When Batman Lacks the Soul of the Dragon…

27 Jan

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Available to view on Amazon Prime

Home Video Release
Jan 26, 2021

The 70s is alive and well in Batman: Soul of the Dragon. This animated film is an original tale and thankfully, it doesn’t take any notes from the campy and beloved 60s television show. Instead, its influence is straight out of many James Bond and Bruce Lee films. This aspect is enjoyable to see. Even rarer to see is Wayne not as the feared hero with a cape. He’s got the skills but not the experience in this outing!

Richard Dragon (Mark Dacascos) is more of the star in this piece than Bruce Wayne, though. The name is not as familiar as Lady Shiva (Kelly Hu) and Ben Turner aka Bronze Tiger (Michael Jai White) and this detail can be problematic for non comic book readers. They form a team of students turned heroes (when the timeline flashes to the present). However, as a re-minted animated character, Dragon doesn’t have the same charm as Batman or Bruce Lee to carry this movie.

Dacascos is decent as the voice of this new hero, but it doesn’t give him the same gravitas when this actor is known for his kung fu fighting.

At least the touch of the supernatural is just right. Nanda Parbat is a hidden temple in the mountains of Hindu Kush where these heroes have trained. According to the flashbacks, It also holds a lot of secrets to which I hope will be revealed in later films.

There’s also another villain to which I think will become Cobra Commander all things considered. The timeline is iffy when compared to previous releases of this DCEU. If this franchise ever does a crossover with the Hasbro property, I’d be curious to find out if my wish will come true.

3 Stars out of 5

 

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