Movie Plot – Batman: Soul of the Dragon: In the 1970s, a missing martial arts teacher becomes the subject of a search by his dedicated and brilliant but aloof students, including Batman.
Director: Sam Liu
Writer: Jeremy Adams
Cast: David Giuntoli, Mark Dacascos, Kelly Hu, James Hong, Michael Jai White
Of course, Batman is in this movie, but the focus is not on him. I would even say that he is not even the main character but has a supporting role. As a matter of fact, the leading role goes to Richard Dragon, a martial arts fighter.
Now, this is not to say that the film is terrible. It’s just somewhat misleading. Fun fact, I would have preferred to see Bruce Wayne for the entire movie rather than Batman. The story is about four students of a sensei, and Batman is the only one with a superhero outfit. Moreover, he feels out of place, and that’s why he as Bruce Wayne would have been a better choice. However, once again, the “Batman” title is what sells the film. If it weren’t for that, I wouldn’t have seen it.
I do enjoy seeing DC try all sorts of things with their animated films. Now it’s about a karate movie in the ’70s that reminds you very hard of Bruce Lee. That’s the great thing about animation, and there are no limits to what you can do. Other good examples are Superman: Red Son, an elsewhere story or even Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. These are movies you would probably never see as live-action.
The plot of the story is also quite 1970s. Especially with that, it is mostly about Karate. Everyone is also dressed for this time period, and now you see a different Bruce Wayne in a different style. Yep, the style where your hair was long but not too long and open shirts with flower prints.
Did the movie kick some ass?
I did enjoy this movie though it was nothing exceptional. Should I rate this movie as a Batman movie, I would be very disappointed. Yet I look at it as a separate animated film without focusing on “Batman.” Let’s call and shorten the film’s title to “Soul of the Dragon” in our minds.
It was also nice to see Michael Jai White in Ben Turner’s role since he also plays this one in the Arrow Tv-show. The other characters Richard Dragon, Lady Shiva, and O-sensei were also great additions. They had an awesome team-up, except that I wish no one had a superhero costume. Yes, I’m looking at you again, Bruce!
The biggest letdown for me was the villain. It’s like they wanted to go too big, and that’s really unfortunate. I don’t understand why they couldn’t take, for example, a highly-skilled karate master or some sort. No, instead, it felt like the ending of the first Wonder Woman film.
Don’t let Batman: Soul of the Dragon mislead you as it’s not really focused on Batman. However, it’s still a fun animated Karate film.