Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Son Of Batman

And to think this movie is nearly a decade old, good God time is fricking wild.

I actually have a disclaimer to issue before the review, I was aware of the fact that Bruce and Talia got a little hey hey and had a son named Damian, however I knew nothing of the actual storyline in the comics beyond that so this is essentially my introduction though I've read this adaptation doesn't follow the comics closely. But I gotta admit I did like it! The story presented is more than just Bruce learning he has a son and has to reign in his more lethal tendencies because he was raised by Talia and Ra's, now that is more or less the focus of the movie but I would admit that would still be a really cool and very fascinating story to see as like a drama superhero film, these two opposing personalities and ideologies clashing, but pretty much from the start it had my interest. This might sound odd but the film crafts this mystery for the viewer but there actually isn't a mystery in the film, you follow me? Because opening scene, friggin' Deathstroke flat out assaults the League of Assassins, I mean Protocol 10 missile strike and kills Ra's, now with my history and knowledge of the character Slade Wilson I know he is a mercenary first but the guy can hold a grudge so it proposed this question of who hired him to take out Ra's al Ghul? Turns out he was acting independently but it doesn't give you that information till a bit later on, and the story that unfolds from there is different and far from what I would have guessed but not bad. I really like this friction that Batman and the soon to be Robin have here, and with a character like Damian who has trained with the League since I'm sure he could walk it really dispenses with a lot of the origin of a new Robin who is very much a novice in all forms of crimefighting, and he actually has incredible combat skills and an intelligent mind staying at the same pace as Batman, even if he is a bratty little shit at times. It's a very welcome shake up of a classic formula. And the movie is really short too, not even an hour and fifteen minutes with credits, so it moves at a good pace but still has moments to breathe with a particular favorite scene of mine being Bruce taking his son to the Batcave, no dialogue, no plot, just the Batmobile driving through a rainy Gotham night. I appreciate that tremendously, it's not always a rush to the next action setpiece or the next argument between father and son. Granted the writing is really good when they do hash things out, but even I'll admit the switch between no qualms about murder to playing by the rules of the Batfamily seemed kinda quick for the kid, but like I said it's a short movie so they have to get that arc in quick somehow. I was a bit taken aback by the voice cast here, this follows the normal continuity of the animated DC movies so Jason O'Mara is still the Batman and he does have a good voice. But the big shocks came from the supporting cast, I took note that both Ra's and Deathstroke had excellent voices but couldn't place them and wonder of wonders, Thomas Gibson voices Deathstroke and goddamn does he have such a great voice for him, and Ra's is voiced by modern bad guy extraordinaire Giancarlo Esposito. That blew my mind, I totally couldn't place those voices! And Talia is voiced by Morena Baccarin, beautiful Leslie Thompkins from Gotham, nice! But may I just take a quick sidestep for a moment and say what the actual hell Talia? She flat out, and this is text and not subtext, drugged Bruce and banged the shit out of him! Like....what??? She was that hard up for the guy to perform literal date rape, I'm kinda stunned. I didn't know THAT part of the story going in! Moving on from that fuckery, the animation style is also in the standard of the mainline animated DC movies, and this is so not a slam against that series but I will fully and adamantly admit that my favorite DC movies like the comic books themselves, are the one offs. I love reading the graphic novels and watching stuff like Superman Red Son or Gotham By Gaslight because of the stand alone continuity. Even though to be candid further, the beauty of DC nowadays is you can pick almost any comic run and read it through to the next reboot and call it a day, each run being a different version on the infinite Earths to look at it one way. But all in all it's a very solid movie, not one of the absolute best but a good entry regardless, and considering now I know precisely zero about what comes next I'm looking forward to the next movie. I give this 3 stars, 7.5/10! I've heard murmurs of the Court Of Owls will appear so fingers crossed for that because it is a fantastic story.

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