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3.9 out of 5 stars
DCU: Son of Batman (Blu-ray)
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73 of 87 people found the following review helpful
on May 10, 2014
Format: Blu-ray
Seriously, I imagined that actually happened after they released this film. I truthfully have no idea how this movie, which should have been AWESOME, went so wrong (other than Bruce Timm leaving WB). In a nutshell, this film is based on the 2006 graphic novel "Batman & Son" by Grant Morrison and Andy Kubert, in which Talia Al Ghul reveals their son to Batman with the hopes of disrupting his work so Batman cannot interfere with Talia's current evil scheme. Now that you have read that, throw that idea out of the window, as this film ignored that central plot entirely. Instead, the motivation for having Damian meet his father is due to an uprising led by Deathstroke against the League of Assassins that leaves Ra's Al Ghul dead in its wake. That in itself sounds like it could be an alright movie, however the film was just executed terribly. The entire plot line involving the Man-Bat ninjas becomes entirely irrelevant by the end of the film, leaving half the film as nothing more than a waste of time. The characterizations of a few of the main characters were just plain offensive to me as a fan of the comics, most notably Deathstroke and Talia. The filmmakers made Deathstroke a complete coward; he ran from every single fight he was matched up in, and let a ten year old kid cut his eye out, and because of that, he abandoned a surefire victory against the League of Assassins. Talia became nothing more than a damsel in distress that liked to show off as much cleavage as possible, and I feel pretty confident in saying that this isn't the Talia Batman has had a love-hate relationship with over the years. The voice cast was atrocious, with the only two cast members actually doing a good job being David McCallum as Alfred and Sean Maher as Dick Grayson/Nightwing (who, once again, is criminally under-used). The animation was pretty solid, however I'm beginning to notice a discernable lack of emotion animated on the character's faces during emotional moments.

Overall, if you want to experience a good story about Batman discovering he had a son with the daughter of one his most dangerous enemies, go for the graphic novel "Batman & Son" and skip this garbage. Even if you find this review to be not helpful, I'm urging you to pay attention to the other negative reviews for this film. "Son of Batman" has without a doubt earned the dubious distinction of being only the second Batman film that I have ever disliked (the other being, you guessed it, 1997s "Batman & Robin").
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100 of 122 people found the following review helpful
on May 10, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant VideoVerified Purchase
So I normally love the DC animated movies, with very few exceptions (Batman: Year One *cough*). But even that one is more of an issue with the source material. But this? This...

I just watched Son of Batman, and it's the funniest movie I've seen in forever.

Bear in mind, it's so not trying to be. It opens up with tons of gore, death, stabbing, mutilation, sexual innuendos, etc. But there's just so...much...stupid. The opening is an army of gun-wielding ninjas with helicopters blasting up the League of Shadows. Naturally, they win against sword wielders. But not before catapults firing boulders take down several of the helicopters. Also, Talia wields a gatling cannon that fires arrows. Yes. Arrows. And she brings down several helicopters with it, too, because arrows.

Ras al Ghul, of course, is awesome. He gets surrounded on all sides by six gunmen, who all fire machine guns simultaneously. He blocks them all. With his sword. Even ignoring that stupidity, for every twelve shots you'll hear fired in the audio, they'll only do about three blocking sounds/animations. So it ends up looking like these soldiers are just firing tons of blanks while Ras twirls his sword around like an idiot.

Whatever. Ras dies, Talia (who is just around to show off her breasts...even while chained up as a prisoner she's splayed out all sexy-like, chest bulging like some weird gravity-defying melons got surgically implanted into her frontal area) brings her son to Batman, who's the father. And then it gets funny...and insanely annoying simultaneously.

First off: Talia admits to roofing Batman, and then having sex with him, which led to Damian. I just...sure. Let's go with that. Batman getting roofied, can I see that movie instead? And Talia flirts with Batman all super seductive like *while her son is hidden in the room listening and watching*. Nothing creepy there. But now we get to meet Damian...and he's awful. He's an annoying, loud, brash, idiotic annoyance that is technically *supposed* to be all those things, but that doesn't make his presence any more pleasant, nor interesting. Every scene with him, you want to punch him and beg for him to be quiet. When Nightwing shows up, I was pleading with the screen "pleeeease, let him stay instead, he's so much more interesting!"

Speaking of Nightwing, upon hearing that Damian exists, he exclaims "The nerve, after all of those talks to me about protection." Just let that sink in right there. Batman, getting roofied by Talia and giving speeches to Dick about condoms. That scraping sound you hear is Batman's mystique getting dragged through the gutter.

Back to Damian. He fights a muscle-bound roid-monster, whose forearms are bigger than he is. And in that fight, you 1) see this ten (twelve?) year old kid *kick him all the way across the room* 2) engage in and *win* a contest of strength pushing their bladed weapons against each other 3) cross a street by leaping car rooftop to car rooftop...even though the muscle-headed dude ran across just fine, and is a third the speed, and 4) block bullets with his sword. And that's nothing compared to his final battle against Deathstroke, where he has two different blades piercing all the way through both his forearms, pinning him to a wall, which he then rips both out (one pushing the hilt *through* his arm) AND THEN HE PROCEEDS TO BATTLE AS IF NOTHING WERE WRONG. Ten year old kid with massive gaping wounds in both his forearms? Yeah, I see no issue with him blocking an over-head chop by a fully grown mercenary and then struggling against it in another challenge of strength.

And I'm still not to the dumbest part. There's mutagen, apparently. Like, Ninja Turtles mutagen. In this movie, Batman and Damian fight flying mutant sword-wielding bat-ninjas. An army of them. And they take it seriously. There is an actual line of dialog that, as best as I can remember, goes like this: "Ras thought an army of flying mutant ninja assassins would be unstoppable."

I just...I...I can't. I've not even scratched the surface of how many bizarre contrivances, bad sexy dialog ('maybe you can let me see those x-rays sometime'), stupidly impossible scenes there are in this movie...and nothing I say here will possibly convey how badly you'll wish Damian would die by the end. And yes, the ending has Batman and Damian facing off against an army of bat-ninjas, feeling like something right out of the end of Van Helsing.

So yeah. Watch if you want a laugh. This is basically what happens when you take storytelling/world-building at the stupidity levels of the Schumacher Batman and Robin, but try to convey it hyper-realized with tons of blood, stabbings, murder, and Batman ripping the tail off Killer Croc. It's not for adults, it's not for kids. It's only for laughs.
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93 of 119 people found the following review helpful
on April 28, 2014
Format: Blu-ray
This film, based off of the comic run Batman & Son, written by Grant Morrisson, while not my favorite, was a good and enjoyable read. This film however does not retain the enjoyable qualities from the comic and drops the ball. This film is dead out of the gate.

While I didn't enjoy the film overall, I am not all negative, there were a few highlights of this film:

Animation - The quality of the animation, especially in some of the busier, more action-heavy scenes is very well-done. I particularly liked the hand-to-hand combat scenes between some of the characters.

Character Cast - While the inclusion of a specific characters was baffling, I did enjoy that they included a decent cast of characters.

As to the reasons why I disliked this film:

Story - This film had it's plot handed to them on a silver platter, and instead of streamlining it and keeping the important content, cutting off the fat, they almost entirely changed the basis for most of what occurs in the overarching plot. This, sadly, led to this film feeling like an hour long trope full of contrived events and characters.

Run Time - This is one of the slightly shorter films in the DCAU, and it is all the more worse for it. On the contrast, it is ironically an empty feeling film with this condensed run time. It takes little to no time for character development or bonding, yet has some rather long action and fast-paced scenes, feeling rather unbalanced throughout the run.

Characters - The characters in here are just sadly lacking in development, they are all very two-dimensional and without any real sense of, well, character or believability. I also noticed that every character in this film has a very monotone voice, regardless of the direness or excitement level of the situation in which they found themselves. This led to an immediate disconnect right from the very beginning for me. I thought that maybe it was just Batman, being Batman, acting like Batman, but it wasn't just him, and even he would have had some sort of surprise in voice or expression upon discovering he had a son whose existence was hidden from him for years. Everyone was a mannequin in their expressions and their inflections, so I feel that this was more an intentional part of the production team's direction.

Alterations - I believe this is probably where the film suffered most in its production. Mainly with the inclusion of Deathstroke as the big bad in the film, it created a strange atmosphere that didn't quite mesh with everything that I had come to know about his character. His motives, the loss of his eye, and the overall feel of the character underwent an entire change just to accommodate the story. In short he feels like a completely different person, and has been turned into a trope.

In addition to the baffling changes to Deathstroke, the main reason behind Damian meeting Bruce and subsequently living with him has been completely altered. I'm not going to say how, just to avoid putting out any spoilers for those sensitive to such things. This change was wholly unnecessary and unwarranted, it didn't need to happen; this definitely had the film suffering for it. With this change, came the change to some of the characters and their personalities and motives as well, which caused me more disconnect as a fan of the comics. I know who these characters how, I know how they operate and why they operate, and it's insulting to see them twisted into something so vastly different than what has always been established. They might as well have not had Bruce's parents shot when he was a kid, but this is not a "what if" or "elseworld" story, and I would expect to see the characters as they have been portrayed in the comic runs.

Overall, this appears as a shoddily created film, and it shows in the quality of the final product. I was very disappointed in this entry. I have enjoyed every DCAU films (sans Superman: Doomsday) up until now and this now will be relegated to the disappointing section along with Superman Doomsday [HD]
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24 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on May 6, 2014
Format: DVD
They totally butchered this story! Damian is a little brat who was trained to kill, Death-stroke was never part of the story. And Talia was behind the army of ninja man-bats. This movie could not hit the broad side of a convention!Worst DCU movie yet) other then superman Unbound)!
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45 of 61 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant VideoVerified Purchase
It's a miracle that Ra's Al Ghul's League of Assassins has lasted 600 years; they are portrayed like a group of blundering henchmen with horrible aim and a complete disregard for the safety of their leader. In this movie, Batman does very little to keep a minor from danger while he fulfills his romantic fantasies with Talia. Sound surprised? I was. The voice acting is sub-standard, with the actors emoting with little more than grunts or a simple reading through their lines. Batman is as emotionless as the animation used. I'm sorry, but I am thoroughly disappointed with this one. Thumbs down!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 27, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant VideoVerified Purchase
This is not your typical story or animation. The voices are awful and lack any inflection or real acting. The animation is sub par and more typical of low budget Japanimation than animated Batman's of the recent past. The story is lackluster and non-engaging. The only reason it get's 2 stars is because it has "Batman" in the name. If I had not been trapped on a plane watching this on my Kindle Fire I would gladly have turned it off and downloaded something entertaining.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on May 5, 2014
Format: Blu-ray
You know something's wrong with the first 5 minutes of the film is nonstop action--swords, guns, helicopters, rockets, and a main character burning to death (graphically). It is unbelievable that Ra's al Ghul was invaded so easily and his palace destroyed so quickly after 500 years. Talia is a lifeless, cardboard character. Damian is completely charmless, makes no effort to be likable in any way, and the writers didn't even bother with father-son bonding, they just threw them together and got busy fighting bad guys. It's one of the most lifeless, meaningless, pointless DC films I've seen. It's not even in the same league as Under the Red Hood, The Dark Knight Returns, or Year One. Since I did not enjoy Justice League War either, and "sort of" liked Flashpoint before that, I guess this is a sign that WB/DCAU has changed in the past year and we won't be seeing the same high bar of quality as before. This is definitely a rental, not worth owning since I have no desire to see it again (like War). I believe this may reflect funding difficulties. The film definitely has a rushed feel to it. You just can't shotgun animated films out like this an expect fans to gobble them up when they're rubbish.

edit: After waiting a few months, I decided to give this film another try, because of the release of "Batman & Robin" featuring the same characters. I have to admit that I enjoyed it more the 2nd time around, by lowering my expectations. So I've raised this to 3 stars.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 21, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video
I gotta say I haven't been this disappointed in a DC animated feature in a long time. You can skip this one.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
I don't care for this animation style. The dialogue was poor. The voice acting was dreadful, especially the actor who voiced Deathstroke - he sounded exactly like modern-day George Takei! Deathstroke himself was unrecognizable as the character Wolfman and Perez created. It was just creepy hearing Deathstroke refer to Batman as "the sperm donor."

You'll be especially disappointed if you have read Grant Morrison's original story and understand how good the source material is - but even without considering that, this is not a good movie.

This version of Batman had camel-toe! Gah!

In short, I didn't like it. I won't recommend it to anyone who likes Batman or Damien Wayne.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format: Amazon Instant VideoVerified Purchase
Interesting twist in the Batman storyline, but I found the "son" to be too whiny and brat-like to make this animated movie enjoyable. I suppose serious DC fanbois may enjoy this, but as a casual comic book/graphic novel reader, this video was ultimately just too tedious to sit through more than one viewing.
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