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Category:    Home > Reviews > Superhero > Animation > Action > Son Of Batman (2014/Warner/DC Blu-ray w/DVD + Digital Copy)

Son Of Batman (2014/Warner/DC Blu-ray w/DVD + Digital Copy)

Picture: B/B- Sound: B+/B Extras: C Film: C+

New to Blu-ray is the latest in Batman animated film to release directly to home Blu-ray. Son of Batman is based on a 2006 comic series by Grant Morrison and Andy Kubert entitled Batman & Son. Originally released as a 4 comic story arch, it is self-contained with this Blu-ray release. This DC original animated film is fun and lively, but does suffer from undeniable pacing issues as well as a series of (unintentionally) laughable moments.

The film follows the story of Bruce Wayne (Batman) as he is introduced to his previously unknown son, Damian Wayne. Damian is the product of the love affair between Bruce and Talia Al Ghul [daughter of Ra's Al Ghul]. Damien is 10 years old and has been trained to be a brutal warrior, intended to be the heir to League of Assassins. After Deathstroke causes an uprising that leaves Ra's Al Ghul dead in the process; Talia reveals Damian to Bruce. Batman seemingly takes Talia at her word and quickly learns that Damian is no joke; having honed the skills of a great warrior. Whereas he is a great warrior, he knows nothing of honor, patience, or humility; leaving Batman to school his son on the true embodiment of a warrior. The growing process is not easy, with Damian often butting heads with Nightwing (former Robin), Alfred, and even dear ol' dad. Damian has been trained to annihilate his foes, but Batman will attempt to guide him down a different path.

Overall the plot is silly, ignoring many of the key plot elements that made the original tale so great. Many of the characters are made into caricatures of their former selves; making Talia nothing more than a warm body, Deathstroke a coward, and other formidable opponents a waste of space. It is laughable to see the lightweight youngster take down enemies that are 2-3 times his size; on top of the fact that they injure him and he continues on without so much as an owy. Sure it is a cartoon, sure he is well trained; but the pure physics of it leave a bad taste in the viewers' mouth. What could have been a detailed tale, trades out plot for nonsensical violence and laughable moments. Talia in the original story was using Damian to manipulate Batman, while she put her next world dominating plot into motion; here she plays a damsel in distress without emotion.

I wish the film was better. Whereas beautifully animated, the plot itself is weak and without much merit as it sets up a tale the ultimately is a letdown.

The technical features are not perfect but well done. The picture is a 1.78 X 1, 1080p High Definition that has inky blacks, pops of color, and pretty good clarity. The image quality is purposefully stylized, which may be a turn off for some, but I was not totally unimpressed. There are periodic compression issues as well as moments of digital noise, but nothing overly distracting. The sound is a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio lossless mix that does nicely use the surrounds, is well balanced, and makes you feel like you are in the center of the action. In the end, the sound and picture quality bring more to the Blu-ray experience than the film itself.

The extras include:

  • The Fan and the Demonhead: The League of Assassins

  • Strange Blood Ties: Damien Wayne

  • Designing the Characters with Phil Bourassa

  • Previews

  • 4 Batman Animated Episodes (From Brave and the Bold, Batman Beyond, & Batman: The Animated Series)

  • Digital Copy of film

The included DVD is merely a downgrade of the better looking Blu-ray release.

The extras are short and weak, with the additional animated episodes being the best part; though only loosely related to the main feature and are in rough (viewing) shape at that.

    - Michael P. Dougherty II


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