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Son of Batman
BLU-RAY disk
05.06.2014 By: Paul Shirey
Son of Batman order download
Director:
Ethan Spaulding

Actors:
Jason O'Mara
Stuart Allan
Thomas Gibson
Morena Baccarin
Xander Berkeley
Giancarlo Esposito
Dee Bradley Baker

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
After escaping an assault on Ra's Al Ghul's compound from Deathstroke and his assassins, Talia Al Ghul escapes to Gotham City with her pre-teen son, Damian, to introduce him to his father: Batman. Raised by The League of Assassins, Damien is violent, ill-tempered, and stubborn, but displays the same strength and tenacity as his father. Batman struggles to find a way to save his son, both from himself and his vendetta against the villainous Deathstroke, with whom he vows revenge.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
If you're a fan of the DCU animated series of films then you can certainly count SON OF BATMAN as another strong entry. Based on the original comics run "Batman & Son" by Grant Morrison and Andy Kubert, SON OF BATMAN is a fun, violent ride that brings to life one of the most compelling characters in The Dark Knight's most recent history. Although loosely based on the original comics, the film captures the essence of Damian Wayne/Robin in all his tenacious and stubborn glory.

The animation style is similar to the recent JUSTICE LEAGUE: WAR and JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE FLASHPOINT PARADOX, which is to say it's sharp, vibrant, and kinetic. It's what you expect at this point and that's in no way a bad thing. It's an animation formula that works well for the DCU. Storywise, the film embellishes and adds to the plot points of the comic, adding in the much-loved Deathstroke as the main villain and relegating the Man-Bat's to more of a side note. However, the story beats of Damian's relationships with everyone from his father to Alfred to Nightwing to his mother, Talia, are explored well enough to give you an idea of his struggle to adapt to the side of good. Damian must decide on what type of "hero" he wants to be; one that follows a Bat or one that follows an assassin's code.

What struck me initially with SON OF BATMAN was the violence. It's bloody and brutal, although not in an excessive manner. It reminded me a lot of NINJA SCROLL, particularly since there is a heavy emphasis on acrobatic sword battles. There are no over-the-top fountain blood spray scenes, but when someone is sliced there's certainly bloody evidence of it, even when it's Damian on the receiving end, which can be off-putting when you realize that he's a 12-year-old boy. There's an appearance from Killer Croc shoehorned in here as well, which seems to just be there to have an extra villain, which I felt we didn't need as it would have been better to focus more on Damian's character. Some fat could definitely have been trimmed in that respect.

There's a lot more depth to this story in Morrison's comics run, which I highly recommend, but this is a great introduction to the character of Damian Wayne/Robin and his idiosyncratic personality. His relationship with Batman is one of the most interesting The Dark Knight has ever had and the dynamic between the two is a blast to watch. There's more than enough bloody battles and a classic showdown between Damian and Deathstroke in the finale that will leave fans of these films satiated until the next round. While I still think the animated DCU film to beat is THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, this is a fine follow up to the Batman series and leaves the door wide open to continue Damian's tale.
THE EXTRAS
Strange Blood Ties: Damian Wayne Featurette: This is a really cool featurette that explores the history of Damien Wayne from the comics and includes interviews with his creator, Grant Morrison, and many others. It takes a close look into his journey to becoming Robin and his ultimate SPOILER fate. Great for folks who aren't familiar with the character.

The Fang and The Demon Head: The League of Assassins Featurette: This is a similar featurette as the Damian Wayne one, although it dives into the history of the League of Assassins and the characters of Ra's Al Ghul and Talia Al Ghul and how they fit into Batman's world. A very cool look into their origins and how they've grown to become the perfect match for The World's Greatest Detective.

Designing the Characters with Phil Bourassa Featurette: Animation fans will enjoy this, as artist Phil Bourassa discuses his process of adapting the look of the characters from the comics into animated form, pointing out the changes and additions they made for the transition. Very cool peek at the animation process.

Sneak Peek: Batman: Assault on Arkham: Always one of my favorite aspects of a new DCU movie; the sneak peek at the next one! This doesn't disappoint as there's plenty of new footage and interviews with the creators and cast of the upcoming summer release. It definitely looks like another win for DCU animation.

Bonus Cartoons: Batman: The Brave & The Bold "The Knights of Tomorrow"; Batman: The Animated Series "Showdown!"; Batman Beyond "Out of the Past"; Batman: The Brave and The Bold "Sidekick's Assemble"

Trailers: Beware The Batman, Justice League: War, Teen Titans Go, DC Collectibles, Scooby Doo! Frankencreepy
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
If you're a fan of the DCU animated series of films then this is a must buy. If you're a casual viewer it's a solid rental (hence 3.5 stars). While it's not quite as epic as the recent THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS it's still a cool, violent, and fun ride, even if not an instant classic. However, the final battle between Damian and Deathstroke is worth the purchase/rental alone.
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2:11PM on 05/06/2014
Not quite the movie I was expecting or hoping, but it was decent. It's at least a Netflix watch in the future. I wouldn't purchase it.
Not quite the movie I was expecting or hoping, but it was decent. It's at least a Netflix watch in the future. I wouldn't purchase it.
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5:25AM on 05/06/2014
It was okay, but I certainly was disappointed. Deathstroke's voice just didn't sound right, especially when compared to how Ron Perlman, Steven Blum and Manu Bennett have done it. It also seemed that Damian got his place as Robin way too easily. One of the most memorable parts of Grant Morrison's Batman and Son is when Damian desecrates the Jason Todd memorial, stealing that Robin outfit to wear as his own. In this film, it seems we jump from Dick Grayson straight to Damian Wayne, without Jason
It was okay, but I certainly was disappointed. Deathstroke's voice just didn't sound right, especially when compared to how Ron Perlman, Steven Blum and Manu Bennett have done it. It also seemed that Damian got his place as Robin way too easily. One of the most memorable parts of Grant Morrison's Batman and Son is when Damian desecrates the Jason Todd memorial, stealing that Robin outfit to wear as his own. In this film, it seems we jump from Dick Grayson straight to Damian Wayne, without Jason or Tim in between, which took away a fair bit. Morena Baccarin as Talia is perfect, perfect casting though.
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2:18AM on 05/06/2014
Slade comes off as a bit of a pussy in this movie for me. He goes up against Ra's in a duel and pulls that trick to win
Slade comes off as a bit of a pussy in this movie for me. He goes up against Ra's in a duel and pulls that trick to win
Your Reply:



1:07AM on 05/06/2014
Cool
Cool
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