“Batman vs. Robin” Premiered and Reviewed @ Wonder Con 2015

GameStop, Inc.

Last Friday at Wonder Con in the conventions arena, Warner Bros. gave attendees the world premiere of Batman vs. Robin. On a side note, since they use “vs” instead of “v” it makes me really question what the “V” is for in Batman v Superman, also how does Batman get top billing on a Superman sequel? I digress. Before the animated feature, WB screened upcoming episodes of Gotham, The Flash, iZombie, and Teen Titans Go!. However, they were misleading about a new episode of The Flash and played the episode that aired the Tuesday before. Why WB would think it would be okay to show devoted fans an episode that is probably still on their DVR’s is beyond me. However, Batman vs. Robin was good enough to almost make me forgive that misstep.

The movie begins with Robin following up on a case in the Batmobile, without Batman’s permission. Robin arrives to the location with Batman not too far behind. Robin, being the young and impetuous Damian Wayne, decides to go on ahead despite Batman’s orders. Inside Robin finds kids locked in cages, and the Doll Maker waiting for him. The Doll Maker unleashes some “dolls” that he made, on Robin and a beautifully choreographed and illustrated fight scene commences. Batman drops in just in time and throws his punches at the dolls. Damian chases down the Doll Maker as he attempts to make his escape, and Batman gets bored and ends the fight with knock out gas and frees the kids in the cages; somehow the kids in the cages were not knocked out by the gas. Damian beats down Doll Maker and holds a Batarang to his throat, but decides against killing him. He turns and walks away, only to hear Doll Maker be killed by an unknown figure, but fans of the comics will know him as Talon. Talon tells Damian to trust his instincts, and disappears. Batman comes and asks what Robin did to Doll Maker, which pisses Robin off since he didn’t kill anyone and expects to be trusted not to. The movie continues with a constant battle of trust between Batman and Robin, with Robin being enticed by Talon to give in to his instincts and upbringing. Robin must decide to follow Batman’s philosophy of “Justice, not Vengeance” or Talon’s “do whatever it takes” philosophy. It is a decision that he has to deal with both emotionally and physically.

Warner Brothers and DC bring us another amazing animated feature. It is a double edged sword for me personally since they can do so much justice to the characters and source material in their animated features, but fail so horribly with their summer block busters. I’m referring to Man of Steel, not the Dark Knight series, although the third one is questionable. Batman vs. Robin has crisp and clean animation, amazing talent, and a good story. The movie does feel a bit long and some of the lines are extremely cheesy, but overall the film is great and has a lot of surprises in store that’ll tickle the nerd bones of the fans. The biggest flaw in the film, and this is a personally issue, is the lack of competence of Nightwing. Nightwing should be able to handle Damian with relative ease, which he does but also gets played for a fool pretty easily too. He also should be able to take on Talon, I mean he’s Dick Grayson, the one who takes up the mantle as Batman, he shouldn’t be some Bat flunky there for comic relief and moments of reflective clarity.  However, other than not catering to my personal view of my second favorite Robin, the film does represent each character well and I feel justly portrays the “Court of Owls” arch.

Batman vs Robin is everything we have come to expect from DC Animated features, and even ups the ante in some points. I would say this film is much better than Throne of Atlantis but not quite as good as Son of Batman. I think Aquaman won’t be a thing until Jason Mamoa barges onto the screen as him, and until then DC needs to stop trying to make Aquaman happen. Aquaman won’t happen. Batman vs Robin spreads out the story and gives every major character their due diligence and continues the tradition of delivering quality animated features. Batman vs Robin will be available on Digital HD Tuesday April 7th 2015, and on Blu-Ray and DVD Tuesday April 14th 2015.

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