DVD Review: Son of Batman (Warner)

Call me old fashioned, but I’m in the camp of people that like the source material of an adapted animated movie like “Son of Batman” to be held in a […]

Call me old fashioned, but I’m in the camp of people that like the source material of an adapted animated movie like “Son of Batman” to be held in a very high regard. Grant Morrison’s and Andy Kubert’s work on “Batman and Son” is a fantastic story, that deserves to be told in an animated movie. I remember reading it and the characters of Damian and Talia just jumped right off the page. So, when “Son of Batman” was announced, I was absolutely overjoyed! Did the animated feature hold up to one of my favorite DC stories?

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The plot of “Son of Batman” is very simple. Ra’s Al Ghul has been killed by his one time successor, Slade Wilson. Slade feels betrayed by the League of Shadows due to being forced out as the next in line by Damian, the bastard son of Talia Al Ghul and Batman. In a heated battle, Damian takes one of Wilson’s eyes, forever scarring him. Talia then meets up with the Worlds Greatest Detective to introduce him to his, as of then, unknown heir. Slade kidnaps Kirk Langstrom, of the Man-bat serum fame, to create an army of super-bat soldiers. In an act of vengence, Talia attacks Wilson’s compound only to be captured and held hostage along with Langstrom and his family.

There are some really shining moments in this film. The portrayal of Damian is absolutely spot on! The actor conveyed the snobbishness of the 10 year old, while still bringing the deadliness of him as well. Damian stands out as the best part of the film, hands down.

The action set pieces, while incredibly violent, were awe-inspiring. The last fight sequence between Damian and Slade is worth the price of the DVD alone. It goes down as one of the best fight sequences I’ve seen in a DC animated feature.

Unfortunately, there are some things that I fell felt a little short. I don’t really appreciate how overly sexualised Talia’s character is. Make no mistake, Talia is supposed to be sexy character. That’s one of the reasons why Bruce has difficulty turning her down. This along with her being a strong, smart, and ruthless character make her one of my favorite villains in the Bat-verse. However, here in the animated feature, she is drawn in skin tight leather with so much cleavage, she would drown. Not to mention, Morena Baccarin (Serenity, V) voices her very seductively. While we are on the subject of Talia, it is important to note that it seems the writers didn’t fully understand who Talia is. She is a damsel in distress in the film and not a force of nature. In the story, Talia is more of a cunningly ruthless leader that cares more of the survival and further progression of the League of Shadows than her own flesh and blood. I won’t hammer this point home, but this was my main gripe for the film.

The violence in the film is something that has been a thorn in my side for the past couple of DC animated features. The same is here. I understand that DC is trying to aim for a more mature audience. On one hand I really appreciate that. On the other hand, I would love to be able to show these films to my younger nieces or nephews without having to worry about this portrayal of Batman scar them. The violence in this film is actually really great for an adult audience. It makes a lasting impression and really sets the tone for the film. I just wouldn’t recommend this for anyone under the age of 15.

Despite the film falling a little short on a couple of things, and the shoe-horning of Deathstroke into the story despite him not being in the source material at all, this animated feature is an awesome story of the Dark Knight and his Son. We can see the progression of Damian throughout the film, and his portrayal will go down as being one of the best. A small thing to point out, is that the running time of the whole film is only 85 minutes, which really isn’t that long. I would have loved for the film to be longer, but I loved the entire feature.

My rating 4/5

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