The DC Universe Animated Original Movies have been, at the least, watchable. In my opinion, there are some really good ones (Justice League: War) and some that are flawed but still has some redeeming qualities (Justice League: The Throne of Atlantis). None of their animated outings have been terrible… but Batman vs. Robin is is the exception.
Batman vs. Robin takes place some time after the events of Son of Batman. Damian Wayne, Bruce Wayne’s biological son, has officially taken the Robin mantle. However, as Damian has been raised and trained by the League of Assassins, this new Robin struggles with Batman’s code of not killing. To make matters worse, a mysterious organizations called the Court of Owls try to drive a rift between the Dynamic Duo…
If you haven’t watched the film yet, don’t worry. This will be a SPOILER-FREE review.
So, let’s talk about the good things first. The art style is great for the most part. From the characters and the backgrounds, everything looks really detailed but still clean. If you look closely, you’ll notice little things, like Batman’s elbow pads and Robin’s knuckle guards. And, even though it is a Batman film, everything is pretty bright and colorful. The costumes in particular look really good. They’re all faithful to the original designs as seen in the comics. I do have some issues with the adult characters when they’re not in costume; Bruce Wayne in particular looks weird to me.
While the art is good, seeing them move is better! The animation is smooth and fluid during the action sequences. Even when the action gets very hectic, the fights are still easy to follow. I love how each time anyone throws a punch or kick, it always looks like there’s some weight behind them.
Unfortunately, that’s all the positives I can say about Batman vs. Robin. Everything else is bad. Generally, the story just doesn’t flow together and not particularly interesting. Coupled that with incredibly lame dialogue, you get a story that’s totally forgettable. In fact, while writing this review, I totally forgot the plot! And I just watched this an hour ago!
The voice acting is pretty bad for the most part. Oh, the vocal performances of Jason O’Mara (Bruce Wayne/Batman) and Stuart Allan (Damian Wayne/Robin) are decent and “Weird” Al Yankovic’s version of Dollmaker is chilling. But the rest of the cast pull off bland performances! The worst definitely has to be Talon (voiced by Jeremy Sisto) as he comes off as incredibly lifeless. Which is incredibly sad because his character has so much potential.
By the way, Batman does fight Robin at one point in the film and it’s totally unspectacular. It should’ve been the highlight of the film but it was boring. There was nothing of note and pretty much ends as quickly as it starts. So, if you’re planning to watch this, expecting an epic throwdown between Batman vs. Robin, prepare to be let down hard!
But the worst thing about this movie is how boring the Court of Owls come off! They’re this secret society that’s supposedly controlling the entire Gotham from behind the scenes. But you never know what their actual goal is throughout the entire 76 minute runtime of the film! I mean, besides hosting gaudy formal parties, why should the city of Gotham be frightened of these pretentious white mask wearing socialites?
Like I said before, Batman vs. Robin is the worst of the DC Universe Animated Original Movies that has been released. Besides it looking pretty, it’s incredibly hard to recommend this film. You’re better off skipping this.
Have you seen Batman vs. Robin? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments section below!