Batman: The Dark Knight Returns

By: 14th Lord

Release: 2012
Director: Jay Oliva
Writer: Frank Miller
Genre: Action, Drama, Super Hero

Lets begin with my initial thoughts. Wow.

Moving on, this is another movie in the recent line of animated movies that has been seeing releases since 2007. The movies under the DC Universe Animated Original Movies line has been far more mature than the cartoons released on TV prior and since, all of which are based on various comic book stories from various lines, as far back as the 80's.

These movies aren't made for the young PG veiwer, but instead are focused directly at people who've grown up with these franchises and have loved the comic books and the franchises rich history. While the movie line mainly focuses on Super Man and Batman, there are other lines that have made features, including Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and the Justice League.

This studio line has original come upon my interest after watching Batman: Under the Red Hood. It's that movie that I for the first time saw a animated Super Hero work take things far more gritty and realistic, with ramifications of such a life. Even if of course there's magic and scifi robot armor and what not.

It wasn't until I heard about the famous Batman vs. Superman fight that occurs in the second part, that I finally took a peak at this movie, and wow do I wish I had done so long ago.

The movie begins 10 years after the retirement of the Batman. Bruce Wayne has since grown a mustache and keeps healthy communications with Gordon who himself plans to retire within the coming weeks. Gothams super villains are a thing of the past, but that's not to say crime is down, oh no. Sporting a very 80's appearance, we meet the Mutants.

The Mutants aren't actually actual mutants (well, except for the leader). Instead they're just a street gang with verbally challenged punks who enjoy cutting people up and murder for the fun of it, rather than a more physical means such as money.

The day of super villains may be at a past, but that's about to change as Harvey Dent is released from prison with cosmetic surgery to repair his face. To the public's dismay though, he quickly goes missing. With the mutants and Harveys resurgence constantly on the news, Bruce decides to exit retirement and enters the scene once more.

The movie portrays a more modern world, a world thats been without a Batman and the doesn't openly accept the return of a masked vigilante. Not only that though, it examines an aging and out of practiced Batman trying to rekindle the fire of his youth and see if he really is even capable of the job anymore.

Characters: 10/10
The characterization of this is quite exceptional. We see realistic and diverse opinions that the world would have, and the ramifications of every action. Despite seeing Batmans origin again, something anyone who knows Batman must of seen several dozen times, it remains a powerful moment. Also, I quite adored the new Robin, and found her quite amusing. She's a total and complete cosplayer and a geek.

Plot: 10/10
The story was amazingly well paced and fleshed out. This movie examines the concept of Batman in the way a modern world would take it. It's a very refreshing take on darker villains.

Fun Factor: 10/10
This movie was enjoyable. With humor spread tastefully throughout the movie, and smashing good action sequences, it constantly keeps the viewer at their seats waiting to see what happens next.

Music & Animation: 9/10
The animation was very well done and did well to portray more hulking designs of Batman and the batmobile. At the same time, it's very true and reminiscent of the old cartoons the viewers may of grown up on.

Overall: 10/10
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 1 was an amazing experience to watch. I would recommend it highly to anyone who has enjoyed Under the Red Hood, or ever wished for a darker take on super heroes. Also, to anyone who wants to see the Batman vs Superman fight in the next movie!

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