'Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1' Review By Summit10
You just can't keep an "old superhero" down!
The direct to DVD animated feature film is another collaboration with an exemplary Writer and Artist, Frank Miller (Sin City) an absolute genius and he does it again! Not only does he provide dynamic stories he's also never coy with human nature's hunger for power and lust for vengeance!
Based on the groundbreaking 2 part series of same title, the continuing saga of The Batman has never been succ*mbed to a halt, be it regardless of injury, old age or even death! The crime fighter does what he needs to do in order to keep his city from rotting, "Never again"!
A hero lost in time and not in his prime...
His quest, his thirst for the thrill flows in his veins like an adrenaline rush! Trying to recede from a boring life (a decade to be exact) Bruce embarks on a race trying to escape his fate as he met an accident while setting his car into overdrive which led to an inevitable loss and self loathing!
While subliminal memories that triggered an epiphany has met discernment of certain elements of his past and some pains never goes away! Peter Weller (Robocop) leads the cast with a new voice to compliment the aging Dark Knight! Old and has stopped crime fighting for a long time, Bruce in his mid 50's has been seeking the right moment to rise again in this god forsaken city! Having a drink with Commissioner Jim Gordon voiced by David Shelby (The Super Cops) they go a long way back. Seems like they were not celebrating the latter's impending resignation while making Bruce hold on to his identity and his sanity.
Actor and history lecturer, Peter did not get the best projects in his time but when opportunity knocked, he took the part of an iconic hero known as "Robocop" wherein a cult following for a number of fans made his film an instant classic! His influence into the character compliments it so well for it was grounded, sober and gritty.
They say that keeping it real will get you here to Sunday more ways than one! The Batman always finds a way to circ*mvent his machinations to display what is prim and proper in the public but for all these years, he still cannot escape the blood shot eyes of the monster that made him what he was destined to be...
Enter his ally (besides Alfred of course) Ariel Winter (Life is Hot in Cracktown) as Carrie Kelley the girl who would become Robin! You can't compete with the enthusiasm of children and with role models like Batman who needs discipline? She is tough, smart and eager to help the Caped Crusader finish the job before it does finish them off first!
After a former friend and foe was released from custody he contemplates further with regards to his release Wade Williams (Collateral) lends his voice as Harvey Dent. History will always repeat by itself as a man seemingly cured was only skin deep but inside the former District Attorney turned criminal still lurks a madman so twisted and torn in half who does not want to live as if he was a normal again to everyone's eyes furthermore of his own...
The use of media and pundits from Gotham's masked vigilante have spurred endless debates even from Lana Lang of Daily Planet from Paget Brewster (My Big Fat Independent Movie) located in Metropolis home to another superhero the Man of Steel and Dr. Bartholomew Wolper played by Michael McKean (Memoirs of an Invisible Man) to attract viewers to raise awareness while shoving it down to the viewers throats. The violence and apathy looms while hope laid to waste by condescending principles that leads to crime and corruption from the youth. Society led in fear from kidnapping, extortion, robbery, terrorism and murder as Gary Anthony Williams (Soul Plane) The Mutant Leader leads the charge for Gotham City's domination through fear!
Standing up for others while trying to get back on his own two feet quite ironic you would say? In spite his physical predicament, Batman does not condone violence in his city and he will always be its protector until his last dying breath! A city that respects him, that longs for his protection especially in these dark times. Frank Miller dissolves any convictions to the Dark Knight's hiatus while amalgamating what remains to be seen in his never ending fight for justice!
Directed by Jay Oliva (Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow) he had experience working with Marvel Comics as well and being a Storyboard Artist has helped him propel to do a Directorial duties since 2000 in TV Series such as Starship Troopers, Jackie Chan Adventures and most recently with Young Justice.
This is what I admire with DC Comics their works are further incorporated with their line of animated projects. It's coherent and transparent even with the actual work of the artist is rendered almost perfectly to give it the surrealism it needs especially for the fans who experienced these published pages! There are so many titles I look forward for them to bring in the small and big screen. But hoping they would give emphasis already to other stars in their superhero line-up.
The only question here is how come they cannot instil the same competency when it comes to their live actions films? While we are still waiting for that to happen, a word (or two) from our very old dear friend who is in capable hands of Michael Emerson (Straight-Jacket) as The Joker..."Batman, Darling"!!!