Set in the 1970s, a group of well-trained martial arts students must come together as they attempt to stop evil forces from unleashing a horrifying demon which will destroy the world.
Bruce Wayne (aka Batman) has just broken up with his love and is saddened. But soon after Bruce’s hearts snaps, he is approached by one of his friends from the past named Richard Dragon. Richard explains to Bruce a new threat which will destroy the world unless they work together again. Naturally, it does not take long until Bruce Wayne agrees to team up with his former classmate. The two will soon be re-joined by familiar faces from the past. Some of these faces include martial artists Lady Shiva & Ben Turner.
Being a Batman fan, I was not familiar with this story from the DC Universe. As a Batman animation, it’s also the first time we have seen a story which features Bruce Wayne in the ’70s. Many moments made the film feel like I was watching a Kung Fu film, and at other times, I felt like I was watching a spy film such as James Bond. It is a fun and unique combination that worked wonderfully, and this new type of superhero story had my curiosity from the start.
If you have seen any recent DC animation films such as Superman: Man of Tomorrow or Batman Death in the Family, you will generally know what to expect regarding visuals and the animation. Here, I am happy to report the visuals are again consistent. On a positive note, I noticed the film’s audio track was a major standout when compared to some the other previous DC Animations. The audio track is outstanding, and I enjoyed every moment of it.
As for the plot, for the most part, I found it to be positive with a few minor issues. Some of the issues include a third act that overstays its welcome and even feels like it drags for far longer than it should. Batman: Soul of the Dragon is filled with many flashbacks as we witness how the martial arts members first met one another and how they discovered their true skills thanks to their highly skilled master. During the flashbacks, we see one of the students is a rich billionaire seeking a new way of life. His name is Bruce Wayne, and a new journey awaits. While flashbacks are great to provide more character development, unfortunately, some flashbacks consist of cliché moments such as Bruce Wayne having to stand up for himself against another student like a new kid going to a school for the first time. This concept alone feels overused, and many outcomes were quite predictable but still pleasing to view.
Overall, this is a new animation which reveals an interesting tale about The Dark Knight himself along with introducing new characters. As per the previous DC animations, this film is pleasing visually but a major standout was the film’s audio track. The plot here is fun as its set around the 70s but I cannot deny the film’s third act overstays its welcome with some moments which are predictable or loaded with clichés. Either way, I found there’s enjoyment to be had and naturally this is a must-watch for all DC fans.
Batman: Soul of the Dragon (2021) is Now Available on Blu-ray & DVD!