A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Batman: Bad Blood is a typical example of this superhero's modern-day direct-to-DVD adventures. Artful animated violence, accompanied by suspenseful, dynamic music, fills the screen for most of the story's 74-minute running time. One assorted team of Batman accomplices faces off against a motley gang of Gotham City's villains in a series of lengthy action set pieces that include: explosions, gun battles, physical fights to the death, heroes taken hostage, destruction of buildings, and, in this instance, torture. Characters are disguised, then revealed. Both heroes and villains appear to be dead, then are restored to life. Several references are made to Batwoman's (Kate Kane) sexuality; she meets a policewoman who may become a romantic interest in the future. Swearing includes "bitch," "ass," "damn," "hell," "crap," and "pissed off," sometimes uttered by the boy hero Robin. There's a bit of social drinking in the background, a revelation that Kate Kane had substance-abuse problems in the past, and one character shown sneaking a drink from a flask.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
The world is in danger yet again in BATMAN: BAD BLOOD. This time it's a consortium of players from Batman's enemy list: Talia al Ghul (Morena Baccarin), Jervis Tetch, Firefly, and the Heretic, a new boy in town, are eager for takeover. They've kidnapped Batman (Jason O'Mara); his trusted allies think he's dead; Gotham City is under siege. Nightwing (Sean Maher), Robin (Stuart Allan), Batwing (Ernie Hudson), and Batwoman (Yvonne Strahovski) join Alfred in a desperate effort to fight in Batman's stead. The team tries to retrieve technology that has been stolen from Wing Industries before it's used for evil purposes. Along the way, secrets are revealed, identities shift, and Batman is found alive, only to behave in a strange, unsettling way. The climactic sequence occurs at a technology summit hosted by Wayne Industries, in which dignitaries from all over the world look on in awe at the newest accomplishments. However, the summit is not what it seems. When the true villains are exposed, hand-to-hand combat and earth-shattering technical mayhem threatens them all.
Is it any good?
Quality animation, solid voice performances, and rousing music make this just right for ongoing fans of Batman original DVDs. As usual, the story is complex; the huge array of villains from days past is hard to keep straight. Who's working for whom? Who's using whose identity? Is Batman really Batman or is he Nightwing, or neither? Less Batman-savvy viewers may need to research the various backstories. But the action never stops in Gotham. The villains never give up, die anyway, and somehow manage to revive long enough to appear in a later tale. Parents should note that the tale is very violent but without blood, graphic injuries, or certain death.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how much of this film relies on previous knowledge of the heroes and villains. Do you think knowing who the characters are is essential to this story? Why, or why not? Where would you go to get details about these heroes and villains from Batman's long history?
Think about all the products, games, movies, and TV shows that are part of the Batman marketing universe. How does each contribute to the success of the franchise? How does each Batman product help sell another?
What is meant by the term "diversity" in films and stories? In their effort to make Batman a more diverse brand, which characters and events did the filmmakers showcase in this story?
- On DVD or streaming: February 2, 2016
- Cast: Jason O'Mara, Yvonne Strahovski, Stuart Allan
- Director: Jay Oliva
- Studio: Warner Bros. Animation
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Superheroes, Adventures
- Run time: 74 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: violence throughout and some suggestive content
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.