When a family of surrogates and a city of crime were not enough for the Dark Knight? Wait until you get a load of me!
Warner Bros. Animation in association with DC Entertainment and Warner Home Video present…
The direct to video animated film is the 20th entry to DC Comics and Warner Bros. on-going line of fantastic stories brought forth by their comic based characters. Directed by Ethan Spaulding (Avatar: The Last Airbender) and Story written by James Robinson (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight), the collaboration brings the adaptation from Writer Grant Morrison and Artist Andy Kubert’s “Batman and Son” in 2006 which collects the series from #655 to #658 (talk about domestic problems).
First off, the film was delivered coming from remarkable tale of family which includes love, lies and deception in which there was no intended plot to be based on from the original except for another think tank that came up with another story to be told. I admire how they brought it in the lime light and I do understand the concept of using marketing as a ploy to lure buyers and the fans alike. But seriously, DC Comics has made this routine since day one and although there were adjustments in the given animated films like “Superman: Doomsday”, “Superman/Batman: Public Enemies” and “Superman/Batman: Apocalypse” at least the actual core of the stories were tangible, cohesive and more importantly gives actual meaning to the source material and work of its writers and artists.
Without a doubt that DC Comics gives Marvel a run for their money in terms of the genre plus the segment of the business but at least make it coherent on how you deliver your sales pitch for the audience especially for the fanboys who really want to see the actual comic book come to life.
While there is so much more to ponder let’s go back to the film and on the first act we see the league of assassins training being watched over by their Master and Mentor together with his daughter and grandson but was attacked by Slade Wilson aka Deathstroke voiced by Thomas Gibson (Raising Waylon) with his own loyal soldiers. The latter has a definite grudge with the former since he was pushed over by a child and that really insulted his ego and therefore kills the man by burning him without any chance of climbing back to his Lazarus Pit!
On the other hand, coming back from “Justice League: War” Jason O’Mara (In Justice) lends his voice once again for the Dark Knight. While working on a case that involves Killer Croc who was stealing drugs from Biotech firms their fisticuffs were abruptly put into a stop by Talia Al Ghul who was voiced by Morena Baccarin (Homeland). I just don’t get it seeing Batman pummelling Croc in the face when in fact he is fighting a mutated human that turned into a reptile more so a crocodile who have very thick skins when he is being thrown over like rag doll outside the window while maneuvering back to the building with a broken rib! But a bit of a rush as you see, she needs the Bat more than ever since she has someone waiting to meet him personally! Enter Damian, Ra’s Al Ghul’s heir to the throne and to one day to lead the League of Assassins! Stuart Allan (Rise of the Guardians) and Giancarlo Esposito (Last Holiday) lend their talent to the grandson and grandfather respectively. Both were very attuned to their characters, distinct, clear and without remorse in terms of delivery!
Jason is from Dublin, Ireland and taking over the reins from Kevin Conroy was a sweet gesture to bequeath the said responsibility of being Batman for more projects to come on the other hand Morena really suits the mother figure for Talia, she has a strong and affirmative delivery on her character. Seeing Batman tackle fatherhood, being a parent and being a superhero does not mean you can get away easy with guiding your children especially if they were raised by thieves, killers, terrorist and would be conquerors! Damian had this coming, he knows that from his own mother’s upbringing there will be another direction into his life and it comes from the better half!
While other things are in question, here is a part of the second act one of which how does a kid with given the right expertise of being a martial artist but (here’s the argument) still weighs about 100 pounds kick someone who is 6’10 and weighs 350 pounds and send him flying into a wall considering that Ubu is the bodyguard of Ra’s who now works for Deathstroke is a master assassin. Not only did that scene made me scratch my head, later on Commissioner Gordon even informed Batman that the guy is lucky enough to breathe after taking a beating from a boy!
The part where Dr. Kirk Langstrom aka Man-Bat gives the film a little precedent to the overall premise seeing that Deathstroke wants to take over the world with the Doctor’s experiment turning humans into full scaled sized bats was unnerving, he was not even contented with his minions being ninjas and all! Kirk was voiced by Xander Berkeley (Taken) and has given the film a ploy to work on by both Batman and his son, stopping the bad guys, rescuing the mom in distress and exact revenge to those who have wronged them! Speaking of sons, least we not forget to mention is Dick from the talent of Sean Maher (Much Ado About Anything) yes my dear friends, Nightwing tags along with the Bat just for the kicks and to babysit. I wish that they can make a decent role for the guy who deserves the kind of respect being given to the real son! (no offense meant Damian).
Uneven plot holes that makes this Batman feature worth taking time considering it has a wider perspective of Bruce’s life outside being a superhero! I actually liked it but I have more preference on “Batman: Under the Red Hood”, “Batman: Assault on Arkham” which is another case in point of selling the title that can be either be derivative to the actual game or better to the Suicide Squad! It has action, family problems, kidnapping, extortion, drugs, great villains (mediocre roles) and the Batman who has the best of both ends having the mom and a kid who can grow up being the best that he can be! By the way Bruce is being a responsible parent knowing kids can’t drive at their given age…well unless he steals it! (go ahead Bats call the Police)