Cert: 15 Runtime: 76 mins Director: Jay Oliva Cast: Peter Weller, Ariel Winter, Michael Emerson, David Selby and Mark Valley
You say you answer to some sort of authority. They only want me dead because I’m an embarrassment – Because I do what they can’t. What kind of authority is that?
So part one was awesome, how is part two? Bruce Wayne (Peter Weller) is now 55 years old & 10 years have passed since the retirement of Batman. With the rise of a new nemesis called the Mutant Gang, the city descends deep into chaos and the Dark Knight is forced to wear his cape again. Despite his age clearly showing, Batman still takes the fight to injustice with the help of a new Robin in the form a teenage girl named Carrie Kelly (Ariel Winter). While 70 year old Commissioner Gordon (David Selby) is being replaced with an Anti-Batman minded Ellen Yindel. Things get worse as two of Batman’s Greatest Villains, Two Face & the Joker (Michael Emerson) who have been keeping quite with a plastic surgery and in a catatonic state respectively break out of Arkham Asylum with the public blaming Batman for their returns. The government feels Batman has gotten out of hand with his Do-whatever-to-do-what-is-right policy and sends his former ally, Superman (Mark Valley) to take him down once and for all.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 justice…it 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 more so than the first part of this series, is one of the best I have ever seen.
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.