I have a bit of a memory of when The Dark Knight Returns comics came out, way back when. I didn't read them until later, though. And now, a bit later still, I've been watching the second part of the recent animated movies based on the comics.
Despite some points of interest in the comics, I remember being put off by some things in it, too. Having learned a bit more since them, I can say that things I found off-putting are even more numerous.
To put it more plainly, this isn't so much an animated movie as a piece of clumsy propoganda, and if people actually knew and remembered history, they would find it ridiculous.
When this comic was first put out, there was this thing called the Cold War going on. The place we know call Russia was at that time a major part of what was called The Soviet Union, along with a lot of other countries around present-day Russia that at that time were a part of the USSR, and not exactly by choice.
That figured into the comics, and is in this animated movie, too. What's happening with Batman and Gotham is set against a grow internationsl conflict between the USA and USSR over a fictional country. While Batman fights the Joker, again, Superman is winning this international conflict. Whether the guy writing the comic is happy about the US winning this conflict is an interesting question, and simply judging by how he handles it, I'd have to say he wasn't.
Somewhat odd. He has a psychiatrist try to say that Batman is the one at fault for the Joker's crimes, right before the Joker kills him and a TV studio full of people. But because of this victory by the US, the Soviet Union launches nuclear missles, which detonate and cause an EMP event, wiping out electronic across the US. One wonders if he thinks the US, or the president in the movie, isn't to blame for this strike by the Soviets.
The writer of the comic included a character that is basically the former US President, Ronald Reagan, though I don't know if he ever names him or now. He basically makes this character a klutz, incompetent, and has newscasters go one about how shameful his handling of the crisis after the EMP event was.
Now, for a touch of reality. One of the big reasons the USSR collapsed was because of Reagan's refusal to back down from them. Far from being as this comic depicts him, Reagan was one of the better US presidents.
This writer, and of course the movie, portrays this Reagan president as someone who would send Superman to take Batman down, because of how Batman is embarrassing him. Can't help but think that that's not how Reagan was.
The writer's politics show through in other ways, too. At one point, Batman is trying to rally a gang of young men who were part of some kind of Batman-cult like group, so he could use them to help restore order to Gotham because of the lack of electrical power. He grabs a rifle or shotgun one of them had, holds it up, tells them that these gusn are the weapons of cowards, and proceeds to destroy it.
It's always interesting whenever these comic book heroes, who often have access to some kind of powers of their own or, like Batman, to really advanced technological weapons, get all worked up because a normal person dares to have a gun. Batman can have Batmoblies, Batcopters, Batplanes, Batarangs, Batcycles, and many of those with some kind of weapon that can blow stuff up, not to mention a bullet-proof suit with all the neat trimmings, and all that stuff in his utility belt, but let some poor normal person dare have a pistol, and that's just unacceptable and cowardly.
Then, when Batman is restoring order and making himself the law in Gotham, he becomes the thought police, deciding who stays "tied up" based on their willingness to display a proper cooperative attitude.
I can't help but think that this animation is pretty much the left's ideas of how things should be run, how the 80s should have happened. For them, Reagan should be seen as incompetent old man, all evidence to the contrary. Having guns in the hands of the average person is a serious problem, one they need to fix. And if you don't want to cooperate with them, well, there are places you can be "tied up" so you don't interfere with their utopia.
Basically, don't bother with it. There's very little in this movie worth seeing.