A brand new DC animated adaption as arrived and this time it is of Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns... well half of it at least. This movie covers the first two issues up to the point after Batman and the Mutant Leader fight the second time.
The story takes place ten years in the future after Jason Todd was murdered, Bruce Wayne has given up the title of Batman and went on with his life. Gordon is a couple weeks from retiring, the Joker is being a shell of his former shell and living quietly in Arkham, Harvey Dent has been released after his face has been restored, and crime rates are through the roof as a new vicious gang called the Mutants are viciously causing choas in Gotham. One night, Bruce realizes that enough is enough and returns to being Batman to fight crime.
So what is good about this movie? Lots of things. This is a great adaption of Miller's classic comic, hitting all the main and great points just right. It did a great job of even cleaning up some rough parts (there was some dialogue that was sort of cringe worthy originally) and even cut down some of the political talk that was littered in the comic. It is still there and there is quite a bit of it, but not as often as there was in the comic.
Now the art of this movie is great as well, bringing Miller's style and characters to life. The coloring worked just as well, really adding more to the scenes and mood, like in the scene where Batman confronts the Mutants in the arcade. Also, the action was very well animated and the fight scenes was just brutal, especially with some great sound work as well.
We also had a pretty solid soundtrack here that worked well with each scene, the voice work was very good (Robocop himself was Batman), and the film in general was very engaging. I watched this with my dad and he had a great time, though his reaction to when Dr. Wolper explained how Batman was making crimes worse when in fact crime rates were dropping was great. I remember him saying, "What the crap is he talking about?!"
Now, despite being a good adaption, there were some odd things that caught my attention. First of all, there was no mention of the government in this movie. The government plays a big part later on in the comic and I'm surprised the movie didn't even bring it up or show Chuck Brick, the presidential media advisor who pops in from time to time. The second thing is the way the movie is structured. The way it is, if the excluded the Joker scenes in this movie, you could leave off the Part 1 in the title and have yourself a complete movie. You see Joker occasionally in the movie in Arkham, but he doesn't do much besides just sit around. In the comic, towards the beginning of it, he actually gets out of his funk and is well aware of Batman's return. In the movie, he doesn't get out of it until the very end and leaves the film on a cliffhanger to set up for Part 2.
Now those are sort of nitpicks of mine, so do not think too much of them. This is a great film that you guys got to see if you are Batman fans. Were you disappointed by The Dark Knight Rises this year? Well then, see The Dark Knight Returns Part 1 because I can assure you, you won't be disappointed at all.