Monday, August 2, 2021

Batman Soul Of The Dragon

The second I heard this concept I knew I was game for it.

An Elseworlds tale of Batman in the 1970s, with influences of martial arts, Bond, and weird cults, sign me the hell up! And I actually can fully grant this a strong rating, I had a real good time with this movie. You can tell the director knew exactly what he wanted to do, taking so many elements from so many sources and incorporating it to make a solid good movie. You get a bit of Bond at the beginning with a flat out call back to The Living Daylights, you get the oriental martial arts stuff like Enter The Dragon and even some Big Trouble In Little China stuff, and it fully embraces the 70s style, jargon, and aesthetic. I do however feel the title is a bit misleading, it genuinely is the one thing I actually don't like about the movie because Batman is like in two scenes. Oh Bruce is present almost from the word go, but you really only see the cape and cowl on two occasions which is a shame because I really like how it adapted Neal Adams 1970s suit, with the grey and blue with the yellow bat symbol, I could kinda argue the cowl looks off but everything else looks so good. The story is more an ensemble with Batman, Bronze Tiger, Shiva, and more obscure character Richard Dragon as we kinda delve into Bruce's training and them hunting down this weird syndicate/cult led by Kobra who I briefly mistook for Copperhead. It's a simple but good story and the cast brings that perfect balance between serious and fun, David Giuntoli has a strong good voice for Batman and I believe this is the first time he has done the role and he did a mighty good job I'd say. Michael Jai White is excellent casting for Bronze Tiger, and to see some Black Dynamite influence in the movie made me a very happy camper. It was so great seeing Kelly Hu back as Shiva after playing Arkham Origins so many years ago, she's awesome and brings a lot more to the character than before so nothing but love from me there. Mark Dacascos while sharing the lead with David does a good job and gives a proper good introduction to this character I find, you can obviously see the Bruce Lee inspiration yet still retains an identity of his own. We even get friggin' James Hong, bless that man, we get David Lo Pan and he is perfect as always. I knew it was him instantly and I was thrilled to have him in this. The animation was also spot on, having great fluidity for the action scenes and worked great with the aesthetic of the time period, hell this movie had me at opening credits seeing that 70s Warner Bros. logo told me everything I needed to know about the visuals in this film. And I gotta say, I was about to go on the rant again about another R rated DC animated movie, yet it actually kinda warranted it and didn't even attempt some horseshit sex nonsense, it delievers some blood and some deaths without it reaching that animated Mortal Kombat movie levels I reviewed earlier this year, so shit I'm kinda stumped what to say next. It's a good movie, solid but not outta sight, 4 stars, 8/10. Well worth a rental and if you're hardcore about the animated DC stuff, is a welcome addition to the collection in my opinion. What did I review last time that was animated DC? Wonder Woman Bloodlines and Superman Red Son, those were pretty good too so I hope the trend continues as we talk next time about the highly anticipated The Long Halloween. Please God. Please. Don't be bad. When it comes to the big proper beloved titles of the Batman it has been some hit and miss, so fingers crossed guys. See you then.

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