New on DVD/Blu-ray: Son of Batman (2014)

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Robin and Batman in Son of Batman (2014) Movie Image

The DC Universe Original movies keep coming, and there are a few changes as they move forward. Starting with “Justice League: War” there is now a continuity being formed. Using the New 52 Universe or the DCnU (DCnewUniverse) as a basis coming out of the “Flashpoint” storyline, “War” was the beginning of a new cohesive universe for the animated films (with the exception of the upcoming “Assault on Arkham” which is set in the Arkham game universe). “Son of Batman” is the 19th animated film, and the first to take place in this new continuity. And though the source material was published before the DCnU, its repercussions were felt long after, and it still worked well within the new setting.

For those of you not comic savvy, the source material I speak of is Grant Morrison’s “Batman and Son,” which began his long run on the character and introduced the world to Damian, Batman’s son with Talia Al Ghul. The coupling appeared decades ago in the “Son of the Demon” graphic novel, but wasn’t brought into the mainstream comics until this story. Since DC is starting from scratch with this new animated universe, they can make all the changes they want to create a unique take on things.

Talia in Son of Batman (2014) Movie Image

The film starts with an attack on the headquarters of the League of Shadows, led by former member and right hand Slade Wilson aka Deathstroke (Thomas Gibson) that ends in the death of Ra’s Al Ghul (Giancarlo Esposito), and sends Talia (Morena Baccarin) and her son Damian (Stuart Allen) running to Gotham. Knowing that Batman (Jason O’Mara) is the only man to constantly thwart her father, Talia has decided he is the only one that can keep the boy safe. Damian however is only out for revenge, and feels honor bound to get it. This obviously puts father and son at odds over Damian’s eagerness to kill. Meanwhile, Talia has taken what’s left of the League to seek revenge herself, and stumbles on Deathstroke’s plans as the new head of the League. As Batman and Damian work through their growing pains and Damian takes on the mantle of Robin, things begin to gray for the young warrior, and by the time things are looking up, Deathstroke puts his hostile take over into overdrive.

But none of this would matter if the voices didn’t sell the characters or the art didn’t deliver on expectations. I’m pleased to say it all works. I know when it comes to Batman’s voice many believe there is only one, the legendary Kevin Conroy. I agree he is a definitive one for me too, but not the end all be all. Jason O’Mara was one of the better voices in “JL: War” and he’s gotten better since. O’Mara is voicing a more experienced Batman this time around, and we even get to hear his Bruce Wayne. Giancarlo Esposito shines in his few moments as Ra’s Al ghul and Thomas Gibson gives an air of superiority to Deathstroke. Stuart Allen voices Damian with a sense entitlement and imperial smugness that is only made worse by the fact he’s a ten-year-old. Character designs once again by Phil Bourasa do not disappoint. His work has been amazing since “Crisis on Two Earths.”

Deathstroke in Son of Batman (2014) Movie Image

“Son of Batman” really pushes the envelope for a PG-13 rating. The opening action sequence alone has whole groups being cut down by machine gun fire. People are stabbed and sliced and there is a shocking amount of blood. Hell, Damian himself kills a few people. This film is definitely not for younger viewers. That said, the action is fast paced and exhilarating, and the movie as a whole is pretty fun to watch.

There’s been a definite improvement in special features over the last year, but we still don’t get a making-of featurette, just sneak peeks. But the featurette about the source material are always good. This one gives a primer on both Damian and Ra’s and the League of Assassins with “Strange Blood Ties: Damian Wayne” and “The Fang and the Demon’s Head.” There’s also a designing the characters featurette, and the mandatory episodes from DC Animated vault.

All in all this was a very good outing for the first real foray into DC’s new animated universe. It introduced a new character (who I hope to see more of), told a good story, and had me entertained all the way through. I look forward to the next one, which I believe is the Aquaman film, and applaud DC on starting something new. If you’re a Batman fan, “Son of Batman” is a must see.

“Son of Batman” is currently available on DVD/Blu-ray, and Video on Demand.

Son of Batman (2014) Movie Blu-ray Cover

Author: Dedpool

Movies, Comics, Anime and toons. I'm all about it. Love to read and write too.
  • Aegon the Conqueror

    I shall immediately depart and set forth on a quest to find this!

  • Kal-El-1983

    I really found the dialogue and voice acting in Justice League: War and this one to be greatly lacking. Sad because the DC animated films were always so awesome.

    • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Dedpool

      Getting into the roles. Most of them hadn’t done voice acting before. It took me a second watching for this to get on board with some, and I slowly warmed to the voices in War. But some of the dialogue in that, that was The Batman GL banter was off.

  • Aegon the Conqueror

    Ok this will be a lengthy tirade with spoilers to follow.

    I have never been this annoyed by a DC animated film before. Like fucking ever! I’m actually angry at the moment.
    Ok superhero movies require a little bit of suspension of disbelief. But this movie took it too fucking far!
    It’s called Son of Batman, not Son of Superman or Wonder Woman, Darkseid or any other super powered being.
    I get Damian is a bad ass, I really do, I’m a fan of the New52 Batman and Robin comics.
    But fucking seriously? No bloody fucking way!
    I first started getting annoyed when Damian fought Ubu. Ubu is a former champion of a league of extremely deadly ninjas. To top it all off he is a steroid infused monster with biceps that would put the Hulk to shame. Even if Damian is super strong for his age, he is still only ten years old. No fucking way would his fists hurt that musclebound freak and make him stagger backwards. No fucking way can they lock blades and Damian is able to hold him back!

    Damian regularly takes out Ninjas as if they are amateurs, WTF! Batman doing that I can understand, but a ten year old kid? Nope!
    Next Damian is swims 50 fucking miles! I say that again a ten year old kid swims 50 miles (in less than a day) and still has the strength left to kick ninja ass and face Deathstroke.
    The fight with Deathstroke almost had me screaming in frustration, first Deathstroke seems to have taken shooting lessons from the Imperial Stormtrooper academy. Then later Damian deflects his bullets! Ok I could stomach Raz doing that, after all he is a warrior with 500 years of experience, but Damian is only 10! He hasn’t even gone through puberty yet!
    Deathstroke literally nails him to a wall with a knife and a sword. Damian rips it out like it’s nothing and just keeps on fighting. It’s humanly impossible to be able to grab anything if they tendons, muscles and bones of your forearm has been totally shattered.
    Finally Damian actually fucking beats Deathstroke, without Batman’s help. The guy that was Raz right hand man, one of the deadliest mercenaries and assassins in DC comics is beaten by a ten year old kid who doesn’t have super powers!

    This is fucking ridiculous and a huge let down for me. I’m fecking pissed!

    • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Dedpool

      Seriously? It’s okay for Damian to be ultra badass in the comics but not in an animated film? How does that work. If you look at all the stuff that Damian had done and been through in the comics this pales in comparison. Saying he’s badass is kind of insulting his prowess. He’s not just a ten year old kid, he’s a ten year old ASSASSIN!! He’s been fighting since he could walk, and probably has learned more killing techniques at that age than most normal kids have toys. He probably has learned pain management techniques as well. He was raised by Ra’s Al Ghul in the techniques of battle, and I’m sure learned a few family secrets. AND he’s Batman’s kid. Ra’s and Talia probably pushed him twice as hard because of that alone. Taking out bigger opponents was probably lesson 2. So beating Ubu shouldn’t even be an issue, and as for Deathstroke, the man has been beaten by just about EVERY Robin at some point in time (except Spoiler Robin). Deathstroke’s ego usually beats him though, as does Damian’s. And finally using realism when talking about a cartoon or comic is a little silly, simply because smaller less powerful people beat the more powerful villains all the time.

      • Aegon the Conqueror

        I’ve read several of the New52 Batman and Robin comics and never has he done something remotely as ridiculous as this. If he did I”d stop reading.
        yes he’s a ninja and an assassin but so is everyone else in the league. I can accept he beat Ubu, but don’t tell me he could hold Ubu in a blade locking contest, no fucking way ever!
        All the other Robin’s were older and stronger when they beat Deathstroke. Seriously child development matter a fucking lot at this stage!
        I don’t care how many pain killing techniques you know, or how strong your will is, when your forearm is shattered, the tendons and muscles cut you cannot hold a blade. It’s physically impossible.
        Next if you told me Batman swam 50miles in a day I’d say fuck you to the writer for taking things too far. Again ten year old kid.
        I know comics require suspension of disbelief but man it can only take you so far!

        • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Dedpool

          Yeah definitely looking too much into this. By your logic then no female or teen hero should ever be able to defeat a stronger or larger foe. And that’s what the whole genere is about. People doing amazing things that real people CAN’T do for the most part. Batgirl should never be able to defeat Grundy or Bane, Psylocke should never be able to beat Sabretooth, Tim Drake should never have beaten HALF the people he beat. And if that’s the case anyone outmatched in power should lose. Blade locking contest in films and such are for dramatic effect. And fighting with injuries? My god how many times should batman have been dead? I mean yeah I said the same thing when I saw the scene, but again, I’ve seen crazier. Remember the bomb that was attatched to Flash’s wrist in “JL:Doom” that went right through his damned arm, but he was absolutely fine. It’s like the use of Kryptonite, it’s for dramatic effect. Why dies it only seem to hurt him when he sees it? Or how long it takes to affect him. Sometimes its moments, and he’s weak as a puppy, sometimes he can fight through it as he slowly loses his powers. It’s fiction and fantasy, don’t take it so seriously. Even the most realistic ones are still heightened reality.
          And I actually haven’t read most of Damian’s stuff from Nerw 52, I read the stuff before, like Batman and Robin when Dick was Batman, and the resurrection of Ra’s al ghul. He was a beast in those.