For non comic readers, most don’t know of Bryce Wayne’s son. Their knowledge of Ra’s al ghul and Talia are from the Nolan flicks at best. They probably won’t even watch this. Spoilers ahead.
We start off at the League of Assassins’ training ground. Ra’s looks on with his grandson Damian and rudrly interrupted by an attack by Deathstroke who wants to run the League himself.
Ra’s is mortally we wounded, fingertips in the edge of a Lazarus Pit before Talia tells Damian it’s too late and it’s time to go to Gotham City…to meet his father.
The visuals follow on from Justice League: War. The voiceovers seem lacking. This is always my gripe with animated/videogame incarnations. Perhaps I’m too firmly rooted to the voices of my childhood. Kevin Conroy will forever be my Batman.
Talia leaves Damian in Bruce’s care due to the threat that faces the League. After the initial surprise if having a son, Bruce takes him home where he meets Alfred and becomes acquainted with the cave and Bruce’s much smaller venture (in comparison to the League).
The movie covers Damian’s progress into becoming the new Robin, taking some minor direction from Dick Grayson (Nightwing). Dr. Langstrom has been put to work by Deathstroke into finishing Ra’s al ghul’s plan to create an army of man-bats to which Batman, Damian and Nightwing must foil and save Talia and the day.
The voice acting really took me out of this movie – I wanted to love it. I wanted to enjoy seeing Damian and his father united as a reluctant duo who grow closer and bond as father and son. Sadly, the movie left me feeling a tad deflated. It’s a rare thing for me to not praise anything Batman related highly but, I have to be honest. It caught a lot of great moments from the comics, added a few new twists but it just didn’t feel right. It felt too cheesy and wooden. Your typical ‘state the obvious’ lines you get in your typical Japanimation that has been re-dubbed for Western audiences.
The animation is great – effects-wise it kicks ass. But, as we all (should) know, Batman isn’t just about the action and the visuals. What maintains our interest is the story. It felt like too much was cramped into this to try and tell the story of father and son. This may have worked out better as a multi-part feature or even a TV series.
So, in summary – an OK film with some stand-out moments. Some good. Some bad.
Score: [usr 3]