ToonBarn Review: Son of Batman
“Son of Batman,” the landmark 20th film in the ongoing series of DC Universe Animated Original Movies, arrives today on Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. The film is also available via Digital HD.
Below you will find an all-new official clip from “Son of Batman” featuring Batman (voiced by Jason O’Mara) and Robin (Stuart Allan) confronting Dr. Langstrom (Xander Berkeley) and taking on a gang of Deathstroke’s ninjas:
We have previewed this movie and have a full spoiler-free summary for you, including what is provided on the Blu-ray as Special Features.
The movie begins at the remote island training grounds of the League of Assassins. This is where we meet Talia al Ghul and her son, Damian. Ra’s al Ghul is positioning his grandson to lead the League of Assassins. The action quickly goes into high gear from here.
So, as you can tell, this is not a story about Batman, even though he plays a significant role. This story is adapted from the 2006 Batman Comic Book story arc written by Grant Morrison and drawn by Andy Kubert, entitled Batman and Son. The story was published in four parts in the comic book, Batman, starting with #655 and ending with #658. If you have seen the DC Universe movie adaptations of the comic books, then you’ll understand that the plot of the movie does not exactly coincide with the plot of the comic story arc. For people who have not read the comic, but have heard about the premise of the story, their question could be, “How does Batman (Bruce Wayne) not know he has a son?”
The movie’s explanation comes after Talia brings Damian to meet his father. Batman is accepting of the news after Talia’s insistence, and seeing the resemblance between Damian and himself.
So, Batman tells Alfred they are going to have a guest for awhile, and Damian quickly discovers some of Bruce Wayne’s hidden secrets.
As you can imagine, there are lots of differences between Batman and his son, despite the fact that they were both trained by Ra’s al Ghul. Damian is taught some hard lessons about how to catch criminals without becoming one.
At one point, Damian separates himself from Batman, only to get into a battle with Nightwing, which is not shown in the movie, but captured in a unique way with moving images during the end credits.
Obviously, we would not be doing this review justice if we didn’t mention the villain that is at the center of this story. Deathstroke is the one responsible for Damian wanting to exact revenge of the lethal kind, because of what happens at the beginning of the movie, while his evil plans, which involve kidnapping and threatening the family of Dr. Langstrom, put him at the top of Batman’s list of criminals to be brought to justice.
I didn’t know when I watched this movie that I was going to have to explain to my son the difference between a “Batman” and “Man-Bats”. Isn’t it obvious? I mean, come on.
What it comes down to for anyone viewing this movie is that the action is intense, the characters are crisp and true to form, the voice acting is phenomenal, and the story flows so well that it’s over before you know it and you want more.
Here is the excellent voice cast that was formed and directed by the always amazing Andrea Romano:
Jason O’Mara (Terra Nova, The Good Wife) – Batman/Bruce Wayne
Stuart Allan (Grey’s Anatomy) – Damian
Thomas Gibson (Criminal Minds) – Deathstroke
Morena Baccarin (Homeland) – Talia
Xander Berkeley (Nikita) – Langstrom
David McCallum (NCIS) – Alfred
Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad, Revolution) – Ra’s Al Ghul
Sean Maher (Firefly) – Nightwing/Dick Grayson
Bruce Thomas (Kyle XY) – Commissioner Gordon.
Son of Batman has tons of exciting enhanced content including:
• Featurette – “The Fang and the Demon Head: The League of Assassins”
• Featurette – “Strange Blood Tie: Damian Wayne”
• Featurette – “Designing the Characters with Phil Bourassa”
• A Sneak Peek at the next DCU Animated Movie – Batman: Assault of Arkham
• 4 Bonus Cartoons from the DC Comics Vault:
• Batman: The Animated Series: “Showdown”
• Batman: The Brave and the Bold: “Sidekicks Assemble!”
• Batman Beyond: “Out of the Past”
• Batman: The Brave and the Bold: “The Knights of Tomorrow!”
Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment, Son of Batman is directed by Ethan Spaulding from a screenplay by Joe R. Lansdale, and based on a story by James Robinson. James Tucker is producer. Phil Bourassa is character designer. Sam Register (Young Justice, Teen Titans), Michael Uslan (The Dark Knight Rises) and Benjamin Melniker (The Dark Knight Rises) are executive producers.
As a special treat, here is the box cover art for the next DCU film, “Batman: Assault on Arkham”, which is due to be released this summer.