Why so serious? Because the folks behind Honest Trailers aren’t kidding about their dislike of Batman: The Killing Joke.
The opening of the latest edition of the hit Screen Junkies series begins with a hopeful nod, highlighting how fans have been clamoring for a proper film adaptation of the popular Killing Joke comic. “From the division of Warner Bros. that’s still making good superhero movies comes the adaptation of the best Batman/Joker story of all time.” The goodwill quickly goes south when the movie that “should’ve been amazing” ended up including a love affair between Batman and Batgirl.
Pulling from its own negative review of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the YouTube series compared the animated feature to the most recent theatrical romp as “a movie that brings DC cinematic-level storytelling to the DC animated universe.” The new characters, as well as the depictions of well-known ones, don’t live up to the hype, instead described as “a generic mob boss, his dumb nephew with his dumb nephew name.” It’s Paris Franz, for the record. “You’re kidding,” Batgirl says, choking on her Starbucks-esque coffee drink (or maybe it’s a chai latte).
The Killing Joke is known for its twisted take on the relationship between the Dark Knight and his greatest enemy, but the criticism of Barbara Gordon’s victimization also leaves fans wanting more for her character. “Now Warner Bros. is fighting fire with gasoline by adding even more Batgirl, except now she also gets roofied.” The narrator also points out that Batgirl “gets talked down to by a grown man in a bat suit. Holy Batsplaining, Batman!”
“So if you’ve always wanted a version of the classic Batman cartoon where Batgirl is paralyzed and humiliated,” the Honest Trailer concludes, “two of your favorite characters have random gratuitous sex, and an iconic graphic novel is ruined with a boring first half that adds nothing to the story, then we have the straight-to-DVD version for you.”
Watch the video above.