Synopsis: In Soul of The Dragon. Faced with a deadly menace from his past. Bruce Wayne must enlist the help of three former classmates to battle otherworldly challenges ahead.
Soul of the Dragon is an Elseworlds story, which sees Batman working alongside three talented Kung Fu fighters. To begin with, the story kicks off with Richard Dragon. An Asian spy who is investigating a Kung Fu Cobra cult that has stolen a magical doorway. The doorway if opened could unleash unimaginable evils on the world.
Richard goes to his old friend and former classmate Bruce Wayne for help. Initially, Bruce is reluctant to help. But when some members of the Cobra Cult attack his club and scare off his patrons. Bruce throws his lot in with Richard as the pair go to warn former classmate Shiva that the cult will be coming for her sword.
It becomes pretty obvious. That Bruce, Richard and Lady Shiva will need additional help to take on the Cult when they successfully obtain her sword. So they recruit former classmate Ben Turner. Now reunited. The four heroes set out to take down the Cobra Cult and protect us all from their deadly fangs.
David Giuntoli lends his voice to the role of Bruce Wayne and Batman for this outing and does a pretty decent job of it. Joining him are Mark Dacascos as Richard Dragon, Michael Jai White as Ben Richards, and Kelly Hu as Lady Shiva.
Providing his voice for their Sensai who features prominently in the film’s flashback scenes is James Hong. While Patrick Seitz and Josh Keaton do their villainous best as King Snake and Jeffrey Burr.
All actors did great work in providing a decent vocal presence for their characters.
The animation style for this movie was nicely done. The film is set in the 1970s and riffs on classic 70s Kung Fu movies, but with a comic book twist. The introductory scene of Richard Dragon put me in mind of the classic James Bond pre-title sequence mixed in with the old Milk Tray advert but without the chocolate. Indeed some of the references will have most people who remember the 1970s chuckling.
The highlight of the animation is the various fight sequences. In particular, the one in which Batman and the group battle King Snake is epic in scale and gets a suitably amped-up soundtrack with heavy use of the Wah Wah Pedal on the guitars. It’s too bad the creators of the movie couldn’t get the licensing to do a cover version of ‘Kung Fu Fighting’ by Carl Douglas because it would have fitted so well.
‘Batman: Soul of the Dragon’ is tonnes of fun if you let it wash over you. The story hangs together despite being somewhat shallow. While the concept was strong and lots of fun. I felt that the villains were a little one-note. Although Jeffrey Burr who is the figurehead of the Cobra Cult gets a pretty good introduction where he disposes of a hooker via snake bites. He gets very little to do until the very end. Where he is disposed of quite easily. In fact, the biggest battle is with King Snake, who gets even less character development.
Thankfully, the main heroes of the film get lots of character development. Richard Dragon, Ben Richards, and Lady Shiva all have interesting story arcs. Although it is Ben Richard’s storyline that kind of brings the whole plot together.
Overall. This is a fun film with lots happening. But given how it ends. It very much feels like it is just the starting chapter of a potentially bigger story. Hopefully, we get to see that happen.
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- Voice Acting9.5
- Incidental Music9.6