Verdict: 4 / 5
Are you ready to see the Dark Knight get his butt handed to him on a silver platter? I thought not.
Batman vs Robin introduces one of the most exciting New 52 incarnations to the realm of animation. This of course being the Court of Owls, a secret society that assassinates those who pose a threat to Gotham and its people. Their methods may not follow the code of Batman, but they seek a new heir, a youth who can be influenced to do their dirty work… Robin.
From the get go viewers will be able to tell that this film is a very liberal adaptation of Snyder and Capullo’s work. In fact, this story is not gothic at all. Instead, it gives us a whole new look at the Court of Owls. Thus making for some spectacular action scenes filled with hyper-violence and gore that will suggest that this film is definitely not catered for the younger audience.
The signature Nursery Rhyme, the character design and the basic idea of the Court of Owls are about as close as this film gets to the actual tale. But do not worry, the final product is still enjoyable and worth the wait.
Damian is still trying to prove himself to Batman. He wants to prove to Bruce that he is not only a good Robin, but he is a good son. But Bruce’s actions push him a little further away and Damian is still trying to find his own understanding of justice. Bruce can never let go of the fact that he was trained by Ra’s Al Ghul and he does not notice Damian’s efforts to curb his desire to take the enemy out permanently. Then Robin meets an assassin that sees his “true” potential. The lead Talon attempts to recruit Robin and train him to become the most deadly Talon to ever exist. But there is more at play and you will have to give it a watch to find out.
Nightwing also plays a major part in this film as he becomes Damian’s chief rival. However, the Haly’s Circus plays no part in the film, nor does the Grayson bloodline. So one of the most amazing events in the Court of Owls tale is not told, resulting in no evidence that this Talon is a version of Calvin Rose.
The story is a tad predictable but the action scenes are not. You will see brutal battles as Batman takes on an enemy unlike any other. The Court of Owls means business and they are not afraid to tear a family apart in order to get the job done. The art is pulled off with precision so the fight scenes look amazing and the hand to hand and weapons combat is taken up a notch in this one.
The art is basically identical to the Batman and Son fill, in terms of the costume designs of the Batman family. So you can feel that this story follows on from the last one, where Batman had just met his son. It creates a timeline for viewers to follow, playing into the fact that Batman and Damian do not know each other that long. They are both learning from each other on each patrol.
The voice acting is great and, even though Jason o’ Mara is voicing Batman once again, DC has made the time to get Kevin Conroy involved in this one. Weird Al Yankovich is even invited to act as the weirdest character in the film and he does a great job. The most bland voice actor has to Jeremy Sisto. He does a good job, but you do not feel his characters emotions. He sounds rather monotone. So even though it looks as though he might genuinely care for Robin, it does not sound that way. He seems free of emotion and conscience, resulting in an almost emotionless voice acting job.
This film is definitely an improvement on its predecessor and it offers an original take on a classic tale while showcasing the importance of family and justice. The voice acting has improved, the action sequences are second to none and, although the plot feels rather rushed, it still proves to be an entertaining film.