Batman: Bad Blood Blu-ray Review
The DC animated universe, much like Marvel’s cinematic universe and Fox’s X-Men universe, is always expanding and if you miss any hits along the way, you could be confused about what exactly is going on. BATMAN: BAD BLOOD is a payoff for fans of the cinematic universe, but for those who haven’t kept up, it’s an interesting story featuring all of Batman’s immediate companions in crime fighting. BATMAN: BAD BLOOD has reached an interesting point in Batman’s story though, it’s either time to elevate the ante and exceed viewer’s expectations or implode everything and start all over.
I say that because the movie begins with supposed death of Batman (O’Mara), but nothing is ever that simple in the comic book world. A battle with Electrocutioner, Firefly and other foes ends in a fiery explosion, leaving Batman’s existence in question. Batwoman/Kate Kane (Strahovski), who participated in the fight, believes she has witnessed the end of Batman, but Robin/Damian Wayne (Allan) and Nightwing/Dick Grayson (Sean Maher) are less than willing to accept the possible fact that the Dark Knight, their mentor, is dead.
The creative reasons behind killing your main hero at the beginning are interesting. It doesn’t take long for us to learn that Batman actually isn’t dead, but his death certainly hooks the viewer in automatically. Even with short loss of Batman, he is technically decommissioned for the majority of the film, allowing the lesser known heroes to rise to the occasion. Nightwing assumes the role of Batman, but isn’t strong or smart enough to fill the massive shoes left behind. Batwoman has a tendency to resort to more deadly tactics, and firearms, while Robin is literally a stacked boy wonder, only capable of surprising foes with his agility and shocking strength.
Entering the mix is Luscious Fox, and his son Luke Fox. Luke inevitably finds about how his father helps Batman and he inevitably joins the Batman replacement crew. I’m a little hesitant to reveal the true bad guys of the movie, but their entrance is bizarre. For a universe populated with crocodile villains and a man whose life force is sub-zero temperatures, the reasoning behind the caped crusaders capture and imprisonment may seem alien and be a big turn off for those who haven’t watched BATMAN VS. ROBIN and SON OF BATMAN.
While thoroughly enjoying BATMAN: BAD BLOOD, I have to wonder if it’s like watching a THOR sequel or the next AVENGERS movie, how much backstory do you need to know to fully immerse yourself and enjoy the experience? There’s certainly a lot happening and a lot of explanation needed if you’re not going to automatically assume the reasoning behind the main villain. BATMAN: BLOOD doesn’t feel like a stand-alone story, much like the previous two films, but feels more like a tying of the two storylines and a satisfying conclusion to those two previous arcs.
With all that in mind, it may be time for DC to put our new Bat-family, made up of Kate, Bruce, Damian, Dick, and Luke, to the test against an equally great foe with Gotham or the world at stake. If DC can’t live up to that, it may time to implode the storyline and start all over. It’s a sad state of affairs when fans would much rather see a reboot than their wildest imaginations met, but that’s been comic books bread and butter since the dawn of comics. Even if this is the final Batman movie for DC, which I highly doubt, it’s a satisfying end.
There isn’t any shortage of villain deaths, but they aren’t played for laughs and the stakes are very real. Despite being a fractured family, with individuals problems and baggage, Bruce Wayne and his closest allies have never been more focused and bonded. As long as the animation remains crisp, the story constantly evolving, and the characters fun and relatable, I’m always ready for another chapter in the Batman saga.
Video: (1080p Widescreen 1:78:1) The animation, while not up to par with major studios, is still suitable for Batman’s world. The fight scenes are well choreographed and never feel clunky in the animation. The computer animation is glaring on this presentation.
Audio: (English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1) The audio is well mixed and balanced on this blu-ray.
From the DC Comics Vault: This features two episodes of BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD.
Putting the Fight in Gotham (26:26): This is a feature that I’ve rarely seen. It talks with various animators about on how they pieced together a lot of the fight sequences in the movie. The feature incorporates the history of Batman, while having the animators interject their feelings and attitude to the history. The feature also provides a fascinating look at the evolution of Batman’s fighting style over the years, in the comics, TV and movies.
Expanding the Batman Family (13:46): A feature that focuses on the multiple characters deployed throughout the movie, as well as the logistics behind expanding Bruce Wayne’s inner circle.
A Sneak Peek at DC Universe’s Next Animated Movie: JUSTICE LEAGUE VS. TEEN TITANS (11:31): A look at the next animated movie by DC. While not initially sold on the title, the cast and crew behind it really have my excited for it.
SUICIDE SQUAD Trailer