Friday, April 18, 2014

Son of Batman - Review

There really isn’t any reason at this stage in The Game for a major studio to put out so awful a movie, especially on one of its leading brands. Despite how well established BATMAN is, and how well DC has done with previous animated features (see Under The Red Hood and Flashpoint), Son of Batman manages to screw up nearly everything. The lead-up seemed good! I watched the behind-the-scenes trailer. Every single person on there was passionate and knowledgeable. So… did none of them have anything to do with this film? I noticed the credits didn’t make any mention of Bruce Timm. Is there really no second in all of Warner Bros. to handle this?

I’m all for reinterpretations of characters. But Deathstroke, master assassin / strategist can’t be transformed into an overly talkative, supremely incompetent, whiny, loser. The rest of the cast doesn’t suffer as bad but they each have scenes of acting contrary to their core ideals. It’s not a case of this character doing things “differently”, it’s that they act so blindingly stupid it defies any characterization.

Worse than my favorite people getting mishandled is the wooden everything. It kicks off with a big battle between ninjas with guns and ninjas with swords. Where, for the most part, they stare at each other. Yes, the swordsman square off and then cry out in surprise and pain when they’re shot. The ninjas with guns forget how to use them as soon as they touch ground. They have automatic weapons yet only fire (once) when some moron lunges for them. Not even a ninja lunge. The guy just leaps, sword up, knowing he’ll never bring it down. It’s that level of action throughout. Batman and Robin surrounded by ninja Man-Bats? Everyone pause to think through the situation. Pull out grapple gun. Aim. Shoot. Zip away. Man-Bats track. Take off in pursuit at their leisure. Thrilling.

Deathstroke deserves special mention for being one of the worst voice actors out there. He is the keystone of Wooden in this stale, “would swear it was made decades ago”, mess. Everyone else has forgettable dialogue. A blessing for Damien. Honorary Mention to Talia for the worst seduction scene in any medium. “I missed you… beloved (lifts leg like Captain Morgan)”.

I need to vent. It doesn’t make any fucking sense for Ras’ to be able to deflect bullets with a sword but lose a sword fight because he’s not fast enough. It doesn’t make any fucking sense for an eight year old boy to match strikes with a grown man, WHO IS ALSO ENCHANCED. It doesn’t make any fucking sense for Deathstroke to dodge under Damien’s sword slash. The kid is maybe five feet. Doing that limbo garbage was easier than hopping? No.

The behind-the-scenes trailer discussed, in-depth, the complex interpersonal relationships each of the main characters has to each other. On screen they opted to explore none of it. There’s a quick “this is weird” exchange between Damien, son of Bruce Wayne that he didn’t know about, and father. I’m sure more can be said. I’m sure more was said in the fucking graphic novel this was based on. How hard would it be to lift dialogue directly and plant it into one of the many scenes of awkward no talking? NOT HARD AT ALL.

I felt, after watching this, the only Justice to come from it would be if the Director and all the Producers were fired from story-telling forever.