Friday, May 27, 2016

Review: "Batman: Bad Blood" Has Bad-Ass Fight Scenes

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 12 (of 2016) by Leroy Douresseaux

Batman: Bad Blood (2016) – Video
Running time:  73 minutes (1 hour, 13 minutes)
Rated MPAA – PG-13 for violence throughout and some suggestive content
DIRECTOR:  Jay Oliva
WRITERS:  J.M. DeMatteis (based on the characters created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger)
PRODUCER:  James Tucker
EDITOR:  Christopher D. Lozinsk
COMPOSER:  Frederik Wiedmann
ANIMATION STUDIO:  The Answerstudio


Starring:  (voices) Jason O'Mara, Yvonne Strahovski, Stuart Allan, Sean Maher, Morena Baccarin, Steve Blum, Gaius Charles, John DiMaggio, Robin Atkin Downes, James Garret, Ernie Hudson, Vanessa Marshall, Jason Spisak, Travis Willingham, Christie Lakin,Matthew Mercer, Kari Walgren, Geoff Pierson, and Bruce Thomas

Batman: Bad Blood is a 2016 straight-to-video, animated superhero film from Warner Bros. Animation.  It is the 24th film in Warner's line of DC Universe original animated movies.  The film focuses on characters featured in the world of DC Comics' Dark Knight Detective, the Batman.

A sequel to 2015's Batman vs. Robin, Bad Blood finds members of Batman's family, as well as heroes inspired by him, searching for Batman after he goes missing.  This “Bat Family” however, begins to suspect that their “father” is connected to a new crime wave.

Early in Batman: Bad Blood, a new hero calling herself Batwoman (Yvonne Strahovski) battles a group of costumed supervillains:  Electrocutioner, Firefly, Killer Moth, and Tusk, in a Gotham City warehouse-type facility.  Batman (Jason O'Mara) arrives to join the fray, but the apparent leader of the criminals, a man called the Heretic (Travis Willingham), manages to donate explosives in the facility.  Although Batwoman escapes, she does not believe that Batman did.

After several weeks, Batman's disappearance has not gone unnoticed, and crime surges in Gotham City.  Meanwhile, Alfred Pennyworth (James Garret), the faithful butler of Bruce Wayne (Batman's alter-ego, of course), is trying to cover for the missing Wayne.  Alfred sends out a distress signal to the first Robin, Dick Grayson (Sean Maher), the hero now known as Nightwing.  Bruce's son, Damien Wayne (Stuart Allan), the current Robin, also returns home.

Together, Dick and Damien become the new Batman and Robin, and with the help of Batwoman and her alter-ego, Katherine Kane, begin to defend Gotham while searching for Batman.  The truth of Batman's disappearance, however, is far darker and closer to them than the Bat-allies realize.  They will need the help of a new Batman-inspired hero, Batwing (Gaius Charles), to save the day.

Batman: Bad Blood is not the best Batman straight-to-video animated film, nor is it the worst.  The first act, and the last 20 minutes of the film are excellent, so I would say that Bad Blood is on the better side of the Batman animated movies.

I also have to say that the fight scenes are probably the best that I have ever seen in an animated superhero movie.  The individual fisticuffs between pairs of adversaries are comparable to the fighting in live-action martial arts movies.  The aerial battles between characters with the power of flight (because of the costumes and super-suits they wear) are impressive, even dazzling in some places.  The action set pieces, in general, are quite good, especially the one involving that unique Wayne Tech conference building which occurs in the last acts of this movie.

I think the middle of Batman: Bad Blood sometimes comes across as padding, and a little of it does a little to advance the narrative.  Still, it is a good film, but I will say that it is time to move on from the subject matter and plot lines that have dominated the three most recent Batman animated movies, Son of Batman, Batman vs. Robin, and now Batman: Bad Blood.

7 of 10

Saturday, May 21, 2016

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