After reading about the screening at Comic-Con, I went into this petrified I was going to hate it.
It’s not the greatest adaptation, but nowhere near a disaster either.
Based on one of the most respected ‘one-off’ stories in Batman mythology, this possible Joker origin was pretty much a success as soon as they brought back Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy. As others have noted, these two are the defining voices for the Joker and Batman for at least one, now probably two generations. I’d probably put the voice work in the ‘Arkham’ video game series above this, but this goes pretty high on the Mark Hamill performances as well. I don’t know what else he can do with the character.
Now, the ‘twist’ that makes up the first part of the movie and started a shitstorm. Needed? Probably not. But they explained it before getting into the part of the movie that’s a remarkably faithful adaptation of the graphic novel. Won’t say much ado about nothing, but didn’t remotely ruin the movie either.
As much as anything, since this movie is about the Joker and Batgirl (making Batman the third most important character if you’re putting him behind Commissioner Gordon), it kind of suffers from that old ‘a Batman movie not really about Batman’ thing. There are a lot of nice touches in there though (I really liked the Easter Egg that paid tribute to nearly every version of the Joker in TV, film, and the comics), and Hamill really nails that last joke. I saw it in the theater and the crowd genuinely laughed.
So maybe not the best Batman movie ever but still a must see.