Almost a year since The Dark Knight Returns Part 1 blew me away and nine months since The Dark Knight Returns Part 2 outdid itself, both films have been compressed in a two and a half hour movie with a commentary and a new (lengthy) bonus feature. Do the two films work together as one? Does the commentary and new bonus feature make it worth picking up the movie again if you already own the other two? Let’s find out (or you can cheat and look at the score).
In The Dark Knight Returns, Bruce retires Batman after the death of Jason Todd. 10 years later, Gotham is filled with crime with a gang called the Mutants terrorizing Gotham’s citizens. After Harvey Dent goes through plastic surgery and is believed to be normal again, he goes into hiding. This pushes Bruce over the edge to become Batman once again.
The movie is fantastic. It’s insanely dark, very well-written, and filled with fantastic voice acting. If you want to know my complete thoughts on the two films, be sure to read my Part 1 Review and Part 2 Review where I go much more in-depth on each film and its bonus features. What the Deluxe Edition does is combine both films into a two and a half hour movie. This is the way to watch the film. Completely uninterrupted which makes you fully immersed in the film. The picture and audio quality hasn’t been changed (and if it has, then I haven’t noticed anything). It’s a great presentation.
The new bonus features on the Dark Knight Returns Blu-ray are:
A Commentary with Director Jay Oliva, Screenwriter Bob Goodman and Voice Director Andrea Romano. YES! What was missing from both of the original Blu-rays was a commentary and we get a fantastic one here. These three have so much fun watching the movie and give lots of great info. It’s really a joy to listen to and I highly recommend checking it out. It’s one of the best commentaries I’ve heard in a long time.
Featurette: Masterpiece: Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns (1 hour, 18 minutes) is a documentary about the creation of The Dark Knight Returns comic. It’s not as interesting as the Bob Kane documentary found on the Part 1 (and now this) release but it’s certainly cool to see what was happening at the time and how this and Watchmen really had a huge effect on the comic industry. It’s definitely worth a watch but nothing spectacular.
All of the previous great bonus features are brought over minus trailers and sneak peeks (as they would’ve been old now anyway). Once again, read my original reviews if you want to know about the previous bonus features.
Is The Dark Knight Returns worth buying again if you already own both of the original versions? It depends. If you’re a completist and/or a HUGE fan of the material, then this is worth picking up for the combined presentation and commentary. If you enjoyed the first two films and don’t care about bonus features then stick to the original copies. If you don’t own The Dark Knight Returns, buy it now! It is an animated masterpiece and well worth checking out. The bonus content is great with the new commentary, Bob Kane documentary, and Batman: The Animated Series episodes being the highlights. Excellent job to everybody who worked on this film.
For reviews and more from me, Petey Oneto, you can check out my blog but be sure to check back to Resident Entertainment for more of my posts in the future.