Batman's greatest enemy, Ra's al Ghul, has been killed by the villainous assassin, Deathstroke. His on-again/off-again romance with the daughter of his enemy has produced not only an uneasy alliance with the eco-terrorist group, but also something far greater: an heir. When the League of Assassins is overthrown and taken over by Deathstroke, both mother and son depart for Gotham City. Introductions are made, battles are fought, and what comes next is yet another soon-to-be classic in the vaults of the DC Animated Universe's ever-growing library. Son of Batman is a worthy contender for best direct-to-DVD animated release so far this year.
Expertly directed by Ethan (Looney Toons, Avatar: The Last Airbender) Spaulding and featuring a screenplay that borrows from the source material but makes the story its own with plenty of twists and turns for fans both new and old alike, the animation seems a bit clunky at first, and the over-the-top blood and gore make for an instant PG-13 rating that seems altogether unnecessary. But though the plot is almost enough to make up for the strange animation and off-putting violence, the saving grace is that of its voice actors. This comes as a surprise, due to early mixed reactions and mostly negative critical reviews.
Jason (Justice League: War, Terra Nova) O'Mara leads an all-star cast that includes the voice talents of Morena (V, Firefly) Baccarin as Talia, Stuart (Rise of the Guardians, iCarly) Allen as Damian, Giancarlo (Breaking Bad, Once Upon a Time) Esposito as Ra's al Ghul, Sean (Serenity, Much Ado About Nothing) Maher as Nightwing, Xander (Terminator 2: Judgment Day, 24) Berkeley as Kirk Langstrom, and David (NCIS, Ben 10: Ultimate Alien) McCallum as Alfred Pennyworth. But it is a surprising performance from Thomas (Criminal Minds, Dharma & Greg) Gibson as Deathstroke that really steals the show. The talent speaks for itself. Give this movie a try and if you can make it past the opening segment, it is certainly worth the viewing. Do not be turned off by a lackluster opening. The rest of the film is of the high quality we've all come to expect from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment over the years.