Son of Batman Review - NOT A Good Mother's Day Gift, DC -_-
First off, I will say that I love the animation. There's a few times I was watching and I couldn't help but think of Avatar: The Last Airbender from the style of the artwork. It really does look good. The action is pretty good, too, and there's this one moment where Talia is using the impractical yet awesome castle defense weapon I've ever seen: A Gatling turret gun that shoots ARROWS. It's so stupid, but I just couldn't help but find it kinda awesome and hilarious. Finally, the story centering around Batman and Robin does work, at least for me anyway. It plays out like you expect a scenario where a detective/masked vigilante meets his estranged ninja assassin son for the first time...Okay, the scenario itself probably isn't realistic, but the way it plays out feels right to me. And while Damian is too angry and kinda screws the pooch on missions at times, his characterization is at least consistent enough of what you would expect of a 10 year old boy who was raised to be an assassin from birth...Yeah, I know, leave me alone. :P
Pretty much every single female character in this movie. Let's go through the list, shall we? You've got Kirk Langstrom's wife and daughter who are just there to get kidnapped, the two escorts we see for one of the villains, and then you've got Talia. OH MAN, Talia. Look, I get this is VERY loosely based off of Batman and Son by Grant Morrison, but off all the things that did NOT need to be included in this movie, the retcon where Talia drugged and raped Batman was probably the biggest one to leave out. Listen, I like Grant Morrison's work. He wrote one of the greatest Superman stories of recent days with All-Star Superman, and while there are legit issues with the idea of Batman going incorporated, I like the idea of him creating a network of allies that share his morals and methodology. But the man DID NOT GET TALIA. He wrote her to be a psychopath that tried to tear down Batman's whole world and wound up eventually having her own son murdered. And while she's not played up to be as terrible here, they still kept the part about her drugging Batman, she's got her cleavage exposed in every single scene she's in, and in the scene where they admit she drugged Batman, she's openly hitting on him. She has a couple of WELL appreciated moments of badassery, but they're few and far between, after which she becomes a prop to encourage Batman and Robin. I'm sorry, I know these points might not bother some, but as a feminist, it offends me...And while I'm on the subject of women, while I appreciate seeing Damian in a movie, when are we gonna get a movie based around Helena Wayne?
*sighs* Okay, rant over. Other than that, the violence can at times get a bit much. Not quite as bad as DC's other more recent animated offerings, but still a bit much. I won't spoil it for ya, but let's just say that Killer Croc's presence in this movie, as well as a certain extension of his, allows for a scene that occurs later that made me pause the movie because I couldn't believe the horrific sight I'd just seen. And lastly, I'm not a big fan of how one of the fight scenes that had the potential to be the best one in the movie was skipped and later shown as stills in the end credits.
I really can't feel comfortable rating this movie any higher than right in the middle of the road. It's got some good points to it, but it has some serious issues as well. And I REALLY don't like the fact that DC had the gigantic brass globes to actually recommend this as a great Mother's Day gift. It's like they have no shame whatsoever. But, on the other hand, if you're like me and have been missing Damian a lot, you will at least get SOME enjoyment out of this. There IS a good story here. It's just unfortunate that it's buried under so much plain WRONG. For a comic book alternative for those seeking a great story about the father/son relationship between Bruce and Damian, check out Batman and Robin Annual #1. It's one of my favourite comics of the past couple of years.