Batman: Soul Of The Dragon immediately gives you that big movie feel and is the 40th addition to the very successful DC Animated series. Directed by Sam Liu and a big name cast, coupled to a original story not pulled from any of the comic storylines, this one feels pretty special.
Set in the 70’s Bruce Wayne / Batman (David Giuntoli) this time encounters the mystical snake cult Kobra, but he’s not alone this time as he has groovy fighting force alongside him this time that includes Richard Dragon (Mark Dacascos) a character who bears a somewhat striking resemblance to a certain Bruce Lee. Lady Shiva (Kelly Hu) & Ben Turner / Bronze Tiger (Michael Jai White). Kobra are trying to get control of the Gate, which opens a portal to demonic world that will unleash the demon Nega who needs a soul to inhabit. But to open the portal they also require Soul Breaker a Muramasa sword to open it. The sword is currently in the possession of Lady Shiva and Bruce and Richard team up once more in race to stop Kobra opening the portal.
Batman: Soul Of The Dragon first and foremostly is great fun to watch. With it’s Enter The Dragon feel and leanings, it’s a chop sockey adventure despite hardly featuring the Batman himself. Told mainly via flashback as Bruce seeks to bring back together the group he trained with at a secret Hindu Temple under the tutelage of O-Sensei (James Hong), other than one scene it’s only in the finale does Bruce don the cowl to take on the demonic hordes and Kobra. While this may be a problem for the more hardened BatFans, it actually makes a refreshing change of tone for the DC/Batman animated series.
Director Sam Liu keeps the pacing cracking along and you don’t have a moments breathing space before someone is being kicked/punched,put through a table or being chased by our heroic brigade. The voice cast are absolutely electric, especially Michael Jai White who channels his best Jim Kelly as Bronze Tiger and it was like his vocals were made for this genre.
Batman: Soul Of The Dragon is one of the better additions to the DC animated movies, and thats no mean feat as pretty high bar has already been set. The usual extras are on board too with the trailer for the next offering Justice Society: Word War II and a couple of animated shorts, plus a couple of production features with the makers of the movie.
A hugely enjoyable 70’s kung fu romp with a stellar voice cast, Batman: Soul Of The Dragon the 40th entry to the DC animated movies stands out from the pack as one to watch.
Batman: Soul Of The Dragon will be released by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on Digital January 12, 2021, and on Blu-ray & DVD on February 15, 2021.
The film is dedicated to legendary DC writer Dennis O’Neil, who co-created the characters Richard Dragon, O-Sensei, Bronze Tiger and Lady Shiva. O’Neil passed away on June 11, 2020.