Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1

2012

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

100%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 5

93%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 8,477
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Movie Info

It is ten years after an aging Batman has retired, and Gotham City has sunk deeper into decadence and lawlessness. Now, when his city needs him most, the Dark Knight returns in a blaze of glory. Joined by Carrie Kelly, a teenage female Robin, Batman takes to the streets to end the threat of the mutant gangs that have overrun the city. And after facing off against his two greatest enemies, the Joker and Two-Face, for the final time, Batman finds himself in mortal combat with his former ally, Superman, in a battle that only one of them will survive.

Cast

Peter Weller
as Bruce Wayne/Batman
David Selby
as Commissioner Gordon
Wade Williams
as Harvey Dent/Two-Face
Michael McKean
as Dr. Wolper
Michael Emerson
as The Joker

Critic Reviews for Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1

All Critics (5) | Fresh (5)

Audience Reviews for Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1

  • Jan 12, 2017
    A good story and some pretty violent action all works well but I didn't enjoy the voice cast and it was pretty slow in places that really ruined this for me, It did get better and better but for some reason I couldn't enjoy it as much as I was hoping for.
    Jamie C Super Reviewer
  • Mar 15, 2016
    In preparation for the upcoming Batman V Superman film, I've decided to revisit a few of each of the heroes' feature films, especially those where they come in direct conflict with one another. When it comes to comic book adaptations, there is usually a split opinion among fans. Either the adaptation has strung too far from its source material, or it relied too heavily on it. Either way, it's rare that a comic book film or a TV show can come across an audience which is very clear in saying that it is a perfect adaptation. That's what The Dark Knight Returns films are. Part 1 effortlessly displays a mans' psychological turmoil after years of fighting crime in Gotham City, and then also regain his inner humanity and self-worth. The Dark Knight Returns Part 1 quite simply is one of the greatest comic book films of all time. We begin with watching Bruce Wayne drag race his life away. Taking place 10 years after Batman retired, we get a sense that he doesn't feel as though he has anything left to give. Or rather, he's so psychologically damaged by Jason Todd dying and the chaos that was unleashed on Gotham city, that he is trying to find ways for himself to cope. While I like Part 2 a tad better, this psychological side to the story of Batman is something that gives Part 1 its own edge. This is all complemented incredibly well by Christopher Drake's hauntingly eerie score. Drake has done numerous takes on the Dark Knight, but I've always felt like his score for these two parts perfectly encapsulates this particular graphic novel more so than any of his other scores. Peter Weller voices Batman, among the many talented voice actors here. It mainly focuses on the Mutant Gang who has taken control of Gotham City in this near-future story, but we also get appearances from Harvey Dent and Joker, who give it just the amount of nostalgia Batman needs to put that cape and cowl on again. Dent's tragic tale once again takes a left turn as he was sponsored by Wayne to get his face back to normal with surgery, only to still think of himself as Two-Face and resume his crime filled ways. Joker is only teased, but I love the way this story links Batman and Joker. They can't really go on without one another. Frank Miller also weaves in a Gordon side arc that effortlessly fits in with the rest of the story as he is both retiring and being pushed out for Ellen Yindel, a strong believer of taking down Batman, a much bigger story in the second part. Everything leads to the mud fight. Batman and newly hired Carrie Kelley as Robin, trap all of the mutants into thinking that the Mutant Leader set up a meeting at a sewer outlet. There, we get one of the great comic book fights ever with Batman calling himself the "surgeon at an operating table". With the music, stunned faces of hundreds of mutants, and the official return of the Batman, it may be my favorite scene of either of the two parts. In all, The Dark Knight Returns Part 1 displays all of the graphic novels greatest attributes, while also giving it a memorable score and incredible voice talents. I love everything about this film & story. +Voice talent, particularly Peter Weller +Psychological side +Haunting score +Weaves in Batman's best characters effortlessly +Final fight scene 10/10
    Thomas D Super Reviewer
  • Mar 10, 2016
    Beginning with an old and grizzled Batman who has retired, new threats begin to arise, needing the caped crusader to awaken once again to fight the battles nobody else can. With a very slow burn to start, this first half really focusses the viewers in on the trauma that his character has faced in the past. I really enjoyed the build up to his past coming back to haunt him. It is revealed that villains of the past are still around, and when Batman strikes back into action, they are ready to give themselves purpose once again. Very well written, well executed, and helming some terrific animation, this is a very well-told story. My biggest complaint is that is drags a little too much for my taste.
    KJ P Super Reviewer
  • Aug 24, 2013
    A solidly entertaining adventure that's tremendously respectful to its material. It's a sharp, thrilling and action-packed first part to this two part comic adaptation.
    Al S Super Reviewer

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