Movie Review – “Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (Uncut)”

Decades after Bruce Wayne’s prime, the Joker returns,
as spry as ever.

Cast, Crew, and Other Info

Will Friedle as Terry McGinnis and the new

Mark Hamill as the Joker. (Yes, that Mark

Kevin Conroy as Bruce Wayne.

Dean Stockwell as Tim Drake.

Angie Harmon as Barbara Gordon.

Teri Garr as Mary McGinnis.

Written by Paul Dini, Glen Murakami, and Bruce

Directed by Curt Geda.

Complete cast and crew listings are available from
the Internet


Bruce Wayne is too old to be Batman, but he’s still
young enough to
mentor a new hero in a new Batsuit. Somehow, the
Joker seems to be
alive, intact, and young, despite all evidence to the

High Point

The new Batman’s style when handling the Joker. Very
different from
the old Batman.

Low Point

The mechanism that brought the Joker back. When you
spend so much
time building up a particular mystery, it had better
have a better
solution than that.

The Scores

It’s a new take on Batman, but most of that
originality came
through the series long before this direct-to-video
movie came out.
That much still felt new to me, having never seen the
series, but the
rest of the “shoehorn and old villain into new plot”
story felt like
old stuff. It’s more mature than the episodes of the
DC Warner
Bros. cartoons I’ve seen on TV, which says a lot, and
goes a long way.
I give it 4 out of 6.

The animation has a distinct style, but it
did get a bit
stogy in places, particularly in the distant views
and the
Batgirl/Harley Quinn fight. I give it 4 out of 6.

The story has only one flaw, but it’s a big
one. The entire
plot hinged on a maguffin that didn’t work. The
character work is
excellent, but it’s not good enough to make up for
that problem. I
give it 4 out of 6.

The voice acting is exceptional. If I
didn’t read the
credits, I never would have associated the Joker’s
voice with Mark
Hamill. The entire cast does an equally excellent
job, but he’s the
only one who is both widely recognizable on the
street and nothing at
all like his other work. I give it 6 out of 6.

The emotional response was pretty good.
This has been my only
exposure to Batman Beyond, and it’s impressive. I
was interested in
Terry, in the history that got Bruce, Barbara and Tim
to this point,
and I was disturbed by some of the Joker’s actions.
It was very well
done, particularly given the fact that animation
tends to be harder to
connect to (because it’s harder to make the drawn
characters seem like
real people than it is when you’re just filming real
people.) I give
it 5 out of 6.

The production was excellent when it comes
to sound and
editing. Many of the scenes seemed to be cropped on
the top, though,
and the images often crowd the upper half of the
screen. I give it 4
out of 6.

Overall, it’s worth recommending to fans of
Warner’s animated
DC materials, but I’m not sure it would make someone
a fan if they
weren’t already interested in Batman. I give it 4
out of 6.

In total, Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker
31 out of 42.

4 replies on “Movie Review – “Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (Uncut)””

  1. BB rules
    I love batman beyond. It’s such a cool take on Batman, and I think it makes Batman as a whole more believable. The 20th century Batman is often portrayed as having super-human strength and stamina, and totally out-there gadgets. Since it’s just a cartoon, it can be tolerated, but Batman Beyond basically can use the suit to account for Terry’s ability to jump 20 feet off a catwalk and take massive amounts of abuse.

    I def. prefer the voice actor that plays Barbara Gordon in the series, though. I guess the series is pretty much over. Too bad. It was a really good show. I especially liked the two-parter when he joins the justice league.

    • Re: BB rules

      I guess the series is pretty much over. Too bad. It was a really good show. I especially liked the two-parter when he joins the justice league.

      I’m with you, I think BB is more than just a sequel, it’s a worth add-on to the Batman mythos itself. In a way it injects more of the Spiderman / Peter Parker elements into Batman that only improves it. The whole subtext of the show is in Terry’s ongoing exclamation, “I AM Batman”. And he is.

      Also, the two parter absolutely rocked. At the end of part one, when the case of suits swings aside revealing the hidden chamber that you’d never knew was there, with cobwebs blowing in the breeze, and Bruce telling Terry amid the eerie gree glow he has to be ready to kill if necessary, just sent chills down my spine when I first saw it. Best comic book animation ever done.

      I would love to see a Batman Beyond movie with Paul Newman as Bruce….

  2. New Batman Movie?
    Not Batman Beyond but original batman…
    I think it’s like Batman the secrety of catwoman or somehting like that?
    has anyone seen it yet?

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