Reviewed by Movie Moxie’s Alicia Glass 

batman-the-dark-knight-returns-part-2-posterStudio: Warner Bros., DC Entertainment

Director: Jay Oliva

Movie Moxie Review Rating: 7

The elderly Dark Knight is forced out of retirement to battle the Joker, the Gotham City Police, possible nuclear destruction, and the strong if misguided wrath of Superman!

TDKR_R2_joker

The Joker’s loose and blowing stuff up with the help of the Puppetmaster, in general creating as much havoc as possible before forcing Batman (Peter Weller) to break his damnable neck in a fit of rage. Batman is big about control, and this is something only lightly touched on in the Joker (Michael Emerson) segment, which is a shame since Joker’s supposed to be his greatest nemesis. In the end, Joker has the last laugh as he always does, and takes his own life, but in such a way that sets the GCPD on Batman for murder; whee! Poor Joker is hardly the focus of Part 2, which is again a shame, as far as I could see the main reason he was there was to set into motion a nuclear strike that would toss the whole world into utter chaos. He almost succeeded too. His chaotic nature, his complete lack of control that spreads to everything that holds his attention long enough, is what I think makes the Joker such a dangerous and yet compelling villain in the Batman universe.

Joker and Batman in the tunnel of love

TKDR_R4_superman

Rather than Batman’s purported greatest nemesis, Part 2 focuses on a very strained relationship between Batman and Superman. Superman (Mark Valley) is the worlds bright boy, always loyal and proper and true (is your head rhyming “to the red white and blue” yet?), saving the world consistently at great risk to himself. Such is the case here, when Superman stops the missile from hitting Corto Maltese, sure, but it seriously damages him, and there’s an EMP and nuclear winter all over the U.S. anyways. And yet, this is the moment, when the world is its darkest, when our Dark Knight truly shines. Batman, aided by the Sons of Batman and what’s left of the former Mutant gang from Part 1, they all band together and declare martial law on Gotham City for the duration, making it the safest city in America. I know, right?! The equivalent of New York, now the safest city in America, and it’s all thanks to one man who dared to seek justice outside the limitations of the law. Well, we can’t have that. And seriously, the President of the United States himself, orders America’s blue boy Superman, to take Batman out by whatever means necessary. The storyline gives great thought and pause to the issues of following orders even when you know damn well they’re wrong, versus stepping outside the lines of law when you know damn well you’re right. And when the epitome of those two ideals are set against each other in an epic fight to the end, it’s hard to choose which you want more to win. Personally, the Dark Knight will always have my heart.

Batman declares martial law

Batman, the Sons of Batman, the leftovers of the Mutant gang who followed Batman, an aged but still bad-ass Oliver Queen, and a new generation female Robin all combine to make a lasting legacy of the ideals that Batman stands for – even beyond death. The epic conclusion of Frank Miller’s opus leaves us knowing that even if it isn’t Bruce Wayne behind the cowl, Batman’s legacy will last forever.

Batman the Dark Knight Returns Part 2 Trailer