Batman vs. Robin: A New Level of Parental Issues

This past Tuesday, the sequel to Son of Batman came out on DVD and Blu-Ray. It picks up a little after the last movie with Damian living with Bruce. Then we toss in the Court of Owls and Nightwing and things gets really interesting.

If you don’t mind spoilers, read on…

The movie starts off with Batman and Robin on a mission. OK. Maybe that’s not truly accurate. Damian actually stole the Batmobile to go off to catch someone and Batman had to catch up. Dollmaker was kidnapping kids and doing some freaky stuff with some of them, turning them into robots/soldiers. One even had his hand replaced with a saw blade. Other ones that hadn’t been modified were just locked in cages. Batman had to remind Damian of the difference between justice and vengeance. When Damian finally caught up to the bad guy, as much as he wanted to kill him, he didn’t. This is where we first meet Talon as he kills the guy instead and then disappears after telling Damian to be true to who he is. Batman catches up and thinks Damian did it even though he said he didn’t which causes as divide that must have already started to increase.

We then jump to Bruce having dinner with a blonde aristocrat. After eating, they take a walk into the library so Bruce can show her some stuff and run into Damian asleep on the couch. He mentioned that he’s adopting the boy but keeping it a secret until he does. She takes off and Bruce tries to bond with Damian by watching the movie version of a Dickens book that he was reading.

Jump to Robin back in costume and heading off to another mission. The only problem is that he keeps running into traps that Bruce set up to keep him at the mansion. This makes Damian feel betray and untrusted. Batman ends up heading out and calls in Nightwing to babysit. This doesn’t go over well and their personalities clash on a severe level. They start fighting and Dick gets the upper hand, but when he starts trying to talk to Damian he loses the advantage and Damian sends him flying.

The mission Batman is on related to a feather that he found by Dollmaker’s body. This is where he runs into some of the the Court’s undead fighters. Batman gets stabbed and beaten up pretty bad but right before they can get to kill him, they melt. In the meantime, Damian escapes and goes out to do super-hero stuff. While out, he runs across Talon who tries to recruit him. He ends up going home to think about it but Bruce’s heavy hand sends him back out to talk to Talon. Meanwhile, Bruce is off on another date when the Court of Owls track him down and kidnap him to try to get him to join their group. While around the Court, we also find out more about the soldiers that were sent out after Batman.

We catch back up with Talon and Robin as they go after some bad guys and Talon tries to get Robin to be who he wants him to be but there’s too much fighting inside him. Then, Batman shows up and all sorts of fighting happens. After that, we jump to Talon in bed with the woman Bruce has been dating. To make matters worse, she ends up being the Court’s Grandmaster too. (She must have been using a device to change her voice to sound male.) Looks like no one can be trusted in this movie.

This is where everything starts to get active. Batman sneaks into the Court’s base and Talon brings Robin to the court as well. Batman ends up drugged and kicked out. When Robin takes off his mask, the grandmaster recognizes him as Bruce’s ward and figured it all out. They want Talon to kill him but he won’t so he ends up killing off the Court instead, including the grandmaster. Then all of the Court’s warriors attack Wayne Manor. Batman and Nightwing try to fight them off as best they can. (No need to hold back since they aren’t really all that alive.) Alfred even joins in doing way better than he ever should be able to. Batman and Nightwind get stabbed so much, they should have bled to death before the end of the battle. I’m not sure how tey survived it. In the end, they win. Damian stops Talon who makes Damian kill him. (When I say “make”, I mean he actually grabs Robin’s hands and does it himself.) In the end, Damian takes off to “find himself”.

If you’ve been reading my blog, you’ll know I’m not a major Batman fan but I’m willing to check out some of the movies even if I don’t read the comics. I know it’s called “Batman vs. Robin” for a reason but the whole angst and lack of trust between Bruce and Damian got old real fast. The whole thing with Dollmaker mutilating the kits to turn them into low grade cyborg soldiers was REALLY disturbing. Nightwing’s presence seemed more filler than a necessity to the story. There were some revelations about Talon but the character still fell a bit flat and not all that interesting. His ability to just turn on the Court barely made sense for as fast as he made it. The movie centers more around Robin than anyone else and even Batman is a bit less interesting than normal. I’m not saying it was a bad movie. It was entertaining but it definitely wasn’t one of the better Batman movies.

Honestly, I’d love to see more variety in DC’s animated movies. Most are Batman or Superman and the rest tend to be JLA. The shorts they used to include with the other movies were great, showing characters like Green Arrow and Spectre. They need to do more stuff like that. I’d love to see a good Teen Titans one (NOT like Titans Go or even the earlier Teen Titans series) or a Legion of Super-Heroes movie (again, not done like the cartoon series) along with maybe one with some popular solo characters like Flash, Hawkman, Zatanna, Doctor Fate, and such. I’d even buy a DVD with a collection of shorts like they did before when they re-released the other shorts from the DVDs and added one or two new ones to it. That was a fun one. Here’s hoping something good will come from DC in the future.

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