8/16/16

BATMAN VS. ROBIN - REVIEW


The sequel to Son Of Batman, animated feature Batman Vs. Robin continues the story of Bruce Wayne and Talia Al Ghul's son Damian (aka the new Robin) as he is torn between being Batman's sidekick or joining Talon, an assassin working with The Court Of Owls.

Still very much a wild card, Damian Wayne (voiced by Stuart Allan) is initially Batman's ally but he is constantly trying to do his own thing and is always conflicted about killing his enemies or sparing their lives. This affects his relationship with Batman (Jason O'Mara) to the point where he starts to consider joining another vigilante and eventually even fights his own father on the rooftops of Gotham. This is a tense, action-packed if loose adaptation of The Court Of Owls storyline and, while Son Of Batman was a little slight in terms of story, a lot happens in Batman Vs. Robin and it's never boring. The film makes an interesting parallel between Bruce Wayne's childhood and Talon's and we get to see Bruce's fears of his son turning into a villain under his watch.

The line separating a potential hero from a potential villain is very thin and this movie does a great job at showing that. Damian is a bit of a brat in this but seeing as he was trained from birth to be a cold merciless killer, his stubbornness is understandable as having him settle into being a good guy so quickly wouldn't be all that convincing. He's also an even better fighter than in the first film as you see him take on The Dollmaker (voiced by "Weird Al" Yankovic, of all people), Nightwing, Talon and Batman himself making him a dangerous weapon in the wrong hands and a loose cannon. You do feel bad for Batman as not only is his own son turning against him but he's facing a powerful new organisation that quickly finds out his secret identity, his girlfriend turns out to be a traitor and the Batcave is eventually invaded by zombie ninjas in a really thrilling climax. 

Against all odds, Batman Vs. Robin is one of the best animated Batman movies out there: the story is layered and fascinating, the characters are extremely well developed and the action is a lot of fun. This is an underrated gem you'll want to check out if you're a Batman fan.

Great stuff.

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