When Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight first came out in theaters, naturally we went to a midnight showing. Afterward, we all thought basically the same thing, "Wow. We need to see that again." We went again the next day.
A similar thing happened after watching Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1, the animated adaptation of Frank Miller's seminal best-selling graphic novel. In fact, it was so enjoyable that part of our brain isn't even here right now. It's still thinking about the film and fighting with the other half to just stop writing and go home and watch it again.
Since, you know, job and responsibilities (dolla dolla bill, y'all), we can't really do that, we're instead going to give you 5.2 Reasons to Watch Batman: The Dark Knight Return, Part 1!
1. It's an Adaptation of THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS
Let's get this one out there early. Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns ranks as one of the most influential and character-defining comics in modern history. His grim and gritty take on the Caped Crusader set the tone for the character for almost every interpretation that followed. Even after 25 years, it still remains a perennial best-seller month after month. All that and it's quite simply a fantastically well-told story.
2. It's a GREAT Adaptation of The Dark Knight Returns
While watching the film, we popped open a copy of the graphic novel to compare. We suggest doing the same. Seeing certain iconic images come to life brought out a childlike giddiness. It's an extremely accurate adaptation. There are some slight deviations—tweaked dialogue and extended scenes—but it all enhances the story for film and allows both comic book and film to stand on equal footing of greatness in their respective mediums.
3. Peter Weller as Batman
When they announced Peter Weller as the voice of the aged and grizzled Bruce Wayne, it just seemed like a perfect fit. It also sent our nerd-fueled brains into a conniption. (Robocop as Batman?!) Weller's take on the character plays out brilliantly. It takes a little bit to see exactly what he's doing as it's subtle, but once you get it, it's like Joker gas to the face: you can't help but grin.
4. The Score
A good or bad musical score can make or break a movie. Christopher Drake—who composed the music for a number of DC animated films including Wonder Woman and Justice League: Doom—really struck the perfect chord (ha!) for the mood and tone of the film—and most importantly, the setting. Something about the music fit perfectly with the world itself and enhanced all the dialogue and action on the screen. You might even find yourself humming it while doing everyday stuff afterward. It'll make pouring cereal super epic.
5. It Gets You Excited for Part 2
As the title may suggest, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 covers the first half of the graphic novel—basically the initial, uh, return of the Dark Knight. Because of the split, the pacing excels tremendously and the end leaves you very, very excited for the next installment.
5.1 Awesome Easter Eggs
5.2 We Could Watch This Iconic Moment Over and Over Again
Now, if you'll excuse us, we need to go watch that movie again. Let us know in the comments below (hey, that rhymed!) what you're excited to see in the upcoming film and what other adaptations you think would be awesome to see!