Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions I share are my own
Batman: Soul of the Dragon is an original DC Animated Movie from Warner Bros. Pictures. It is a stand-alone, “Elseworlds” adventure that takes well known characters and puts them into different or unusual places or periods of history. Batman: Soul of the Dragon is set in the 1970’s and draws from the martial arts movies of the decade in its storyline and overall design.
When a face from Bruce’s past shows up unexpectedly, he is reminded of a threat he thought long buried and forgotten: a mystic gate that sealed away an ancient evil. Although Bruce and his fellow students stopped the evil last time, it was sealed only by the sacrifice of their martial arts sensei, O-Sensei. Now years later, a cult called Kobra has rediscovered it and plans to unleash the serpent god, Nagi, upon the world. Bruce, as Batman, must team up with his fellow students Richard Dragon, Bronze Tiger and Lady Shiva to stop Kobra and end the threat once and for all.
The movie is good. The music and the art design for the characters really invoke a 1970’s vibe. Seventies’ pop culture was full of martial arts-themed movies and comics and Batman was no exception to that trend, fighting ninjas and assassins. The other characters, Richard Dragon, Lady Shiva and Bronze Tiger are all martial arts characters created in the 1970s and fit well in the story. Batman and these characters also have another thing in common; they have all been written in the 1970s by late comic writer Dennis O’Neill.
The voice acting is great, too. Warner Bros continues to use established television actors to voice the characters, with David Giuntoli (from TV’s Grimm) as Batman and Mark Dacascos from Hawaii Five-O as Richard Dragon. Both Kelly Hu and Michael Jai White both return to their role of Lady Shiva and Bronze Tiger, respectively, with Hu having previously voiced Shiva in the Batman Arkham Origins game and White played a live-action Bronze Tiger on Arrow.
It should be noted that this movie has been rated R by the MPAA for “Some Violence.” While not graphic, there are scenes with blood and characters are stabbed and limbs and heads are severed. The Canadian rating for this is PG. With any movie like this, parental guidance is suggested.
Batman Soul of the Dragon is a great addition to the DC Animated Movie scene. As an original story, it works well, while paying homage to the martial arts movies and comics of the 1970s. Fans of both should find something to like.
I give this 5 out of 5.