Batman – The Dark Knight Returns Pt II

I think I have seen every batman movie. Unless there is some really obscure one that I have missed, and it is secretly awesome, this is hands down the best Batman I have ever seen. That means, so long as I am correct in thinking I have seen every Batman movie, that I think this is the best Batman EVER. Seriously. Just to qualify, its better than the Nolan trilogy, its better than returns, forever and Robin, its better than the Adam West ones – its better even than the Batman who turns up in the Lego movie. Really there is no character who appears in such a large and diverse collection of films who can ever top Batman, and I love them all for their own reasons, but to be more awesome than all of those other Batmans, what did this one have that the others didnt? Well, to be completely honest, it is because he is completely wonky in the brain cabin. Lots of story lines we have seen before, the vigilante aspect, the whole Joker storyline, Bruce getting on a bit, are all taken to their logical conclusions. I dont mean, for instance, the “Batman killed the Joker” ending of the Nolan Dark Knight, the one where you get to still think Batman is a good vaguely normal guy who happens to dress up as a bat and have a rigid set of rules which mean he wont take a life. Clearly “normal” people dont do this type of thing, but rather than just play with this idea, here it becomes central. So by logical conclusion I mean that Wayne has somehow to reconcile his need to maintain order with his self imposed rule book – and there is no avoiding the fact that this doesn’t really work. Batman literally fights, not evil, but the things which dont fit into his worldview. It makes the politics of the whole thing a bit strange, Batman clearly IS awesome, and he fights to preserve control in a world of chaos, but its hard to really get behind the undemocratic idea of the un-elected vigilante, to say nothing of what the ‘order’ he seeks to preserve represents. It only really works in a world where the bad guys are really very bad, and the good guys? Well they can just stay out of the way. Like part one this isn’t a kids animation, it stays true to the story and things occur that would never have made the cut in live action versions – the Jokers henchwoman (lover?) wandering around with a swastica on each nipple? Anyone? Did I mention Superman shows up too? No kidding, best Batman ever.

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