Nerdlocker Movie Review – Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (Deluxe Edition)


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If there is one thing that DC Entertainment can do it’s an animated feature! Prime examples are movies like Superman/Batman: Apocalypse, Justice League: Doom and even Flashpoint.

In this latest release, one thing is clear; Batman ultimately is the key to the stories outcome. Since his 1939 debut in Detective Comics #27, he has dedicated his life to protecting the innocent and taking down the criminals that plague Gotham City. But what if Bruce Wayne stopped being the cape crusader? DC Animation has brought together both parts of its 2012 animated film based on one of Frank Miller’s most highly respected work; The Dark Knight Returns and The Dark Knight Falls.

For those who have not seen the film, Jay Olivia and the team over at DC Animation do a terrific take on Frank Miller’s work, having the best representation capturing important details that made both The Dark Knight Returns and Fall as unique as it was.


Remember, with all the representations of Batman we are so used to, his agility, his gadgetry, vehicles, size and the way he maneuvers, we forget the iconic 80’s portrayal of a more brawny and elderly Dark Knight. He doesn’t have the tech savvy Batwing or Batmobile that we know him for, but rather utilizes more of what the military would have in that time period.

Even the supporting characters have aged. Characters like Commissioner Gordon, Alfred, Catwoman and even the Joker have felt the wrath of what Frank Miller has envisioned. This darker look into the underbelly of Gotham City makes this film, from the architecture, to the aged look of the characters, to the interactions of each character, fresh and something we had not seen to date. This alone makes this film one of my favorite DC animated features so far.

To back up the visuals, there is also a great voice cast which includes Peter Weller (yes Robocop)! His voice is perfect for the role as a weathered voice to play the role of old Bruce Wayne/Batman nicely. Ariel Winter (Modern Family) was great as she had the youth and innocent for voicing Robin. Lost actor Michael Emerson was sheer joy as the Joker. The subtlety he brought was exactly how I imagined the Joker would be. When he cut loose with the maniacal parts, he was pure genius! Another voice that got me was hearing Maria Canal’s voice. I’m so used to hearing her happy motherly voice in Wizards of Waverly Place that the way she portrayed Commissioner Ellen Yindal was delightful. Her character’s frustration and anger came through in the voice which made it entertaining. The whole cast whether main or supporting did an awesome job!


The special features from both The Dark Knight Returns Part One and Two are in the deluxe edition as well as a new retrospective on Frank Miller and what he brought to DC Comics, particularly with Batman. It’s such a great documentary which captures what brought the graphic novel to life and why it is one of the all time classics in the Dark Knight eclectic array of comic books.

No matter your level of Batman expertise, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Deluxe Edition is a perfect film to own that isn’t your run of the mill Bat movie. It really is one of the best comics of the 80’s and an awesome film to have in your collection. For those of you who can’t wait for the deluxe edition’s October 8th release, fear not! You can own this it right now by heading to Best Buy as they have an exclusive right to sell the film 3 weeks early!


Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (Deluxe Edition)
Directed By: Jay Olivia
Starring: Peter Weller, David Selby, Ariel Winter, Michael Emerson and Maria Canal.

Out of 5 Nerdskulls
Story: 4.5/ Acting: 4/ Directing: 4.5/ Visuals: 4
OVERALL: 4.5 out of 5 Nerdskulls

Check out this clip from the movie:

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