjoying it. For me it wasn't entirely perfect, the ending did seem rather abrupt, if even more of the characters' inner thoughts had been written in the writing could have had even more depth than it did and David Selby's Gordon seemed rather monotonous for my tastes(Bryan Cranston would have been a better choice maybe). However, there is much to love about The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1. The animation is great, there is a lot of crisp detail and atmosphere and everything is drawn beautifully. The music score is haunting and adds so much to the atmosphere, while the sound is so authentic that you feel that you are actually there in the story and action. The writing is very intelligent and thought-provoking, the action scenes are beautifully edited and exciting and the story is very compelling, managing to expand on the source material while also being faithful to it, with the right grittiness. The voice acting is fine generally, Selby was my only real reservation. Peter Weller had a intense subtlety for Batman that was just right for the tone of the film and Ariel Winter was the epitome of the spunky teenager, as stereotypical as that sounds she and the writing find a way around it that doesn't make it seem that way. Joker's part was pretty much only a cameo consisting of two lines, so he and his voice weren't an issue in the way that he was for others. All in all, a thrilling and excellent return without being the best of Batman. /10 Bethany Cox

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9/10

"Surgeon operating table" you know the drill

Quinoa August

Warning: Spoilers

This animated movie - the first part that adapts the first volume of the Dark Knight Returns (or, I guess it was four parts, so the first two parts) - is about as good as this comic can get. It's an animated movie, but it is able to bring the comic to life with just enough of that Frank Miller grit and action while still being somewhat, kinda, sorta, appealing for younger audiences (the original series was probably more for adults than kids despite it being Bats).

It's still got a lot of that meat-headed Frank Miller action, but the animation is fantastic, the voice-work is spot-on, and it actually kinda benefits from taking away the narration that is what Batman has in the comic book (some of that was classic, a few points that got a bit much). A lot of the satire is still intact as well with the news anchors, and you can get all of the hair-raising moments as Batman puts back on the cowl and gets in his giant tank. The mutants are still weird and scary, and despite some logical gaps I enjoyed it all very much, including the whole introduction of Carrie (the new Robin) and especially the eerie presence of the Joker as a talk-show guest (!)

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7/10

"Chicken legs, lickin' legs. Slice and dice!"

utgard September

First part of the animated adaptation of Frank Miller's classic comic book miniseries, The Dark Knight Returns. The comic was highly influential on the direction of superhero comics over the last 30 years. It tells the story of how Bruce Wayne returning to being Batman after a ten year absence and how the world has changed without him. This first part deals with Batman return to battle a gang known as the Mutants that is terrorizing Gotham, as well as the release of Harvey Dent (aka Two Face) from Arkham Asylum.

For the most part, it's faithful to the comic so no complaints there. The animation is decent but I can't help being disappointed it isn't more stylized. There was an episode of the s Batman cartoon that featured different stories told by kids about Batman. One of them was an homage to The Dark Knight Returns. The animation in that tried, despite its television limitations, to match the style of the Frank Miller/Klaus Janson artwork from the comic. I think this would have been better served had it also tried to match that art. Instead it's fine for what it is but it isn't particularly impressive or stylish. Christopher Drake's music is very nice and at times evokes a John Carpenter vibe that I liked. The voice work is solid but I miss Kevin Conroy's Batman.

It's hard to capture what made the comic work, particularly because so much of what worked was due to the time in which it came out. Translating it faithfully word for word or picture for picture doesn't necessarily mean you can make it click the same way it did in another medium made at another time. The sad reality is this story has been copied and ripped off in various mediums since its release. Batman as a character is now firmly established in the public consciousness as the grim & gritty Dark Knight, whereas at the time the source story was first released it was cutting edge stuff. So the impact is lessened is what I'm saying. That's not the fault of the people who worked hard on this; it's just that too much time has passed and this just can't have the same impact it would have had it been made 25 or 30 years ago. It's still a fun watch, particularly for comic fans, but it will likely leave some viewers wondering what the fuss is all about. Best seen as a whole with part 2.

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7/10

Old Batman still feels very familiar.

Boba_Fett September

Chances are that Batman lovers are going to eat this movie up regardless of everything. Personally I definitely had some problems with this animated movie but overall it could still please me for most part.

The thing that makes this movie different from any of other Batman movies, animated or real life, is the fact that this focuses on the old Bruce Wayne/Batman. He's already in retirement but of course he suits up again, once Gotham falls under the control of criminals, once again. So even while this movie features an older Batman, it still all feels very familiar and the movie, in my opinion, didn't ever do quite enough with the concept of having an older Batman in it. Bottom-line basically is that the movie features an original concept but in essence is just like any other Batman outing.

You feel that this is a movie that needed to have some more depth in it, with both its character and story. In that regard this movie definitely has some missed opportunities but perhaps they were just more focused on telling an entertaining story and to let Batman take on some familiar and some new adversaries.

But that brings me to another problem as well; it's have a good main villain in it. Two-Face is in the movie for a short while but he by no means is the main villain of the movie. The main villain is a mutant leader, who looks imposing but simple fact remains that he gets introduced into the movie far too late. We don't see him until the movie is halfway through already, giving him very little time to set himself up as a good character and successful main villain for the movie. Perhaps this is all due to it that this movie is part of a two parter. "Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2" gets released next year and basically is going to be nothing more but a continuation of all of the events in this movie.

I kind of liked the animation style though. I don't know why but big square type of things always seems to suit the Batman universe for me. And the animation style of this movie definitely seems to be focused on that as well. It's not necessarily one of those realistic looking animated movies, which to me, often enhances the whole fantasy aspect of the movie and helps to create an universe of its own, with also its own rules.

The animation was especially great during all of its action moments. And luckily this movie indeed has plenty of action in it to enjoy! really, even a year old Batman still has some moves in him and isn't afraid- or backs down for anyone.

One of the things I never can get excited about, in regard to this type of animated movies, is its voice work. These type of movies always make it apparent to me that voice actors just aren't the greatest actors in the world. They often deliver their lines in a hammy way and it never sounds as if the actors truly ever were interacting with each other, which all probably is true as well, since it's fair to assume that each actor recorded their lines individuality and therefore probably never even met any of the other voice actor who were working on the project. And at some times Peter Weller's voice sounded just right for the Bruce Wayne/Batman part, while at others he just fumbled it. I overall still give him the benefit of the doubt just because he is Peter Weller and he is awesome.

A bit too simplistic, since things often simply just happen in the movie and it really could had used dome more depth but the movie at least still manages to entertain and to look well!

7/10

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8/10

Excellent adaptation

neil July

Warning: Spoilers

10 years after civil liberties protests forced him into retirement, the deterioration of law and order in Gotham City persuades Bruce Wayne that it is time to put the cape and cowl on again. A gang known as the Mutants needs to be dealt with, Harvey Dent has just had successful surgery to restore his face, a young girl called Carrie Kelly decides to become an unauthorised Robin and, in Arkham Asylum, an unnamed inmate who has been catatonic for 10 years comes back to awareness.

This minute animated feature adapts the first half of Frank Miller's comic series which puts Batman into a nightmarish hypothetical future. It takes great care to base its design on Miller's original drawings, and all the many iconic images from the comic are faithfully reproduced. There is minor re-ordering of events, mostly for the better. The sound design in first rate.

And the ending, setting up part 2, is chilling.

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7/10

Welp, they did it. They actually adapted "The Dark Knight Returns"

Mr-Fusion20 November

Warning: Spoilers

Part of me never thought it'd actually happen. I just figured Frank Miller's comic would be relegated as influence in every Batman iteration Warner Bros. spits out. But here it is, a dedicated adaptation. And it ain't bad.

Some of the violence is toned down for its animated form, and the book's art style gets a bit diluted along the way. The character designs are there, but this takes on a very DC Animated look. But once things get going, that becomes easier to overlook. As usual, the voice cast is great, and I did like the score - which is some bizarre hybrid of Hans Zimmer and John Carpenter.

Where this movie really excels is in the sound design, particularly in the brutality of the violence. Watching the junkyard fight had me wincing more than I'd expected, but it's a lot of fun when it's Batman's turn to exact punishment.

Bottom line, this gets the job done, and it's a thrill to see The Dark Knight Return.

7/10

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10/10

Outstanding!

namashi_ October

An adaptation of the comic book 'The Dark Knight Returns' by Frank Miller, Jay Oliva Directed 'Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1' is an outstanding animated flick, that left me spell-bound. A nail-biting, edge-of-the-seat experience, that is not to be missed!

'Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1' Synopsis: Batman has not been seen for ten years. A new breed of criminal ravages Gotham City, forcing year-old Bruce Wayne back into the cape and cowl. But, does he still have what it takes to fight crime in a new era?

'Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1' is dark, violent & suggestive, but despite all that, it emerges a big winner, thanks to its solid writing & execution. The Animation is magnificent. It captures Batman/Bruce Wayne's struggle to fight-back with flourish. Each Sequence stuns. The Writing is super-strong, it never loses pace. Jay Oliva's Direction is excellent.

Vocal Performances are remarkable. Peter Weller as Bruce Wayne/Batman, is flawless & adds tremendous depth to the aging superhero. Wade Williams as Harvey Dent/Two-Face, is just perfect. Ariel Winter as Carrie Kelley/Robin, charms. David Selby as Commissioner James Gordon, is credible. Gary Anthony Williams as Mutant Leader, is totally menacing. Michael Jackson as Alfred Pennyworth, is good.

On the whole, 'Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1' is simply outstanding!

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9/10

The badass returns

KineticSeoul16 February

Warning: Spoilers

So in the future, Batman is 55 yrs old and is retired. He has been out of the scene for nearly 10 years and the plot revolves around the aftermath. And his return when a vicious gang that calls themselves the mutants enter the scene of Gotham. Harvey Dent/Two face also enter the story as well, but he didn't seem all that pivotal to part 1 as a whole. I really a entertaining and thrilling time watching part 1, it's just downright exciting and immersive to sit through. From the well crafted scenery and animation down to the cinematography, which also goes into first person view. Even at the age of 55 yrs old, his movements and action as this gritty and dark enforcer was just a pleasure to see. Personally I liked part 1, it just felt like there was more meat to it. Despite part 2 having the face-off with the Joker and Superman. It's a ageless animated movie that shows what Bruce Wayne goes through with his age and him seeking a good death being a factor. They say "a true champion retires only once", but in this case I believe there is an exception. This movie shows why Batman will always be the badass that he is and why he is the James Bond of Superheroes.

/10

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3/10

Meanwhile, in an Alternative (DC) Universe

thesar February

Warning: Spoilers

Understandably, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns was just lifted straight from the graphic novels I haven't read, but damn, this "movie" was random.

Obviously, it was a stunt to make more money releasing this in two parts, but on the other hand, it was basically two movies – albeit, short ones at an hour apiece – with two completely different moods.

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 1 sort of resembles what we know about the Batman legend and felt, at first, like it took place following the events of the motion picture, The Dark Knight Rises. Once it's learned that it's not, you get a few random events that only conclude barely enough to leave open for Part 2.

Part 2, although still random at spots, is much darker and more adult than most animated features I've seen. And when finished, a couple dozen questions appeared in my brain:

(This next paragraph is chock-full of spoilers. Skip if you don't appreciate those.)

How does everyone know who Clark is, or namely the President and FatWoman, er CatWoman? Why even mention the brief background of the Justice League and leave holes in that story? How can the Joker withstand a dagger in the eye #1, and #2 continue fighting and navigating, hell, thinking? Why was it set back in the s? Why was Batman so evil at times, actually shoots guns and randomly beats up police? Since when did Batman murder people (he admits this to the Joker)? What happened to the old Robin – or, for the love of God, stop brining up something only insiders would know! Why were Superman and Batman such enemies? And why did Bruce hate Clark so much, other than the fact Superman fought for peace? Why was it was a bad idea for Superman to detonate a bomb in space – sort of? – verses in the city? Further, since when would a nuclear bomb – which he's survived before, make him turn into James Wood's Hades from Disney's Hercules? Where did the "Mutants" come from and why were they even called that since, all-but-one, were perfectly normal idiots with red Cylon-style glasses? Why did Batman go out of his way to make sure the new Commissioner hated him and later, why would she all-of-a-sudden refuse to attack him when given the (15th) chance? When did Batman begin using (the absent) Scarecrow's hallucinate gas? And finally, not really a question, but a nice observation: It's good to know that if a multistory apartment building's on fire, the quickest and most effective way to put it out is with just a few buckets of water. An entire room's fire seemed to get extinguished with one bucket of water!

(End of Spoilers. You can resume now.)

Perhaps, I am taking all this too seriously, but that was the idea I got from the filmmakers: a deeper, darker and most realistic animated Batman feature.

And although this was definitely an alternative (DC) universe, much like TV's Smallville, this cartoon felt like 15 animated features were created before this, much like what Marvel did to lead up to The Avengers. But, at least in that great movie, I didn't have to question every aspect when a new plot line formed.

As much as this review, so far, has looked like a bashing, I actually did have a little bit of fun – from time to time. If you can put away everything you know about these characters you might have grown up with, i.e. completely forget they've ever used to stand up for good and justice or even existed at all, then you might enjoy the whole experience.

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7/10

Good but falling short of great

Robert_duder24 September

Warning: Spoilers

I often find as of late that the DC Animated films that have become so insanely popular are really trying to capitalize on the brilliant comic stories but compact them down into just over an hour and slap some animation together to try and entertain and cash in on the animated success. Unfortunately, I don't understand why they can't turn these stories into live action in the same way. These stories are brilliant and well respected for a reason. Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns (which I have not read yet but will) was heralded for being dark and twisted and just really well done. The animated film does capture some of that really well. It is one of the most gritty and violent of the DC animated films I've seen. It gives Batman a real edge and then some and that part of it is great. However, it felt like they missed the mark on really creating the world around him. This is a much older Batman, a Batman suffering from not being who he was destined to be. They capture all of that extremely well with the character but not the world he lives in. I found the new villains (the mutants) were portrayed as rather foolish henchmen, with the exception of the leader and I thought they could have been better.

No complains in the vocal acting department. Everyone was spot on and terrific in their roles. Real big nod to the legendary Peter Weller who does an amazing job as both Bruce Wayne and Batman. He's outstanding and brings some real emotion and depth to the role. Ariel Winter does a solid job as the new Robin, though nothing that really stands out. David Selby is good as Commissioner Gordon although I thought his character was one that was really used too sparingly. I wanted to know more about his relationship with Bruce and what had happened to him in the last ten years. He was sadly underused. Wade Williams did a good job as Harvey Dent who should have been more of a significant villain than he was. Michael Jackson (nope not that onea different one) is good as Alfred although he has very few scenes in the movie. Although we have yet to see him really take off with the character I am really excited to hear Michael Emerson do the Joker, especially Frank Miller's Joker.

Jay Oliva is no stranger to animation or DC animation for that matter. He has helmed a handful of the films but has worked on art direction for a ton of them. He clearly has a solid handle on the characters and the DC Universe. My issue with this film is the same issue I have with so many of the animated DC filmslength, depth, and story. All of these films are so incredibly short. Yes The Dark Knight Returns is split into two parts but both are just over an hour long. They have all these amazing dots in place but no lines to really connect them. The film is good but much like every other one I've seenit could be great!!! Animated or live actionthese stories could be truly outstanding. They aren't low budget, they spend a lot of money on them. The animation is good and the voice acting is even better so I just want more time spent on the meat and potatoes of these films. Still for Batman fans who want a whole new angle on the Dark Knight, this one will entertain you plenty. 7/10

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7/10

An atmospheric and brutal picture that takes a unique approach its source-material.

Pjtaylor June

'Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part I ()' is the long-awaited, essentially panel-for-panel adaptation of Frank Miller's critically acclaimed, and since cinematically (and otherwise) influential, graphic novel. The story centres around an older, retired Bruce Wayne and the events that lead him to reclaiming the Batman mantle, as well as the events which ensue and the consequences they inevitably have. The picture does a fantastic job of realising Miller's gritty, unrefined art-style but grounding it within a believable world, using aesthetically pleasing animation to bring its dark story to life and recreating some key images from its source-material with a striking accuracy. The narrative itself is brooding, brutal and bleak, an uncompromising look at an iconic character and the consequences of his vigilante justice. There's an undeniable sense that this unflattering version of the hero is still seen with awe, viewed through a slightly glamorised lens despite all the deconstructive 'pretences' of the piece, but he is flawed, inside and out, and possibly at the weakest we have seen him in quite some time. The depth of character honestly rivals the live-action movies. Actually, it bests most of them. There is a sense that the protagonist is dark for dark's sake at moments, though, and the occasional feeling that the brooding exists simply because it must, not because it should. Yet, this is a minor complaint. As is the fact that Peter Weller, no matter how hard he tries and how decent his performance is, can never live up to the standard set by Kevin Conroy. It may be unfair to judge him by that standard, which is the gold standard for all Batman animated fare, but the voice-work for the hero has even been done better by other players and something feels slightly off. This is true of most actors here, though all are completely fine and sell their parts well. It's just that the extra mile isn't driven and something feels like it is missing; that intangible quality that makes a performer perfect for a role just isn't here in any of the characters. Still, this isn't a major issue. As I mentioned earlier, this version of 'the world's greatest detective' is brutal. Every battle is bone-crunching and you feel the weight behind each punch. This has been achieved in some of the other animated features, even those based around 'Batman: The Animated Series ()', but it is rarely as effective as it is here; I even cringed in a couple of sequences. The violence helps to amplify the key themes of the flick, those that examine the morality of vigilantism and violence on the whole, but it does seem like our hero is better at using his fists than his brains. Not to say he isn't smart, just to say he prefers to beat the bad-guys than out-wit them or do any actual 'detective' work - though this is due to the design of the narrative. The plot itself plays into a slightly repetitive structure that features one or two too many scenes of the Dark Knight battering a gang of baddies in similar fashion, probably because these moments were in the source graphic-novel and the creators didn't want to cut anything. There's some interesting ideas and the way old comic-book characters come into play in unexpected ways is engaging and shows an excellent understanding of the universe's diverse supporting cast. There's satisfaction in the arc at play, with our hero taking enough damage along the way that his possible redemption is both believable and holds all the more weight. The piece is also incredibly atmospheric, too. It's an entertaining experience, even when it slows down or becomes a tad repetitive, and it's unique approach to the universe is refreshing, as is the emotionally drained Batman. It feels like a full-out feature film despite not quite being so, in its structure or pacing or finality, even with the second part (which acts more as a sequel). It's an enjoyable watch throughout. 7/10

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10/10

"I'm Not Finished Yet"

ThomasDrufke15 March

In preparation for the upcoming Batman V Superman film, I've decided to revisit a few of each of the heroes' feature films, especially those where they come in direct conflict with one another.

When it comes to comic book adaptations, there is usually a split opinion among fans. Either the adaptation has strung too far from its source material, or it relied too heavily on it. Either way, it's rare that a comic book film or a TV show can come across an audience which is very clear in saying that it is a perfect adaptation. That's what The Dark Knight Returns films are. Part 1 effortlessly displays a mans' psychological turmoil after years of fighting crime in Gotham City, and then also regain his inner humanity and self-worth. The Dark Knight Returns Part 1 quite simply is one of the greatest comic book films of all time.

We begin with watching Bruce Wayne drag race his life away. Taking place 10 years after Batman retired, we get a sense that he doesn't feel as though he has anything left to give. Or rather, he's so psychologically damaged by Jason Todd dying and the chaos that was unleashed on Gotham city, that he is trying to find ways for himself to cope. While I like Part 2 a tad better, this psychological side to the story of Batman is something that gives Part 1 its own edge. This is all complemented incredibly well by Christopher Drake's hauntingly eerie score. Drake has done numerous takes on the Dark Knight, but I've always felt like his score for these two parts perfectly encapsulates this particular graphic novel more so than any of his other scores.

Peter Weller voices Batman, among the many talented voice actors here. It mainly focuses on the Mutant Gang who has taken control of Gotham City in this near-future story, but we also get appearances from Harvey Dent and Joker, who give it just the amount of nostalgia Batman needs to put that cape and cowl on again. Dent's tragic tale once again takes a left turn as he was sponsored by Wayne to get his face back to normal with surgery, only to still think of himself as Two-Face and resume his crime filled ways. Joker is only teased, but I love the way this story links Batman and Joker. They can't really go on without one another.

Frank Miller also weaves in a Gordon side arc that effortlessly fits in with the rest of the story as he is both retiring and being pushed out for Ellen Yindel, a strong believer of taking down Batman, a much bigger story in the second part.

Everything leads to the mud fight. Batman and newly hired Carrie Kelley as Robin, trap all of the mutants into thinking that the Mutant Leader set up a meeting at a sewer outlet. There, we get one of the great comic book fights ever with Batman calling himself the "surgeon at an operating table". With the music, stunned faces of hundreds of mutants, and the official return of the Batman, it may be my favorite scene of either of the two parts. In all, The Dark Knight Returns Part 1 displays all of the graphic novels greatest attributes, while also giving it a memorable score and incredible voice talents. I love everything about this film & story.

+Voice talent, particularly Peter Weller

+Psychological side

+Haunting score

+Weaves in Batman's best characters effortlessly

+Final fight scene

10/10

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9/10

Off to a great half

ericstevenson24 January

People might not think much of DVD movies, but this is one you won't want to miss! It makes me sad that 2D animated superhero movies won't be popular in theaters. I'm glad we at least have some medium to witness how good they are. I admit that I'm not that familiar with the Frank Miller comic. Well, a ton of Frank Miller stuff has been reviewed by Linkara, who doesn't have a high opinion of him. Anyway, this is based on a Frank Miller comic that features Batman retiring and deciding to come back after ten years. Yeah, I admit that the plot isn't that great. It's a little too simple, but this is still a great movie.

The best part is probably how you're blown away by how good the animation is. Animated shows are still 2D and it's gorgeous artwork like this that make you appreciate the technique. As far as I know, this isn't a direct sequel to any other animated DC movie so it's easy enough for me to understand. The best parts are probably the fights with the Mutant leader. They're realistic and they're extremely intense for an animated film. It was weird and cool to watch a PG cartoon movie. It lives up to its rating. It seems like they could have just made it into one fairly long movie. It's great to have things build up so well. ***1/2

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Brings Frank Miller's Graphic Novel To Cinematic Life In All Its Glory

CinemaClown27 March

The feature film adaptation of what's considered by many to be the most influential Batman story of all, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns brings Frank Miller's graphic novel to the cinematic medium in all its glory, and is an incessantly dark, powerfully captivating & unabashedly savage delight that is presented in two parts. This is the review of Part 1.

The story introduces a much older Bruce Wayne living a retired life, having given up the masked vigilante persona a decade ago, until a number of incidents playing out simultaneously compel him to return as Batman. With crime on rise across Gotham, he decides to take on the new breed of criminals ravaging the city but must function within the physical limitations posed by his weary body.

Directed by Jay Oliva, the film opts for a no-holds-barred approach, and grabs the viewers' attention from its opening moments. Ingeniously animated & expertly told, the film packs one thrilling sequence after another, and both the action & drama is seamlessly intertwined to deliver an edge-of-the-seat experience. The Batman we meet in this film is far more brutal & badass than previous renditions.

The character sketches & production design are in tune with the look & feel of the graphic novel. The action segments are preceded by impressive build-up, and the tension seems palpable even in the quieter moments. Peter Weller's voice fits the role requirement, Christopher Drake's score keeps the dark tone & grim aura alive, and the final moments pave a strong foundation for the remaining half in store.

Overall, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 is an impressive adaptation that's crafted with true passion, narrated with unrelenting intensity & makes every bit of its 76 mins runtime count. Depicting Batman bearing the scars of a veteran who is now more ruthless & beats his adversaries to a pulp without remorse, Part 1 of The Dark Knight Returns is faithful enough to please fans of the comic & entertaining enough to leave everyone asking for more. Even more hyped for Part 2 now.

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10/10

Forget animation,one of the greatest films of all time PERIOD

A_Different_Drummer22 March

1. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Hollywood picked this story for a major live action release. Message received.

2. Lots of talk about the best Batman voice. Weller nailed it. Oscar worthy and yes Virginia they do give Oscars for voice actors.

3. Omigawd. Whatta script. Seen this 2-parter three times, each time I find new social commentary in the dialog. After the Joker segment you think to yourself, this can't get any better. And then you get the "schoolboy" segment. And it does.

4. I am running out of adjectives. If you have not seen it already, see it now.

5. Finally a note for the IMDb archive. Hollywood loves to do films about getting old. Hundreds at least. Comedies, dramas, everything in-between. I believe that over the years to come, this gem will be recognized as the greatest film about getting old ever done. They took the iconic characters that an entire generation grew up with and then imagined what things would be like at the end of life's run. Watch it with that in mind and you will see things you did not see first time around.

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7/10

The not-so-dark knight

poe February

Warning: Spoilers

The late Bob Kahn ("Bob Kane") said, in one interview, that he didn't understand Frank Miller's take on The Bat-man. Kahn seemed to feel that the politics were where things went awry. I disagree (respectfully, of course): the politics are a big part of what make the comic what it is (ditto, THE DARK KNIGHT STRIKES AGAIN, the sequel). One of the gripes I have with this animated version is that it lacks the grittiness that lent the original much of its appeal: Gotham City in the comic was a festering sore of a place, the streets overrun with vermin- human and otherwise (like New York itself, infamous for rats in the streets); the cgi here is so squeaky clean that it almost looks like cg blueprints for a model. The other gripe I have is that the movie ends halfway through the story. In that respect, it reminds me of the "mid-season finale" of THE WALKING DEAD; isn't "mid-season FINALE" an oxymoron? At any rate, THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS is worth a look- and I'm looking forward to the second half, any time now

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8/10

It only took them 26 years - it was worth the wait

jadavix16 October

It only took them almost thirty years to turn Frank Miller's legendary Batman comic, "The Dark Knight Returns", into a feature film. And you know what? It's so good, I am obliged to think they needed that time to make it.

For those not in the know, "Returns" features a middle-aged Batman having been retired for ten years who decides to suit up and take to the streets again. Like Batman himself, Joker is a distant memory to the people of Gotham, who are now in thrall to a faceless group of psychopaths known as Mutants.

Not every one is glad to see Batman back, either. Harvey Dent's psychiatrist is particularly vocal about the role he feels Batman has in creating his own group of super villains to square off with. You can't have Joker without Batman, right? This challenge to the very fabric of superheroism reminds me of similar iconoclasm in another superior Batman animated film, "Under the Red Hood".

You will have noticed the "Part 1" in the title, indeed, this one only covers the first half of Miller's opus. It takes you up to Batman's battle with the Mutant leader.

I look forward to the second half.

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8/10

A great dystopian take of a famous superhero

freemantle_uk6 June

The Dark Knight Returns is considered one of the greatest comic books ever written and turned Batman into the dark figure we all know and love. The animated adaptation was mostly faithful, for good and ill.

The first part of the adaptation focused on the first two volumes of the graphic novels. Gotham has turned into a lawless hellhole where the young run rampant, forcing Bruce Wayne to become Batman once again.

Because the film is an adaptation of two volumes it had an episodic quality to it. The first half focused on Batman back in action and having to stop Two-Face, the second was about Batman bring down the Mutants.

What I love about The Dark Knight Returns is the dystopian world that was set up. It was similar to A Clockwork Orange, The Warriors and Akira, three awesome film. The filmmakers did capture the violence and despair of this world, a world where life is cheap. The second half of the film was the stronger half because it saw the narrative drive: Batman needing to talk down The Mutant Leader.

The animation was excellent with the film replicating some iconic images from the comic. The weakest element of the film was the use of the talking heads on the news. It worked well in comics because it added to the satire but it did not work as a part of a motion film.

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8/10

Excellent Adaptation That Falls Just Short of Epic

drqshadow-reviews27 September

An impressively loyal adaptation of one of comics' most important stories, complete with social commentary, nods at dark chapters of the character's history and a glut of wanton brutality. Despite being ripped violently into two pieces, the story still functions very well and reaches a natural climax in time for the credits to roll after a drawn-out 75 minutes. I fear the end result may be a less-dense arching plot line, especially as most of the political commentary was removed from this chapter (presumably as it won't be relevant until the second) but there's still more than enough pulp to go around. While the storyline is doggedly faithful (indeed, most of the dialog is copied verbatim from the source), the artwork is both influenced by and notably distanced from Frank Miller and Lynn Varley's amazing work on the printed page. And, while that does rob the story of some of its character, the result is suitable enough; fresh but also familiar. Peter Weller turns in some decent work as the voice of Bruce Wayne, but I couldn't help but daydream about how Kevin Conroy would have approached the material. Very good, if not perfect.

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8/10

Batman is back and better than ever

Fluke_Skywalker3 May

After solid direct-to-video animated Batman films like Under the Red Hood and Year One, WB really hits its stride here. Coming out of Christopher Nolan's more grounded Dark Knight saga, some of the elements here feel a bit fantastical. But once you adjust, you get swept up in its heightened reality. With strong voice performances, powerful drama and clean, iconic imagery, TDKR:P1 often feels like you're watching Frank Miller's seminal graphic novel in motion.

If you think direct-to-video automatically means cut-rate, you're wrong. If you think an animated film can't match the power of live-action, think again. TDKR:P1 is worthy to stand alongside the Dark Knight saga as the best representations of Batman on film. Part 2 on the other hand

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10/10

Back when DC put out good animated movies.

TheOneThatYouWanted6 March

Warning: Spoilers

What can I say about this film that hasn't already been said? So often, great comics are adapted for the big or even small screen and random things are changed for whatever reason but not in this case. This film is like a love letter to the original comics it is based off of. And don't even get me started on the soundtrack, it is amazing. Part 2 gets most of the glory because of the Joker, and the Superman fight but this movie is just as good if you ask me. I literally have no complaints about this movie. This is in fact the only 10 out of 10 I've given on IMDb so far. And guess what? I'm going to review Part 2 right after this and that will be my second 10 out of Part 1 and 2 need to be watched back to back.

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8/10

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 ()

SnakesOnAnAfricanPlain15 September

The Dark Knight Returns, is for me, the best Batman film of the year. The animation is superb, especially when the action kicks off. It sees Bruce Wayne return to crime fighting after a 10 year absence. Unlike his Nolan counterpart however, he was Batman for a damn sight longer than just a year. His return is depicted as an obsession that finally grabs control and pulls him in. He barely even notices it when he shaves off his mustache as it just becomes a natural part of the process. A new threat, called The Mutants, rises in Gotham, and Batman has to sort them out. His age becomes his weakness as he must go up against the leader of The Mutants. he film is littered with cuts to TV shows and newscasts discussing whether or not Batman is a help or a hindrance. Peter Weller does a great job as the voice of Batman, and it's nice to see a Batman with a dark and dangerous sense of humour. As an adaptation it remains fairly close to the source material, but manages to capture the ferocity of the violence without being too graphic. Gotham looked and felt exactly how I remember it when I was growing up. This is great stuff, and is a huge tease for Part 2, where we will see The Joker once again.

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8/10

Robocop decided to become Batman

WeAreLive8 October

Warning: Spoilers

I saw this movie back in a week before my dad was about to come home from his holiday.

This movie was super amazing it is nice having a Batman that is not even voiced by Kevin Conroy.

This movie did well portray a brief segment that was used in The New Batman Adventures episode "Legends of the dark knight" and making it into a whole movie.

This movie even had clever jokes and scenes when Batman hung a mutant upside down when saving a toddler and when Batman was fighting the mutant leader.

This film is definitely worth the watch if you love the comics.

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8/10

Frank Miller's Classic Graphic Novel: In Animation!

Johnny-the-Film-Sentinel October

The Dark Knight Returns Part One is a satisfying animated feature that faithfully adapts its source material respectfully. This film was more deserving of a theatrical release than the recent Batman and Superman movie: Dawn of Justice (this review was done in ), because this film tells a more faithful Bat-tale than Zack Snyder's recent theatrical outing that left the world disappointed. Thankfully The Dark Knight Returns is a solid story that's been tested time and time again and even influenced Tim Burton's Batman from

The story centers on an aging Bruce Wayne who's retired his crime-fighting alter-ego Batman. Bruce is now living in a much harsher world than the one he knew back in his early thirties; now he's a man approaching sixty and Gotham City desperately needs its hero to return from the shadows and fight against the crime plaguing Gotham once again.

The first part of DC's only animated two-parter-to-date is a good start that leads to the meaty conclusion of the story in Part Two, which in turn has influenced media outside The Dark Knight Returns comic, like The Dark Knight Rises and *ahem* Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. A very solid story delivered by capable animation director, and Batman veteran, Jay Oliva.

The first part is just one piece of a two-and-a-half-hour film that's been waiting to be seen on screen for generations. If you haven't watched this film yet, well do yourself a favor and watch Parts One and Two of The Dark Knight Returns right away.

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7/10

The Dark Knight Returns finally arrives to the screen

gizmomogwai20 January

Warning: Spoilers

Since reading the graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns, I've always wanted a movie version. After Chris Nolan was finished with his series, I was hoping they could make a standalone live action adaption of Frank Miller's work, before going into the inevitable next rebooted franchise. Fifteen years ago, I pictured Sean Connery in the lead role- he resembled Miller's Bruce Wayne. As it turns out, we finally have a film adaptation. Except it's animated. And direct-to-video. And instead of Connery, it's Robocop voicing Bats.

This is in several respects a decent retelling of a great story. Some scenes are depicted as true to the source; the animation is fairly true to the comic. Alas, some elements have been lost in translation. The inner monologue of the characters has been done away with, and that provided some of the most gripping and convincing lines of the graphic novel. You could really understand where the characters were coming from with those thoughts, to say nothing of the coolness. At the beginning, we don't hear Wayne think this is a good death, but not good enough, and it feels missing. The "something tells me to stop at the leg" is a legendary line that would come at the end of this film- and it's not there. Where the film invents lines, it's cheesy- a gratuitous mention of the Joker when Wayne and Gordon are having a drink, "you and me both" replacing the line about the "reflection." At least this movie is better than nothing, and hopefully it'll convince a new generation of Batman fans to pick up the graphic novel and give it a try.

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9/10

The continuation of the Return of the Dark Knight

TheLittleSongbird31 May

The first part to the two-part The Dark Knight Returns was great, so the second part had a lot to live up to. It didn't just live up to it, it was even better, more developed in story and more refined in detail. The animation was great in both movies, but Part 2's style is more fluid and detailed and like the first part never loses it in the atmosphere and the quality of the colours. Speaking of the atmosphere, it was hugely compelling, being often intense in how it was written, how it looked and its brutality. The music further adds to the atmosphere, with rich orchestral writing and haunting composition, it enhances each scene and never detracts from it. It is also composed in a way that doesn't jar with the style of the music for the first part. The Dark Knight Returns: Part 2 is brilliantly written too, it maintains the spirit of the source material and the dialogue show real intensity and conflict. There is a thrilling story too, that leaves off from the first part but is written in such a way that it stands very well as a stand-alone. The storytelling is deeper emotionally and more developed structurally, with a lot of tension and atmosphere, but not to the extent that things get convoluted. The action-sequences are unrelenting and nail-biting, violent and tense in alternative to goofy and cartoonish they all work, with the final battle between Batman and Superman standing out. The characters are well-written and draw you into the story, Joker is genuinely menacing while you identify every step of the way with Bruce Wayne. The appearance of Selina Kyle and how she's animated is a shock though if I were to admit. The voice acting is terrific, Peter Weller is brooding and quite moving in the titular character role and Michael Emerson at first is subtly evil but becomes increasingly maniacal in a characterisation that recalls Jack Nicholson's somewhat. Overall, enthralling conclusion and one of the better animated Batman movies along with Mask of the Phantasm and Under the Red Hood. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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7/10

Goes back to the source - which

Quinoa November

This star rating is generous. As much as the animators are doing wonderful work, I didn't enjoy it as much as the first volume - and same went for the original Frank Miller comic. To my memory, this was VERY faithful to that, minus the narration being gone. Maybe that changes things, but I don't think so. It should be fine for most fans hoping to see what they loved brought to this form of cinematic life. For me, it's fine, but not much more, grit and apocalyptic stakes and all.

The animation work is still among the strongest and coolest in the DC animated cannon, but the logical gaps in Miller's storytelling - which I think Christopher Nolan carried over a bit too much into his Dark Knight trilogy (or to put it another way, he learned about as much as he could from Miller, all the good AND the bad) - are too much to ignore, even when he does some clever things like the satire with Superman (he has a friggin' Bald Eagle perch on his arm and fights the Ruskies almost single-handed! Take THAT Dr. Manhattan!) and a couple of cool touches.

Where's the *detective* when you need him?

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8/10

"We've got God on our side. Or the next best thing, anyway."

utgard September

Second part of the animated adaptation of Frank Miller's classic comic book miniseries, The Dark Knight Returns. This part deals with the return of the Joker, Batman continuing his war on crime with a new Robin by his side, and Superman being sent by the President to stop Bats. As with the first part, it's pretty faithful to the comics. It does draw out some scenes longer. I can't help but feel like that wouldn't have been necessary had they just combined parts 1 and 2 into a single film. Also, as with the first part, I have problems with the animation not being stylized enough and the voices of Batman and others not being handled by Kevin Conroy and company. I said with my review on the first part that it's hard to really capture what made the comic work so well with a cartoon made nearly 30 years later after countless imitations and knockoffs. I do think some of the reviews giving this 10's are mainly fans of the comic rating it super high because they love the books. This is a good cartoon but it's nowhere near the boundary-pushing work of art fans are making it out to be. Again, that was the comic but this is the cartoon and the two are just not the same. It's still a fun movie, particularly for fans. I enjoyed it even more than part one and it's especially interesting to watch now after having seen this year's Batman v Superman, which borrowed heavily from this story. Whatever problems I have with this animated film, I do think it's far better than that disjointed glum mess. Best viewed with part one as a whole.

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8/10

Very successful conclusion

neil July

Warning: Spoilers

Even though Batman's return is reducing crime, the powers that be find him a political embarrassment and ask their most powerful operative to deal with the matter even though there are issues of global significance on the horizon. But Batman's oldest foe is back in the game, so the Dark Knight is not minded to go back to inactivity.

Part 2 of this animated adaptation of Frank Miller's tale of the future of an ageing Batman is every bit as good as part 1. Once again, all Miller's iconic images are incorporated into the animation, and the film nicely translates the final fight and rather poetic conclusion into moving images.

Voice work is quite good (and yes, I wouldn't have minded Kevin Conroy as Batman, but Peter Weller does a good job). The two parts together are nearly 3 hours of excellent, if dark, entertainment.

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7/10

Part 2: the payoff

Mr-Fusion4 March

Warning: Spoilers

Where Part 1 is bogged down in setup, this one takes the great aspects of the original comic and runs with them. Naturally, the violence ante is upped here to keep with that of the source material (pretty visceral, at that), but it's surprisingly pretty to look at. Some nice animation (action scenes burst with intense fluidity), while maintaining Miller's über-gritty style.

Once again, it's both the sound design and the voice casting that provide the movie's punch. The blows and destruction rain down with unbridled savagery. Weller really lays on the menace in his voice, while Valley makes for a solid Superman. Emerson is rather mediocre as The Joker (probably third behind Hamill and DiMaggio), but that's certainly not a deal-breaker.

Let's be honest, we all showed up to this thing to see how they'd handle the Batman/Superman fight scene. Yeah, that one totally delivers. And thanks to an incredible ending, my attention was there, front and center. Superman's inclusion doesn't really add to Batman's resurgence (speaks more to Miller's contempt for the character than anything else), but it plays a key role in his endgame.

Which is brilliant.

7/10

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10/10

Wow!

namashi_ October

The continuation of 'Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1', 'Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2' is a stellar sequel to a equally superior prequel. Its Wow!

'Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2' Synopsis: The Batman has returned after a year absence. The Gotham authorities want to arrest him. An old foe wants a reunion. The Feds want the Man of Tomorrow to put a stop to him.

'Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2' begins & ends with a bang. The Writing Material is fantastic, it leaves a lasting-impact. The Rivalry between two of the greatest superheroes is a delight to watch. Even the sequences involving Joker are extremely competent. In numerous ways, 'Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2' overtakes its prequel, thanks to the fabulous execution. The Animation is mesmerizing. Jay Olivia's Direction is very well-done.

Vocal Performances are remarkable: Peter Weller as Bruce Wayne/Batman, is flawless, yet again! Mark Valley as Superman, is convincing. Michael Emerson as Joker, is despicable & loathsome. A Class Act! Tress MacNeille as Selina Kyle, is appropriate. Conan O'Brien as David Endochrine, is witty & entertaining in a bit role. Ariel Winter as Carrie Kelley/Robin, David Selby as Commissioner James Gordon & Michael Jackson as Alfred Pennyworth, are good.

On the whole, 'Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2' is so good, it has the potential to become an instant classic.

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8/10

The grand finale to the two part "The Dark Knight Returns"

KineticSeoul16 February

Warning: Spoilers

This part 2 to the faithfully replicated 2 part "The Dark Knight Returns" animated movie from the comic books. The voice actors once again nails it in this, especially Peter Weller who fits the voice of the old Bruce Wayne perfectly. Although I had a blast with part 2, I just didn't enjoy it as much as part 1. Which played off more from the aftermath and Batman's age with original directions. The battle with the Joker and Superman is cool and all. But it felt lacking in certain areas, for instance I expected more of a psychological mayhem when it came to the Batman facing off against his arch-nemesis for the final time. The Joker isn't a pivotal part of the plot, nor did it seem like he was a primary villain. However it was interesting and shocking how dark Batman has become and how far he is going to go when fighting on the edge of his sanity. This is a installment that all Batman fans or superhero movie fans should check out. By combining the two parts, this is most definitely an epic installment from DC. It's more than a satisfying movie, but I would even say it adds onto the original comic book it's based on without taking anything away.

/10

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3/10

Meanwhile, in an Alternative (DC) Universe

thesar February

Warning: Spoilers

Understandably, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns was just lifted straight from the graphic novels I haven't read, but damn, this "movie" was random.

Obviously, it was a stunt to make more money releasing this in two parts, but on the other hand, it was basically two movies – albeit, short ones at an hour apiece – with two completely different moods.

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 1 sort of resembles what we know about the Batman legend and felt, at first, like it took place following the events of the motion picture, The Dark Knight Rises. Once it's learned that it's not, you get a few random events that only conclude barely enough to leave open for Part 2.

Part 2, although still random at spots, is much darker and more adult than most animated features I've seen. And when finished, a couple dozen questions appeared in my brain:

(This next paragraph is chock-full of spoilers. Skip if you don't appreciate those.)

How does everyone know who Clark is, or namely the President and FatWoman, er CatWoman? Why even mention the brief background of the Justice League and leave holes in that story? How can the Joker withstand a dagger in the eye #1, and #2 continue fighting and navigating, hell, thinking? Why was it set back in the s? Why was Batman so evil at times, actually shoots guns and randomly beats up police? Since when did Batman murder people (he admits this to the Joker)? What happened to the old Robin – or, for the love of God, stop brining up something only insiders would know! Why were Superman and Batman such enemies? And why did Bruce hate Clark so much, other than the fact Superman fought for peace? Why was it was a bad idea for Superman to detonate a bomb in space – sort of? – verses in the city? Further, since when would a nuclear bomb – which he's survived before, make him turn into James Wood's Hades from Disney's Hercules? Where did the "Mutants" come from and why were they even called that since, all-but-one, were perfectly normal idiots with red Cylon-style glasses? Why did Batman go out of his way to make sure the new Commissioner hated him and later, why would she all-of-a-sudden refuse to attack him when given the (15th) chance? When did Batman begin using (the absent) Scarecrow's hallucinate gas? And finally, not really a question, but a nice observation: It's good to know that if a multistory apartment building's on fire, the quickest and most effective way to put it out is with just a few buckets of water. An entire room's fire seemed to get extinguished with one bucket of water!

(End of Spoilers. You can resume now.)

Perhaps, I am taking all this too seriously, but that was the idea I got from the filmmakers: a deeper, darker and most realistic animated Batman feature.

And although this was definitely an alternative (DC) universe, much like TV's Smallville, this cartoon felt like 15 animated features were created before this, much like what Marvel did to lead up to The Avengers. But, at least in that great movie, I didn't have to question every aspect when a new plot line formed.

As much as this review, so far, has looked like a bashing, I actually did have a little bit of fun – from time to time. If you can put away everything you know about these characters you might have grown up with, i.e. completely forget they've ever used to stand up for good and justice or even existed at all, then you might enjoy the whole experience.

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8/10

disturbing, gripping, and politically suspect

cherold16 April

The two Dark Knight Returns movies are a strange animal. It's a pretty shocking version of Batman. When Frank Miller's graphic novel came out I heard it was something different - a bitter-old-man version of Batman, and that's what it is. He's retired, but the city has descended into a level of chaos where he feels called to come back.

This is a very violent story, particularly the second movie, which kills and cripples people with abandon. It's often rather horrifying.

I'm not entirely clear on what Miller and the movies are saying about vigilantism. Most of the time the movie's attitude is that government and police are ineffectual and only an angry millionaire can save the city, yet what to make of scenes in which Batman causes more damage to police than to bad guys, to the point where he fails his ostensible goal? Is this a sign of complexity, or is MIller just saying cops should get out of the way and let Batman do his job?

I read an interesting essay that said you need to see this story in the context of the 80s, when crime hysteria made a lot of people feel that no measure was too extreme (leading to a huge mess that politicians only began to try and clean up three decades later).

I find the politics sketchy (from the movie I wasn't surprised at all to learn that years later Miller called Occupy Wall Street a bunch of dangerous thugs and rapists who were failing the country), but the movie is quite entertaining and powerful, and certainly worth seeing.

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9/10

The first one was mediocre, this one smashes it out of the stratosphere!

Robert_duder28 January

Warning: Spoilers

I enjoy the DC Comics animations but there has always been something lacking in them. Usually their length plays a big part because its hard to establish a serious story in such a short amount of time. It didn't do Doomsday justice at all, and it didn't do the first instalment of this film any justiceit was simply too short. However, they did show a very gritty, well told and intriguing story with the first one so I hesitantly set out to see the second and find out if they could at least make it as good. Well, I eat my words because Dark Knight Returns Part 2 makes the first look like a Mickey Mouse cartoon. It exceeds the original in every way and ups the ante in every single aspect and at every single turn. Non-stop action, gritty dark characters, violent, and just everything you could imagine packed into one animated film for adults. A brilliantly written screenplay that never feels too short despite clocking in at only an hour and fifteen minutes. Best of all this portrayal of Batman, even moreso than the first part of this series, is one of the best I have ever seen. Even better than Nolan's acclaimed Batman. This Batman is driven by sheer near madness. Easily some of the best comic book scene interpretations on screen.

As in the first film, the voice actors were absolutely perfectly cast. There could not have been a better choice for an aged, rugged and jaded Batman than Peter Weller. He absolutely captures the exact tone and personality. It doesn't hurt that if this were live action he would be the ideal choice for the same role. Ariel Winter is good in the role of the new Robin. My only issue is that I'm not sure the role of Robin was used properly in the film. It felt like she wasn't needed most of the time but did show Batman's remaining humanity which Robin should do. Still Winter is good in the role. Michael Emerson was terrific as the joker. There was a quiet, subtle, maniacal tone to his portrayal and he was excellent. Much like Peter Weller, they could not have cast Superman better than Mark Valley. He completely nails the role and captures everything you would expect from The Man Of Steel in a very different sort of role from him. David Selby is absolutely perfect for Commissioner Gordon who plays a much smaller role in this instalment but he is still great.

In my opinion, they would have done better to simply combine the two films but Part 2 was so much better than Part 1 that the film would seem lopsided. The script for Part 2 was brilliant and the direction was spot on. Jay Oliva clearly knows a lot about the DC Universe, and has had plenty of experience in it. The film holds nothing back being animated, it has plenty of gore, triple what the original had. There were certainly a few significant plot holes that sort of glared at you but in an animated film you tend to accept and overlook those just a little more. Any comic fan will simply drool over this and for good reason because you will be blown away!! You must see the first one to really sink into the world but truthfully you could almost skip it because this stands very well on its own and fills you in without being blatant about it. Do yourself a favourcheck this one out, absolutely remarkable!! 9/10

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7/10

Bleak, blunt and brutal; an atmospheric animation that rivals the movies.

Pjtaylor June

'Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part II ()' acts more as a sequel to the first film, rather than a straight continuation, but still recreates Frank Miller's acclaimed graphic novel with a striking accuracy, in terms of tone, story and style. The piece follows a similar formula as its predecessor, presenting its bleak world with a brutal and brooding Batman operating on the fringes of the law. It focuses even more on the morality of vigilantism and the consequences it has on society, especially in a city as vulnerable as Gotham, while also exploring the idea that the Dark Knight creates the very evils he seeks to destroy. There are some interesting ideas explored here. The underlying themes are mature and nuanced, woven into the world at every opportunity. These also manifest themselves in the unexpected, often counter-intuitive but ultimately fascinating ways in which certain comic-book characters appear. Again, the handling of the source-material, including the wider Batman universe, is deft and demonstrative of a deeper understanding of the lore. All of this plays into the darker narrative presented, which very much plays into fears of the past that might soon become fears of the present. This isn't due to some prophetic ability, though, it is simply due to Miller's own widely known sensibilities, which seep into the piece in some less subtle ways such as a couple of 'on-the-nose' nipple-tassels. This time, the presented 'universe' isn't quite as cohesive, either. There are some elements that stand-out as being somewhat outlandish compared to the world established in the prior film and, indeed, at the start of this one (possible superpowers notwithstanding). It's in these moments, which aren't ever explained, that the otherwise incredible immersion is broken. Not that this is a major issue, but it is distracting and the plot leans fairly heavily on these elements. As does it on a structure that means it peaks about half-way through. This leads to a feeling that it's fairly unfocused, too, because the story doesn't head in its natural direction - not immediately or for its natural reason, at least - after this peak. Still, the events are always entertaining and there is a consistent, even somewhat surprising, level of emotional attachment to the characters, even those to the side. There is a constant level of excitement in the action sequences and some satisfaction in the blunt brutality of their conclusions, too. The movie picks the pace up again with a great, action-packed finale and ends on a down-played but fitting final beat. On the whole, I wouldn't say it's necessarily better than the first part, though it is difficult to rank them as they feel quite different. It certainly stands alongside it and is a fitting film for such an iconic character, one that serves him better than many of the live-action attempts. 7/10

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10/10

"I Am the Law"

ThomasDrufke16 March

In preparation for the upcoming Batman V Superman film, I've decided to revisit a few of each of the heroes' feature films, especially those where they come in direct conflict with one another.

With the first part of The Dark Knight Returns being as good as it is, it almost seems unfathomable to think it could be topped by part 2, but for the most part, it is. Part 2 is even more packed than part 1 with more prominent roles given to Joker, Commissioner Yindel, Oliver Queen, and of course, Superman. It's a fast paced and brutally graphic take on the Dark Knight's last stand in a Gotham City that is just about at the brink of decimation.

Batman and Robin's plan to turn the mutant followers into "sons of Batman" was working quite well and Batman seemed to have the upper- hand on the city, that is until Joker came out of a little retirement of his own. Michael Emerson's voice performance as the incredibly creepy Joker works very well alongside Peter Weller's Batman, especially in the tunnel of love sequence. Joker's killing of over people at the talk show was terrifying, but there's something about the entirety of the tunnel of love scene that really stood out even more to me. Murdering people after murdering people and forcing Batman into a no win situation seemed to be the best possible way to conclude these two guys arcs after so many years tearing each other apart.

Same goes for the way they handle the Superman and Batman material. Yes, Superman does seem a lot like a boy scout for the president, but the reasons given seemed to make sense. I bought into the fact that that's what Superman would do after global tragedies and during a nuclear crisis. Which brings up the one complaint I have about this film, the nuclear crisis and inclusion of the Corto Maltese side arc. An hour and 15 minutes for each of these two parts is fitting, but I hardly believe the inclusion of a global crisis was needed for a Batman story. Everything else in this Frank Miller story, is absolutely brilliant.

Seeing Batman result to beating the crap out of cops and Superman virtually killing for the government in war was an interesting and ground breaking way to tell the story. It opened the door for comic books to become something more than just guilty pleasure readings and into something that can appeal and apply to people of all ages.

Christopher Drake's incredible score once again kicks in at the right moments including the legendary Batman/Superman fight. The whole film is fast paced, but the last 30 minutes is some of the best direction I have ever seen in an animated film to date. The first time I saw the film I didn't know what to expect in the end and every left turn made was just as shockingly amazing as the last. The Dark Knight Returns Part 2 is quite simply one of the greatest superhero films of all time.

+Epic scope

+Batman/Superman fight & dynamic

+Score

+Last 30 minutes

+Oliver Queen's inclusion

+Brutally graphic

-Corto Maltese side arc with nuclear crisis wasn't entirely necessary

10/10

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9/10

Another great movie!

ericstevenson27 April

Who says that direct to video movies can't be great? Seriously, why isn't this in the Top here? Well, there's probably some rule that says direct to video movies aren't allowed there. Well, I think they are allowed in the Bottom , but that's different. Anyway, this movie concludes the adaptation of Frank Miller's comic of the same name. I feel so bad for not having read most of these comics beforehand. I think I'm at least familiar with the art design and wow, this movie has it down to a T! It looks just like what I've seen from the comic.

Well, we finally get to see the Joker die but it's actually on his own terms. He intentionally breaks his own neck (somehow?) hoping Batman will take the blame for his death and he does. I love how he just goes around and randomly kills people, doing what he does best. We also get to see Batman and Superman fight and it's way better than the "Batman Vs. Superman" movie. We get a much better understanding of why the fight's occurring and it's far more creative. My only complaint is that, yeah, it was still too short! People don't seem to like "Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox" as much as this, but I'm allowed to disagree. ***1/2

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One Of The Greatest Adaptations Of A Comic-Book On Film

CinemaClown27 March

The feature film adaptation of what's considered by many to be the most influential Batman story of all, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns brings Frank Miller's graphic novel to the cinematic medium in all its glory, and is an incessantly dark, powerfully captivating & unabashedly savage delight that is presented in two parts. This is the review of Part 2.

Bringing out the big guns and building on the sturdy platform provided by Part 1, the second half of The Dark Knight Returns saga picks up from right where the previous chapter signed off, and delivers an explosive extravaganza that simply gets bigger n better with every passing moment before ultimately concluding on an epic note, thus cementing its place amongst its genre's finest offerings.

Directed by Jay Oliva, Part 2 is where all the themes, relationships & dynamics that were introduced in the preceding half come to fruition. And with them comes bigger stakes, larger-than-life characters, breathtaking action set pieces & one memorable finale. If you thought the violence in the first half was rather barbaric, you've no idea of the cruelty & viciousness that awaits in this remaining half.

The opening act takes some time to get off the ground despite packing fine dosage of action but once the middle act kicks in and Batman's arch-nemesis returns to the fold, it's game on. However, it saves its best piece for the last, culminating Batman's journey with a climactic showdown that couldn't have been more monumental. It's a richly realised adaptation, translated from script to screen with verve & clear vision.

As before, the sophisticated camerawork & slick animation recreate the look & feel of its source material while taut editing makes sure every moment is relevant to the plot. Peter Weller's vocal performance is less effective this time around but Michael Emerson sure leaves a lasting impression. And so does the psychopathic character he voices. Lastly, Christoper Drake once again contributes with a rousing score that only uplifts the narrative.

Overall, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2 more than manages to live up to the hype & expectations generated by its predecessor, and is by all means a stellar entry. Both parts together make for one of the greatest adaptations of a comic-book on film, and is best enjoyed when watched back-to-back. Scoring high in all aspects of storytelling and just as accomplished on technical scale, this is a Batman story at its pure, unadulterated form. Highly recommended.

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8/10

Batman The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2: One of the best Batman tales by far

Platypuschow1 January

Following directly on from the passable Dark Knight Returns Part 1 we see an aged Batman doing what he does best.

Clearly tired and with a new young Robin protege he is forced to contend with the return of the Joker, civil unrest, an increasingly hostile police force and Superman himself.

I went into this expecting more of the same, little did I realise it would be a contender for the best Batman movie out there.

Well written, thoughtful, very dark & with some genuinely game changing moments this second (And likely last) part really delivers. I find the old Batman so much more interesting, tired, hurting but determined to continue his crusade until his final breath.

This is evidence that the franchise has plenty of life in it, it just needs to be placed in the right peoples hands. If Batman vs Superman had been like this the DC Universe would be looking a whole hell of a lot more promising right now.

The Good:

Dark, gritty and violent

The Bad:

Robin, really?!

Odd version of the Joker

Timeline is weird

Things I Learnt From This Movie:

More movies need topless villainess's

Catwoman becoming a Madam, not really surprising

The bat glider scene made me just plain uncomfortable, good soldier, good soldier

One day DC will need to explain how Supermans outfit is impervious to damage as well

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7/10

Faithful but not enough dark (tv)

leplatypus1 April

Warning: Spoilers

It's funny that i can draw parallel with my review for « Mad love » that i didn't praise even if it's also similar to the comics. So i was afraid for this one and it's a surprise that i like it and i wonder why ?

my first explanation is the quality of the source : « DKI » is a cult comics among the best ever because Frank Miller has really understand the character, his universe and like « Watchmen », he writes for adults putting super heroes in perspective with the society, political power. This story of an old batman is totally riveting and watching it on a screen helps me discover things that i haven't seen so far : 1) with a girl for Robin, Bruce can be more warmly 2) the 4 parts can be tied : 1 & 3 is about old enemy having rehabilitation with the help of a shrink ; 2 & 4 is about a powerful leader who has to bite the dust ! 3) Miller has guessed all the terror attacks : Gotham twin towers exploding, killing an audience having fun, chaos after a bombing,…

Another great thing in this adaptation is that all the memorable moments of the comics are still there. I expected the censorship to cut a lot but there wasn't a single : the fascist babe, Joker burning skulls, the TV shows, the soviet attacks, …

After all this praise, now the few disappointments : first of all, the only thing that get cut is Batman's voice-over : it's a pity as it showed that he was nearly suicidal and surely sadistic ! Next, the animation is really good and looks likes the art of Miller/Janson with a reminiscent of « Akira » but the animators lack skills in scale, perspective : the room are too big for the characters, etc… and for sure, the biggest flaw is the colors ! Varley was talented and in my opinion, « DKI » is black, gray, blue… Here the colors are yellow and the mood totally changes ! When you see the opening race, you have indeed the tone for all the movie, too luminous and too bright ! That's why when Gotham flinches at the end, we don't have the feeling of the total panic the comics told us about ! If they can change their tones for « DKII », so i'm sure it will be then a incredible hit !

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8/10

The consequences of Batman's return

freemantle_uk6 June

The second part of The Dark Knight Returns adapted the third and fourth volumes of the Frank Miller comic book. This film saw the return of The Joker and Batman having to fight Superman - an idea that was used in later Batman/Superman projects.

Michael Emerson's version of The Joker was one of the evilest version to ever be put to screen. He spoke and acted in a camp manner but did atrocious actions throughout the film. Whilst the conflict between Batman and Superman was emotionally painful as well as physical.

The aim of this half of the film was to show the impact Batman's return had on two of his most important relationship. His greatest rivalry and greatest ally.

This part of the story was well down: the final conflict between Batman and The Joker was intense whilst the fight between Batman and Superman was action-filled.

The problem with this film being such a loyal adaptation was it included the Cold War subplot which was outdated by If there is ever a live-action adaptation of The Dark Knight Returns this plotline would have to be updated.

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6/10

My advice: Stop at Part 1

Fluke_Skywalker3 May

Faithful to the original comic, right down to its Cold War setting, TDKR:P2 veers off the strong "Hero returns" narrative from Part 1 and mixes in a clumsy and ham-handed dose of geopolitics and Superman. Fine for what it is, but it belongs in another arc IMO, and comes off here like a 2nd rate version of Watchmen (Which, like TDKR, debuted in print starting in ). The story is strongest when Batman's arch nemesis, The Joker (Played here for the first time by Michael Emerson, who makes the character his own in a solid turn) is involved. Had that been the focus, it would've been a powerful ending for this two-part saga. As it is, this is a well and faithfully made—but ultimately unsatisfying—conclusion.

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10/10

Almost Perfect.

TheOneThatYouWanted6 March

Warning: Spoilers

This is a masterpiece. The reason the title of my review is "Almost Perfect" is because the actor who voices the Joker, Michael Emerson doesn't do a good Joker voice. I'm sure the reason they hired Michael Emerson to voice the Joker was because they wanted a "big name" without paying "big name" prices. And Michael Emerson is a fan favorite because of Lost. The Joker could have been voiced by a no name voice actor and the movie would have been better off. There is a reason this version of the Joker hardly laughs.. Anyway, even with Michael Emerson's slightly below average voicing of the Joker, this movie is still more than a solid 10 out of We all know Batman V Superman is going to suck. In fact, I'm not planning on watching it unless I get a free ticket or something. At least we, the real DC fans, the real Batman fans have this gem of a film. Marvel is putting out great live action movies because they follow the source material without pandering to fanboys too much. Man of Steel was a joke and Batman V Superman looks like crap because WB/DC do not have to follow the source material because as long as they put an easter egg in the movie, the mindless little fanboys will eat it up. RIP DCU, you had a good run with your animated stuff before they started using the New 52 junk.

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10/10

Every thing I want and much more

WeAreLive8 October

Warning: Spoilers

I saw this movie the following week after the first part and I have to say this NOSTALGIA! Not going to lie I loved this film it was definitely miles better than the first one. I as I said in Part 1 I would recommend this movie to any who likes the comics and is a long time Batman fan.

This is probably one of Micheal Emersons best voice over I have ever seen ever since the Ben 10/Generator Rex Crossover. His best lines were: "So long as you don't miss it!", "Its finally here isn't it? the moment we both dreamed about." , "Oh don't tell me you are gonna fall asleep at the last minute!" and "See you in HELL!"

I also enjoyed the fight scene between Batman and Superman this made me look forward to Dawn of justice. The whole fight scene was awesome that I didn't want to leave the movie.

Even the very last scene where Oliver was underground. The night when I fell asleep I kept on thinking what will happen next. I was that excited. I wouldn't mind if DC would make a part 3 and 4 that would mean a lot to me.

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8/10

More Joker, less Superman!

Animany May

I don't know why, but with expectations set VERY high after the cliffhanger from Part 1., I was left after the movie ended with mixed feelings about it.

It is a good movie, but I would've liked more of the Joker. Michael Emerson really nailed his scenes starting off as a subtle psycho which managed to make his way onto national TV and slowly return to an all out maniac which leads to some of the most disturbing scenes including the character I have ever seen.

As I stated about Part 1., I liked how a major issue discussed in the movies is how controversial Batman actually is in his batle against crime. It continues in Part 2. and extends into great confrontations between the complete state of chaos which Gotham is in. That and the Joker were the best aspects of Part 2. in my opinion.

And then we have the Cold War subplot and Superman. I never liked Superman, and his role as the defender of the governement only adds to that. The Cold War theme felt like it was crammed in, and will inevitably not have the same impact on the screen as it would have had 30 years ago. Distracting you can call it.

Despite that, Part 2. had a great intensity to it compared to Part 1. even though I preferred the more dramatic side. I think Part 2's first half is fantastic and the second half is just enjoyable.

To sum up, I like The Dark Knight Returns and I recommend it to Batman fans and fans of the source material, but I think it could have been stronger if some scenes were shortened in Part 2. so it was possible to make it into one movie with a theatrical release it truly deserved to be.

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1/10

The First Part Was An Epic. The Continuing Second Part Is A Disaster.

Vivekmaru August

First of all the reason I watch Batman is because he is a normal man and not a Superhero like Superman. He lacks Superman's powers such as the ability to fly(even in space!?), impenetrable skin and laser blasts from his eyes. Batman is MORTAL and can be killed(like his nemesis the Joker).

So what business has Superman in a Batman film? A totally unneeded character and a bogus plot. The writers should have stuck to developing the Jokers character better and he and Batman should have been there till the film's end.

The film lacks the heart and soul of the first part. It also seemed to me that the script was too hurriedly written and not allowed room to develop.The throwing in of the only Superhero in the movie seems to accelerate the film to its eventual doom.

Plot: The Joker recovers from his catatonic state and immediately makes his mission to be rid of his nemesis once and for all. He agrees to Dr. Bartholomew Wolper's TV interview where he massacres the whole audience.

In addition Superman is sent by the U.S. President to eliminate Batman once and for all.

So now the aged Batman has TWO enemies to face. Will he prevail? Verdict: Not even worth the wait and bitter bitter disappointment.

P.S. If I could give it a rating of 0 I would.

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9/10

"Batman: Dark Knight Returns 2" will please fans looking for faithful adaptation

ersinkdotcom12 February

Warning: Spoilers

Adaptations of beloved books are hit and miss most of the time. Many people would say more miss than hit. DC Comics has again dodged what could've been a fatal bullet with "Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2." What fans get is a faithful animated feature that captures the spirit of Frank Miller and Klaus Janson's critically acclaimed graphic novel.

There's no break for the Dark Knight (Peter Weller) after his defeat of the Mutant leader. Batman is immediately thrown in to a battle with two of his biggest opponents: the Joker (Michael Emerson) and Superman (Mark Valley). The Joker has once again escaped imprisonment and is more obsessed with destroying Gotham City than ever before.

At the same time, the Man of Steel has been commissioned by the President of the United States (looking a lot like Ronald Reagan) to put an end to the Caped Crusader's vigilantism. Things get even more complicated when a nuclear missile combined with an EMP detonates and everything electrical shorts out. There are riots in the streets of Gotham and it looks like anarchy may reign supreme. Can Batman and his new army of Batmen get things under control before the city annihilates itself? Can the Dark Knight hold his own in a battle against the Last Son of Krypton?

Director Jay Oliva does a standup job of combining Bob Goodman's script and Andrea Romano's casting choices to come up with an action-packed and emotional film that perfectly captures Books Three and Four of Frank Miller's legendary work. There are many parts of this adaptation that follows the novel right down to the printed panel.

I'm not saying the animation matches the book to the tee. If that was the case, we might as well just have a motion comic. However, it certainly comes as close as possible without being a carbon copy.

I have to hand it to voice director Andrea Romano. She did an excellent job coming up with a top-notch cast for "Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2." Peter Weller is superb as an older and angrier Batman / Bruce Wayne. Both Michael Emerson and David Selby give their characters of the Joker and Commissioner Gordon unique flavors we haven't heard before. Emerson does come dangerously close to impersonating Jack Nicholson in some spots, though.

"Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2" is an energetic and faithful adaptation of what is considered one of the greatest Batman graphic novels ever written. I close my review with one question: "Are we ever going to see an animated feature film for 'The Dark Knight Strikes Again?'" Feel free to argue amongst yourselves, comic book geeks of all genders.

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8/10

Brutal batman

legobuilderpro24 May

The 2nd part of the movie is really brutal and painful in a fun to watch way, with deaths and a death scene that was shocking and astonishing.

This is a good representation of batman making it darker and different to watch.

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8/10

Just wonderful

lagudafuad3 April

There is no doubt about it, Batman is the best there is, these Dark Knight Returns series is a classic and a DVD collection that should be on your shelf.

No one tries to take on "The Bat" thinking he can just walk all over him; even Superman almost got killed by The Bat for trying to tell him what to do. Here is a little peek of what this movie has for you: The Bat and Sup were at it and Sup almost got himself killed but The Bat went soft on him, and gave him this warning speech. "I want to remind you to stay out of my way, in all the years to come; in your most private moments, I want you to remember the one man who beat you."

Now wouldn't you want to see that?

The first part of the movie has the similar animation with this flick. The plot like the first features Batman at 55 years old 10 years after his retirement. The Bat has returned to clean up the streets once more, and this Part 2 of Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, our Bat has taken down the Mutant Leader and he has now become a wanted person in Gotham City. The Joker convinced his psychiatrist to let him go on live TV to tell his own story about him and the Bat, but this psycho turned the live TV show to a massacre, killing everyone present and escaping. Now the bat wants him and the authorities want them both so the showdown between the three is a most watch.

After the showdown has lapsed the DC universe boy scout Superman got a call to go take down The Bat, a call I bet if he knew what was coming his way he would have not even bothered trying.

There aren't enough words to describe the intense violence and the wonderful work done by Bob Goodman (screenplay writer) and director Jay Oliva in this movie (animation) adaptation. They did justice to the beautiful comic, giving us a realistic point of view of what being a man in a disguise with guns being shot at you looks like. The other cool thing about this comic to video work is the way the makers took their time to make sure that the movie is close to the original source.

The characters Oliver Queen and the new 13 year old Robin, Carrie Kelley were well captured in this movie making you feel like you are truly reading the comic.

This DVD should be purchased and kept.

www.lagsreviews.com

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  • Masterpiece: Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns- Documentary minutes This is the master-crafted work of the legendary writer and artist Frank Miller. The film encapsulates, and celebrates the stunning achievement of Batman: the Dark Knight Returns, galvanizing the reason why this story ushered in the modern take of the dark and brooding protector of Gotham. This is the journey of Frank Miller, seeking the freedom that some authors only dream of in a lifetime. -Narrated by Malcolm McDowell. —Anonymous

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    The Dark Knight (2008) Official Trailer #1 - Christopher Nolan Movie HD

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    Masterpiece of Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns

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