Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Basement Matinee - Son Of Batman

What's more overpowered than Batman? How about his SON?!

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Hello and Welcome to Basement Matinee...

Let me be up front about something... Superman is not (and has never been) over-powered or over-rated. Superman has been pushed to his limits, he's died, he has defined weaknesses that well defined.

I'm one of those who think Batman is over-rated and over-powered... and I know the argument from Batman lovers is that he's the 'Goddamn Batman' and 'he has no Super Powers'.... to which I say blabbering blatherskite. He's the 'best' at everything, best 'detective' , best scientist, best inventor (in the DC Universe), best fighter, best planner, there is no other Superhero that comes close... and to top it all off Batman has no weaknesses. Sure Batman has gotten 'injured', but it's always treated as more of a slight inconvenience.

So you can imagine my take on Damian Wayne... aka the worst Robin ever... aka the brat who is even more over-powered than Batman, aka the brat who conceived because his mother Talia Al Ghul used a date rape drug on Batman... who happens to be the focus of 2014's Son Of Batman

Adapted from the rather mediocre 'Batman and Son' story arc from 2006... actually I'm not sure if Adapted is the right word cause right from jump street this movie takes things to Whiskey Tango Foxtrot territory.

Anyway, Slade Wilson aka Deathstroke strikes out against the League of Assassins, killing Ra's Al Ghul in the process... setting Damian, and by extension his mother Talia, up on the 'quest for revenge' deal. It's a standard revenge plot... that possibly on its own could've held up... but then one has to realize it's based on an actual comic book story-line.

But I'm not talking about 'Batman and Son'... I'm talking about 'Son Of Batman'... I'll get to comic version at some point on my Monday series,

So let's get some positives here... as an animated feature it works for the most part, there is some designs that are head scratching (Namely with Killer Croc who hasn't looked right in animation since the 3rd Season of Batman The Animated series on Fox), and the musical score is alright. Artistically, the film hits the tone that the story is shooting for... and for a 74 minute flick... it certainly flies... mainly because they hide the plot with long action sequences

The negatives... and... oh boy... there are a few... right off the bat is the adaptation of an already mediocre story to bring an horrible character into the DC Animated Universe... which certainly makes things puzzling, as in the comic the lead villain is Talia and Damian is her pawn to distract Batman, where he wants them all to be a family in the end, showing a small bit of humanity.... in the movie... we don't get that since Talia and Batman are not at odds, it's a revenge story, thus the goal is to capture Deathstroke or see him dead. Hell Batman is basically along for the ride and to see DVDs cause his presence really isn't needed.

The subplot with the Man-Bat deal is also from the comic... and it serves only one purpose, to show how 'awesome' Batman and Damian are that they can fight off a horde of this mutated creatures without breaking a sweat.

The voice acting, for me, is just mediocre... Jason O'Mara as Batman for me has always been rarely hit, always missed... mainly thanks to the fact that Kevin Conroy is still doing Batman's voice most of the time! But I digress, there seems to be a wide variety of characters sounding like the lines were being read off a page, this is very obvious with Morena Baccarin (as Talia)...I would say she got the part thanks to a bit of stunt casting since she plays Doc Thompkins on Gotham, but it's just a coincidence as this movie was made in 2013 for a spring 2014 release, while Gotham didn't hit the air until the fall that year.

But the biggest negative of this film is Damian himself as a character... there is nothing likable about this brat, we know what drives him, but considering how much of a dick he is (in that he's a bigger dick than Batman), and how 'perfect he is', we're just rooting for him to get his ass handed to him to show him some humility... which we don't get. Damian is protected so strongly, that when Nightwing shows up and it's clear these two are going to fight the movie JUMPS after the fight to just show that a bloody and beaten up Nightwin won with Damian tied up, but not looking the worse for wear.

So what's the recommendation here? Well... if you're a really really REALLY aa big fan of Batman and don't have any preference of Dick Grayson, Tim Drake or Jason Todd... or Stephanie Brown... as Robin, then I say, give it a once-view... otherwise... stay the hell away from it.

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