Honest Trailer For 'Batman: The Killing Joke' Skewers The Film's Batgirl Storyline


Batman: The Killing Joke seemed like a no-brainer when it came to it getting the animated treatment. After all, it's one of the most influential Batman and Joker stories of all time, and one that is still regularly referenced today.

It's also been heavily criticized for its depiction of Barbara Gordon, the one-time Batgirl, who is sexually assaulted and paralyzed by the Joker in the story. It's a disturbing scene in the comics, and one that even creator Alan Moore has issues with years later. An adaptation needed to find a way to faithfully translate the story from book to film, but at the same time, needed to address the elephant in the room and do Barbara Gordon justice as a character.

That didn't happen. The movie adds 40 minutes of new content not found in the graphic novel in an attempt to flesh out Batgirl's character, but it ends up making the entire situation far, far worse by adding a romantic relationship between Barbara and Batman. On top of that, Batgirl battles a sexist, misogynistic crime lord with whom she also flirts, and she spends much of her screen time in the film's opening act complaining about men. Rather than improving Barbara's role in the original story, the film (somehow) actually makes it worse.

At long last, the folks at Screen Junkies have crafted an Honest Trailer for Batman: The Killing Joke, and it perfectly captures all of what just went horribly, horribly wrong in the adaptation. The video compares "fixing" Barbara Gordon's storyline by having her shack up with Batman on a rooftop with "fighting a fire with gasoline." The movie is also described as trying far too hard to be edgy and justify its R-rating, with gratuitous sex and language thrown in.

The video also takes a few shots at DC's cinematic film universe, saying Batman: The Killing Joke comes "from the division of Warner Brothers that's still making good superhero movies," and also insults the movie in the worst way possible by saying it brings DC cinematic-level storytelling to the DC animated universe. You can check out the video for yourself below.

Fans might not ever know how, as Screen Junkies describes it, the "wannabe edgy misfire" Batman: The Killing Joke turned out as it did. However, at least laughing about it helps make the disappointment sting a bit less.

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