Blu-ray Shopping Bag: Son of Batman (

By:Kimberly McCall
Date: Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Son of Batman is DC Entertainment and Warner Bros Animation's next attempt after the surprisingly comic-faithful and successful Justice League: War.  However, as a fan of  the modern classic, Batman & Son, I was left unsatisfied and, upon a second viewing, shocked at the lack of common sense at not telling the original story... 

Quite simply, the screenplay failed to deliver the same punch as Grant Morrison's comic, which was packed with jaw dropping character moments that lept off the pages.  Those of us who were watching and waiting for that epic Man Bat battle were sorely let down. Talia al Ghul is nothing more than a scared mother supplying the obligatory cleavage instead of  an ambitious  assassin bent on world domination, and oh yeah, no Joker. For time's sake, I won't list the rest of the omissions.  Director Ethan Spaulding (Aviaar:The Last Airbender) is clearly out of his element following Jay Olivia, who was on fire with his two installments of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, as well as Justice League:War (not to mention a few decent episodes of Young Justice). Frankly, this DC Animation movie ran more like an Anime flick.

When introducing a controversial character like Damien Wayne (Stuart Allan), the most important thing is to have him win over the audience. Shamefully, all his worthy character development in the comic was lost in the writing and voice acting in Son of Batman. Damien is simply a born killer who sounds like any other bratty American kid and his affection for Ra's al Ghul is not explained at all. Although the animation accurately delivers the character's appearance, the boy lacks the refine and worldly depth of his printed heritage.

I don't all together hate Jason O'Mara as the voice of the animated Batman. That being said (and as played out as this fanboy point is), the studio needs to just stop messing with our senses and let Kevin Conroy do his job. I mean, he's already filming Batman: Assault on Arkham, so why tease us? It is rare to find such an accidental perfect vocal match to such an iconic character. Those of us who have experienced the gift of Conroy's Batman are doomed to carry that standard in our heads forever. It's not that O'Mara does a bad job, it's that we all know there's better.

Oh, and if you're going to skip the Joker all together for the film version and put Deathstroke in...put DEATHSTROKE in! Though appealing, visually, and even well voiced by Thomas Gibson (Criminal Minds), you might as well forget everything you know about the super villain. He could have easily just been some one eyed homeless guy with a different name. Perhaps it would have been less disappointing.

On the other hand, Alfred's scenes were fantastic.

If Son of Batman didn't have so much potential, perhaps it would have been less of a letdown. DC Comics' Batman & Son was almost a cinematic art form in itself and, though not initially welcomed by fans, introduced a young character that would gain a fair amount of cult following. To change the story as much as the screenwriters did was the fatal mistake. Well, at least we have Assault on Arkham to look forward to.

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