Sunday, May 11, 2014

Movie Review -- Son of Batman

Today I'm mixing things up and reviewing the latest animated comic book movie, Son of Batman.

The story begins with the League of Assassins being taken out by a force led by Slade Wilson, AKA Deathstroke. Ra's al Ghul is killed in the attack, and his daughter Talia flees to Gotham with her son Damien. She seeks out Batman and informs him Damien is also his son. Now the billionaire playboy has to deal with his sudden status as a dad. This won't be easy because Damien is not only brash and highly intelligent, but a trained killer as well. Bruce must find a way to keep him in line while training him to become the next Robin.

Meanwhile, Deathstroke raids the home of a scientist named Langston who was working on some secret project for Ra's. Slade kidnaps his family and forces Langston to complete whatever he's working on. Batman gets wind of this and goes looking for Langston. What he finds are man-bats (half man, half bat, natch). Somehow these chimeras are involved in whatever Langston is working on. To make matters worse, Talia is captured by Deathstroke during a failed attack on his hideout. Now Batman and Damien must save not only Langston and his family, but her as well. Can Batman lead this rescue mission without Damien leaving a trail of bodies in his wake? After all, "We don't kill."

I like this movie. It has quality animation and voice work. I also appreciate Batman's struggle to adapt to being a father. It puts some heart into the story. Overall, this is a definite step up from DC's previous animated movie, Justice League: War, which really didn't do it for me. Furthermore, it's good to see Deathstroke getting time in the spotlight. He's one of DC's coolest characters, and he deserves it.

Still, I'm not sure this ranks as high as The Flashpoint Paradox. Some of the voices could have been a little better. Jason O'Mara is decent as Batman, but he's no Kevin Conroy or even Roger Craig Smith. Deathstroke's voice (Thomas Gibson) in particular just doesn't have that badass quality that Mark Rolston brought to the table in the videogame Arkham Origins. And finally, some parts near the end are pretty predictable.

Nevertheless, for an animated comic book movie, this is pretty good. It's among the best that has come out in recent months.

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