21 January 2010

Evolution of the Batman (and Robin) - Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker

In the year 2000, the Batman Beyond series got its first film treatment bringing back Batman's ultimate nemesis in the direct to video release of Return of the Joker.

The movie opens with the future Batman fighting a gang of Joker inspired villains "cleverly" dubbed the Jokerz.

But as it turned out, the gang really was working for THE Joker.

This opens up a big mystery as we are treated to a series of flashbacks revealing the Joker's death at the hands of a tortured Robin years back witnessed by Batgirl and Batman himself.

But somehow the returned Joker knows the identity of the original Batman and strikes out against old man Wayne.

You can read my brief review here, but lets just say, it was a pretty entertaining movie with a not too unbelievable resolution. The interesting thing about this movie is that it was originally cut as PG-13 but concerns about violence in cartoons resulted in much of the blood and violence being edited out. We were also treated to some additions like seat belts in the reedit. Luckily, both editions found their way to DVD. I recommend the unedited cut. For a rundown of the changes, check out this article at worldsfinestonline.com. Even still, the edited cut retains some dark themes what with the implied torture and killing and all.

The movie ends by revealing the fate of Nana Harley Quinn, so we can all rest easy knowing she will be around for years to come.

Up Next: Selling Out to OnStar

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