I can imagine being a Father trying to teach their child how to be a better person is a struggle, especially when your child has already been taught a different path. Damien Wayne came to Bruce out of nowhere, but the biggest shock was finding out that he was his; however his upbringing under Ras Al Ghul brings complications to their relationship. There is a line that Batman/Bruce will not cross, but Damien as the new Robin is struggling to fight the choice between Justice and Vengeance.
Beware the Court of Owls, that watches all the time,
Ruling Gotham from a shadowed perch, behind granite and lime.
They watch you at your hearth; they watch you in your bed.
Speak not a whispered word about them, or they’ll send the Talon for your head.
As always the animated movies take a step away from what actually happens in comic books, which will forever vex me unless they do things properly, which they really don’t because it is confusing going through the story. Now they kept the main story of who are the Court of Owls which is a secret society that (in the comics) kidnap circus kids and train them to be talons which are assassins. Pretty much they are an owl version of The League of Assassin’s, but sanctioned in Gotham. Now they changed that story and switched it by using re-animated bodies to be assassins, which is okay I can dig it to an extent. Either way the story starts off with Robin going off on his own trying to find kidnapped kids from the Doll Maker. Things go from discovery to freaked out when some of the kids were altered as dolls with weaponized body parts. Thanks to his father Batman coming into the rescue, Robin/Damien took upon himself to chase down the Doll maker only to run into the Alpha Talon (That’s what I am calling him) who proceeds to rip out the villains heart. This is Talon’s way of letting Damien know that vengeance needs to be served to cleanse this world.
After the discovery of an owl feather Batman starts doing his own investigation thinking about to his conspiracy theories which soon comes to light when he is ambushed by Court of Owls members. This cause a new rift between Bruce and Damien when his son comes home with one of their weapons, but things just get worse the more Bruce interrogates Damien instead of having trust. Damien sees a potential mentor in Talon, but even that goes wrong with the court discovers his true identity as Wayne’s son, but I will not give away anymore.
What I Enjoyed?
The action in Batman vs. Robin does not disappoint with one of the best fight animated choreographs that I have seen in a long time. You can get a deep feel in the combat and the impact each blow lands, plus the anguish and intensity from both combatants. The voice acting of Jason O’ Mara as Bruce/Batman definitely honors the great Kevin Conroy who this time takes the role of his father Thomas Wayne. Sean Maher who you know as the doctor from Firefly takes over the voice acting of Dick Grayson/Nightwing which was well done. The art visuals are very well done and I love the mixture of the gloom showing off Gotham at its darkest. Also showing off Alfred being a badass was on point, which I will show you in the clip below.
What I had problems with?
I had to take a step back and go into the comics for a bit because something was throwing me off and my friend Foxhound pointed out a few problems in the movie that confused him. For one Talon turns good, but the ending left you at why? I wish I could say what exactly happened, but pretty much how they did it will never make Talon a good guy in the animated world. That’s where Foxhound made the joke after I pointed out that this can be considered a different universe, so he replied with, “So basically this is universe 53“he is not wrong if you consider how many times they altered the animated movies so much. I know the focus is on the relationship of Bruce and Damien, but I felt they could have had that by renaming this movie “The Court of Owls” instead. I felt that this would of been a great opportunity to have a two to three part animated movie series showing off the secret society. How Batman was being brutally beaten and his relationship with Damien going south, this would of been a great story to expand on all that.
Batman vs. Robin gets 3.5 out of 5 because it honestly felt a bit rushed and had an opportunity to give us a good story surrounding a formidable opponent while Bruce is struggling. I did enjoy Damien having conflict with trying to live up to his father while fighting with the teachings of his grandfather. That could have been great story building and would of made a better fight between them two than what they gave us. At least they could of done is put Damien in a Talon outfit where he was convinced that their ways were better. I know I am expecting a lot, but why shouldn’t I when DC themselves has given us great reading material so far and then drops the ball when it comes to the animated movies at times. Please feel free to share your thoughts and which was your favorite or least favorite DC animation? I would like to know.