Matt Donabie continues our regular look back at the range of DC Comics animated movies. Today he revisits Son of Batman.
Inspired by Grant Morrison's Batman and
Son comic book story arc, Son Of Batman is a timely release that capitalises on the success of Arrow, by including many of the characters who have recently featured in the Green Arrow TV show.
Here we discover that Bruce Wayne and former nemesis Talia (daughter of Ra's Al Ghul,
leader of the League of Assassins) have a love child. When the league is betrayed by Deathstroke, Talia sends her 10 year old son Damien to his father
in Gotham city. Thing is, Damien has been raised by the League since birth; at 6 he hacked into NORAD; he knows every art of combat; and he has no problem with bloodshed. Clearly father and son are going to clash.
This is where Son Of Batman fails. It could've been an intriguing
study of this father/son relationship. We have a man who is
suddenly saddled with the responsibilities of fatherhood, whilst also having to balance his double life of billionaire businessman by day and crime fighter by night, but the movie never goes into Bruce Wayne's psyche. Any character study is pushed aside to incorporate a ninja-assassin hostile takeover storyline.
Although the father/son chemistry is almost totally lacking, there are some nice moments between Damien and Alfred, and the beginnings of a budding rivalry with the young 10 year old and Nightwing.
Son of Batman is a very violent movie, pushing the limits of the PG-13 certificate. We have characters that are literally roasted, others get their
eyes gouged out, impaled, or blasted to bits - with plenty of blood splat. It's all presented in a Japanese Anime style, which looks quite stunning here.
There's no Kevin Conroy, instead we have Jason O'Mara as Batman. I have to say it takes no time to accept his portrayal of the Dark Knight, it's somewhere between Christian Bale and Michael
Keaton. However, the real vocal star is Stuart Allen as Damien, he brings an impressive level of professionalism to the role
despite his young age. Unfortunately not all the vocal acting is as good as this, both Ra's Al Ghul
and Deathstroke are horrible.
All in all, Son Of Batman feels like a lot of wasted potential. It's not a terrible animated comic book movie, but it could've been so much better. Areas of it are excellent, especially visually, but the storyline misses huge opportunities, after all Bruce Wayne lost his parents at such an early age, it would've been good to see him pull upon his own personal struggles to relate to his young son. 5 out of 10.
Justice League: The New Frontier
Green Lantern: First Flight
Superman/Batman: Public Enemies
Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths
Batman: Under The Red Hood
Superman/Shazam! The Return of Black Adam
Green Lantern: Emerald Knights
Batman: Year One
Justice League: Doom
Superman vs The Elite
Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox
Batman: Assault on Arkham