Reviewed By

Christopher Armstead
Batman the deadbeat dad.  What shame.  Something else to hang over the head of my good friend William, a self-proclaimed 'DC', and his precious Batman.  But I'm not going to bother because William will go out of his  way to point out to me the latest DC / Warner film 'Son of Batman' adheres to 'The New 52 universe' and he does not acknowledge this universe.  Just as well as I guess because while I enjoyed almost every single DC / Warner animated film, that streak of enjoyment was disrupted somewhat by the last one I saw in 'Justice League War',  based on this New 52, which I did not care for all that much, and I do believe I enjoyed 'Son of Batman' even less.

Apparently a few years back, Talia (voiced by Morena Baccarin), the daughter of the infamous Ra's al Ghoul (Giancarlo Esposito), tricked the Batman into sleeping with her and impregnating her.  From this union sprung the psycho kid Damian (Stuart Allen), who is now ten or so, and a crazed killer.  He was raised by the league of assassins so what choice did the kid have, really?  One sunny day, the League is ambushed by my main man Slade Wilson, a badass name if ever there was one, but not nearly as badass as his villain name Deathstroke.  Deathstroke, I think, wants to take out the league of assassins or something, and his assassins are doing a great job of wrecking stuff, until he runs into little Damian.  Then he runs from little Damian.  The kid is like ten.  Come on Deathstroke.  As a side note, we know Talia al Ghoul is a comic book female and D-cups mated to a 14 inch waist is part of the package, but maybe she should zip up.  I hate to be prude, and probably because I'm getting really old, but who seriously goes into battle with their zipper down to their belly button, and D-cups flopping around.  I mean if she zipped up, she would still have big boobs.  Just saying.
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Anyway, Talia needs to keep her psycho son safe while she figures some things out, so she drops him off at the doorstep of his surprised father.  Damian is a handful for poor Bruce (Jason O'Meara) and Alfred (David McCallum), rude, impetuous, and dead set on murdering those who have done him and his family harm.  Bruce tries to tell the punk 'that we don't kill', but whatever old man.  Somehow Bruce needs to get through to this kid how things work, that there is another way, other than the ways the league taught him, but nothing is working.  Bruce even brings Nightwing (Sean Maher) in to talk the punk, but he… like me… like you if you watch this movie… does not like Damian.  Damian is awful.

Still, Batman is his dad and he has to work with him.  Gives him focus by letting him be the new Robin, and even brings him along on the death defying mission to take down Deathstroke.  Worst. Dad. Ever.  I mean Nightwing, a grown man, was right there, why not take him instead.  Does Damian appreciate this?  No.  Does he follow orders?  No.  So when the Deathstroke v. Damian battle happens, am I going to be rooting for the New Robin?  No.  And Deathstroke is a terrible person too. 

So I've never read any of these comics that this new spate of animated films is based on, thus I can't comment on their accuracy or anything, but I can tell you that the longer the really brief 'Son of Batman' went on, the more it got on my nerves.  Fortunately for me I don't have to dig too terribly deep to find the essence of this annoyance as it is the existence of Damian Wayne.  Now I would imagine that in a comic book setting, which has multiple issues to build a character and warm you up to a character, such as is probably the case with Damian in the actual text, but in a short movie, there was no time to warm up to Damian.  He started out the movie annoying, he ended the movie annoying, and since the movie is called 'Son of Batman', it's all Damian almost all the time with the Batman playing support.

Typically, there is a plethora of action crammed into this short feature, and typically I wouldn't have minded if some of the action was sacrificed to bring the character of Damian along so that we liked him a little bit more.  And while we also know that this is just a cartoon, but maybe this ten year olds baddassery was just a little bit much.  Most of Damian's fight sequences were pretty ridiculous, but none more so than the kid getting impaled like the Lord and Savior, but still managing, not only to fight on with almost no ill-effect, but also conquer his opponent.  And not just any old opponent either. 

The voice acting was okay I guess, the animation was pretty good, there were gallons upon gallons of animated blood spray to go along with the plethora of animated action, but with a super annoying Damian taking center stage and the entire narrative taking a back seat to service this action and its truncated running time, that makes two times in a row we've been disappointed in a DC / Warner animated film.  Something which has never happened before.
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