Verdict: 4.5 / 5
Based on the revolutionary 1986 Frank Miller graphic novel of the same name, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 2, a direct-to-DVD release, continues the story of an aged Batman/Bruce Wayne coming out of retirement to wage a war against the rising crime lords of Gotham City.
The second volume is even darker and grittier than the first, with Batman even facing off an old superhero friend, Superman. Part Two quickly establishes itself as one of the best animated comic book films, with the creators adamant on delivering an equally exciting film as the first. A new standard has been set. The Dark Knight Returns Part Two is everything fans have waited for and more!
Batman (to Superman): I didn’t have to go easy on you. A different binding agent, a stronger mix… I want you to remember that. I wanted to remind you to stay out of my way. In all the years to come, in your most private moments, I want you to remember the one man who beat you!
Those who are familiar with the acclaimed comic, or have seen the first installment, will know what they’re in for; a violent, action-packed, story-driven animated film of the highest grade. As with the first, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 2 has amazing direction, with punchy dialogue and an excellent voice cast. If you’re running low on Batman excitement look no further, this animated flick has everything you could ask for and could easily way up to a Christopher Nolan storyline.
Starting off exactly where Part 1 left off, Batman (Peter Weller) is met with both praise and animosity in the public eye. Some blame him for the rise in crime while others see his actions as a cure. A group of vigilantes rise up, proclaiming themselves as Sons of Batman. Commissioner Gordon enters retirement, giving way to a new commissioner bent on capturing the Caped Crusader. Hence, Batman is forced to fend off attacks from the justice system and returning villains like The Joker (Michael Emerson). Thankfully, he has a teenage girl by his side (say what?), taking on the role as Robin. In the midst of all this, Ronald Reagan commissions Superman (Mark Valley), who is also fighting off Russians in the Cold War, to end Batman’s crime fighting for good. Bruce obviously doesn’t take too kindly to being told what to do… and an epic battle between a worn out Superman and Batman unfolds.
Batman: No more! All the people I’ve murdered… by letting you live.
All the events come together perfectly. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 2 stays true to the comic in every form – including showing half-naked characters, bloody violence, followed by a disturbing story. This isn’t one for the kids. It might not even be one for sensitive adults. I loved every second of it. It just doesn’t get better than this in comic book animation. If the first installment is considered brilliant, then the second breaks the boundaries of brilliance. A must-see for Batman fans! Let’s hope Jay Oliva and writer Bob Goodman do more!