Son of Batman
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|Son of Batman|
Home video release cover art
|Directed by||Ethan Spaulding|
|Produced by||James Tucker|
|Screenplay by||Joe R. Lansdale|
|Story by||James Robinson|
|Based on||Batman and Son
by Grant Morrison
|Music by||Frederik Wiedmann|
|Edited by||Christopher D. Lozinski|
|Distributed by||Warner Home Video|
Son of Batman is a direct-to-video animated superhero film which is part of the DC Universe Animated Original Movies. It is an adaptation of Grant Morrison and Andy Kubert's 2006 Batman and Son storyline. The film was released as a digital download on April 22, 2014, and was released on home media May 6.
At the headquarters of the League of Assassins, Ra's al Ghul grooms Damian Wayne (son of his daughter, Talia, and Batman) to succeed him as head of the league. The league is attacked by a group of assassins led by Slade Wilson, Ra's al Ghul's initial choice for successor before Ra's met Batman. Feeling betrayed, Slade decided to seize power. During the battle, Ra's is fatally burned in a missile strike explosion, dying inches away from reaching the Lazarus Pit. Although Damian stabs Slade in the eye, Slade escapes, vowing vengeance. Talia takes Damian to Gotham City to protect him with his father's help.
In Gotham City, Batman confronts Killer Croc, who is stealing mutagenic chemicals and steroids to enhance himself, to the point where he grew a reptilian tail. Before Batman can be eaten by Croc, Talia electrocutes Croc from behind. She tells Batman about her father's death and leaves their son in his care, though Damian believes that he can take care of himself and does not need Batman. Although Damian wants to avenge Ra's al Ghul by killing Slade, Batman objects to this. Slade, now calling himself Deathstroke, captures Dr. Kirk Langstrom, who was working with Croc to enhance him in return for the mutagenics he stole and also had worked with Ra's, promising a formula for his soldiers. Slade threatens Langstrom's family to force him to recreate the Man-Bat formula for him and his soldiers. Damian bypasses Wayne Towers security to speak to Bruce, telling him about Slade's contact, Ubu, who was part of the raid on the League's headquarters and is stationed in Gotham. Although Damian wants to avenge Ra's al Ghul by killing Slade, Bruce objects to Damian wanting to kill. Talia is captured by Deathstroke when she and some remaining League members attack his compound.
Against Batman's orders, Damian leaves the Batcave and, after a chase and a long fight, defeats Ubu, who he located by accessing the Bat-Computer. Before Damian can kill him, Nightwing arrives, mistakes him for a criminal and subdues him before bringing him back to the Batcave. Batman berates Damian for his recklessness, willingness to kill and exposing their operation. Batman then has Damian don the mantle of Robin to teach him discipline. Searching for a lead on Langstrom's location, Batman goes to Arkham to interrogate a rabid Killer Croc, who supplied the mutagens to Langstrom in exchange for his enhancements and is currently going through drastic, agonizing withdrawal symptoms that cause him to shed his scales and tail. Since others are too afraid of him to medicate him without being harmed, Batman promises Croc help in exchange for information. Batman follows Croc's lead about the formula's mutagen to Langstrom's apartment, where he finds a throwing star that he takes evidence of Deathstroke's involvement. Before he leaves, he goes throughout the building and finds a storage room filled with caged bats, with one larger cage being empty and broken open from inside. Batman then finds a rabid gorilla with bat like mutations, one of Langstrom's unstable subjects, and it attacks him until it dies from its mutations. A drone aircraft sent by Deathstroke then flies past and crashes on the building, destroying it, though Batman evades the explosion. Commissioner Gordon warns them about an abandoned stadium believed to house Deathstroke's men.
At the stadium, Batman and Damian question Langstrom but are attacked when Langstrom becomes violent. Before they successfully escape, they fight off a swarm of Man-Bats. In the cave, Langstrom reveals Deathstroke's plan to create superhuman, flight-capable assassins. While Nightwing works with Langstrom on an antidote, Batman and Damian rescue his family. Batman guesses that Talia has been abducted when he finds evidence of torture in an empty cell, which he keeps from Damian to not set him off. They find and rescue Langstrom's family, but Batman is unaware that Deathstroke challenged Damian to a fight in exchange for Talia's life through a video device he gave Langstrom's daughter in exchange for sparing them. Both Langstrom's daughter and Deathstroke's video tell him not involve Batman in the their fight.
Nightwing learns that Deathstroke is operating in an oil rig off the Scottish coast, and when Batman is distracted, Damian goes to the rig. He finds Deathstroke and Talia in an underwater base with a swarm of Man-Bats and another Lazarus Pit, whose fluid Deathstroke intends to sell. Damian pulls a gun on Deathstroke, who holds one against Talia's head until Damian drops his gun. Deathstroke fires at him, but Talia is hit instead after she jumps in the path of Deathstroke's gunfire. As Deathstroke corners Damian, Batman appears and the Man-Bats attack. Batman wards them off with sonar-emitting batarangs, and Deathstroke flees after losing to Batman in a brief fistfight.
Batman heals Talia in Lazarus Pit, while Nightwing and Langstrom reach the oil rig and cure the Man-Bats. Damian defeats Deathstroke, refusing to kill him because he is his father's son. The elevator from the rig to the underwater base is destroyed when the Man Bats, overwhelmed by the sonar devices, overcrowd the glass elevator shaft, flooding the base. Batman, Talia and Damian escape, but Deathstroke is left behind. Batman believes that Damian should stay with him and remain Robin, while Talia still wishes to recreate the League with Batman, who would rather disband the League, and Damian at her side. She decides to let him care for their son, and leaves with the League of Assassins though she still says she will return for him.
As the credits roll, a slideshow of the fight between Damian and Nightwing is played between credits.
- Jason O'Mara - Bruce Wayne / Batman
- Stuart Allan - Damian Wayne / Robin
- Morena Baccarin - Talia al Ghul
- Giancarlo Esposito - Ra's al Ghul
- Xander Berkeley - Dr. Kirk Langstrom / Man Bat
- Thomas Gibson - Slade Wilson / Deathstroke
- David McCallum - Alfred Pennyworth
- Dee Bradley Baker - Joker, Man-Bat Commandos
- Sean Maher - Dick Grayson / Nightwing
- Diane Michelle - Francine Langstrom
- Andrea Romano - Suit #2
- Fred Tatasciore - Waylon Jones/Killer Croc
- Bruce Thomas - Commissioner James Gordon, Ubu
- Kari Wahlgren - Rebecca Langstrom
Differences between the comics and film
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (January 2015)|
- Talia al Ghul is the primary antagonist of the story arc in the comics. It is ultimately revealed that she left Damian with Batman in order to keep the Dark Knight distracted from her plans and to cause havoc in his life, not out of concern for the boy. In the movie, Deathstroke is presented as the antagonist and fulfills much of Talia's original role from the comic book arc instead of working for her. Even more, Talia is shown to genuinely care for her son, trusting him to find his own path and still openly in love with Batman.
- Tim Drake is omitted in the film; in the comic books, he is Batman's adoptive son and the active Robin during the events of this arc, working a significant character. In the original story arc, Damian develops an antagonism towards Tim out of jealousy, going as far as trying to kill him in order to usurp his place. Batman ultimately keeps Tim as Robin by the end of the arc, while Damian is kept by the end of the film.
- The climactic confrontation of the original story arc revolves around Batman trying to stop the final phase of Talia's scheme to take over Gibraltar and being forced to accept Damian's help, as Tim is severely wounded; both Talia and Damian vanish when Britain's Royal Navy bomb the ship on which they are fighting. In a complete departure, the movie's climax is about rescuing Talia from Deathstroke and stopping him from selling liquid from a Lazarus Pit, with only the latter vanishing when his base is flooded.
- Aside from Tim Drake, Harley Quinn, Jeremiah Arkham and Jezebel Jet are present in the original arc, but were omitted in the film.
- Deathstroke, Ra's al Ghul, Killer Croc and Nightwing are absent from the original comic book arc, but were included in the film.
- The beginning of the film shows Dusan al Ghul, the son of Ra's and brother of Talia who apparently had normal relations with their relatives. Dusan al Ghul was later killed by Deathstroke. He was not in the comic book storyline.
|Son of Batman (Music from the DC Universe Movie)|
|Film score by Frederik Wiedmann|
|Released||May 20, 2014|
|Label||La-La Land Records|
The soundtrack to Son of Batman was released on May 20, 2014, with music composed by Frederik Wiedmann.
|Son of Batman (Music from the DC Universe Movie)|
|1.||"Son of Batman"||0:56|
|2.||"Peace and War"||2:13|
|4.||"Ashes to Ashes"||4:59|
|6.||"Souvenirs d’une Liaison"||1:34|
|9.||"Call Me Deathstroke"||2:40|
|12.||"Ambushed" (Limited edition's exclusive track)||1:54|
|14.||"Great Shoes to Fill"||2:51|
|16.||"The Spoiled Son" (Limited edition's exclusive track)||2:05|
|17.||"Father and Son"||1:52|
|19.||"Off to Scotland"||2:52|
|21.||"Dr. Langstrom’s Rescue"||2:36|
|22.||"Father Saves Son"||2:12|
|24.||"The Fall of the Empire"||1:51|
The film received generally mixed to positive reviews. IGN gave the film a rating of 7.5 out of 10, saying "Son of Batman finds the humor amidst the more adult-oriented action elements in this latest DC animated adventure". On Rotten Tomatoes the film has a rating of 75% based on 8 votes. Common Sense Media gave the film a 4 star rating out of 5, stating "Violent and noirish Batman is engaging but cynical". Conversely, Brian Lowry of Variety stated "at times this feels like a sitcom premise — a chop-socky "Full House", or maybe, “Full Cave”". Tommy Cook for Collider.com also gave the film a negative review, commenting "Striving for the dark edge of what I guess people expect from a Batman movie while still maintaining that Saturday morning toon sheen, the film feels mass produced to appeal to all (give the adults – gore; the kids – a spunky child sidekick.); however in the effort to appease everyone, SoB in fact caters to none".
In 2015, a sequel to Son of Batman was released under the title of Batman vs. Robin.
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