A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that DCU: Son of Batman is a 2014 animated feature in which Bruce Wayne learns he has a hot-tempered son. Although this is an engaging story with high-quality animation, this film is most definitely not the campy Batman and Robin from the 1960s television show but a more noirish and cynical Batman and Gotham City. There is frequent fantasy-style violence: Characters are shown getting stabbed in the eyes and throats by swords and arrows, and in one instance Batman's son is shown stabbed in both his arms and pinned against a wall. There also are some sexual suggestions on occasion: The mother of Batman's child tells him, "I'm the only one who can bite you," Commissioner Gordon references a phone-sex number, and one of the main bad guys is shown bringing two prostitutes back to his apartment.
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What's the story?
After an uprising within the League of Shadows that results in the destruction of their secret training camps in the mountains, Thalia and her tween son Damian (Stuart Allan) flee to Gotham City to seek the protection of Batman, who does not know he is Damian's father. After the villain Deathstroke (Thomas Gibson) kidnaps Thalia, Batman/Bruce Wayne (Jason O'Mara) must try to take care of the hot-tempered Damian, who is determined to hunt down and kill the bad guys without thinking twice about the consequences of his actions. When Deathstroke also kidnaps a professor who has developed serums that can turn ninjas into fierce and unstoppable winged death beasts, it's up to Batman to rescue Thalia and the professor, stop Deathstroke, and find a way to teach Damian to control the warlike tendencies that have been inside him since birth.
Is it any good?
DCU: SON OF BATMAN is an engaging story in which Batman learns he has a son -- and a hot-tempered but brilliant son at that. The dialogue is dark, cynical, and firmly rooted in noir, and the animation is as strong as the best work in the comic books. This movie takes what could have been a cheap gimmick (Batman having a son) and further heightens the flaws and mystery of what has become in recent decades one of the most intriguing superheroes out there. Although the violence at times feels a bit much and perhaps unnecessary to the overall story, the propulsive action and conflicts raging inside and outside the characters are enough to keep audiences interested.
The overall cynical tone, as well as the violence and occasional sexual suggestion, makes this film best for older kids and teens, especially for fans of Batman and comic books in general.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the evolution of Batman. How has the character of Batman -- as well as Robin and the other characters -- changed over the decades?
Did the violence in the movie seem necessary to tell the story, or did it feel gratuitous?
Batman has been represented in TV, movies, and comic books. How has Batman been conveyed in these mediums? Which version of Batman do you like best?
Themes & Topics
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