Batman is dead and, because superheroes never ever ever come back from the dead, Nightwing, Robin, and caped-wannabe, Batwoman must soldier on without the Dark Knight and beat the new bad guy on the block, the man who killed the bat, the Heretic.
Along the way, they also pick up Bat-Wing because apparently, there weren’t enough characters in this film.
Batman: Bad Blood is the worst of the new Damian-era Batman movies and I say that as someone who really doesn’t mind Damian who was first introduced in Son of the Bat. This movie is a clumsy and ineffective tale stuffed full of too many characters that don’t do anything useful and a bad mystery that any idiot could figure out in a few minutes. Even during the briefest time that Batman was “dead,” it was a waste of time because everyone watching knew good and goddamn well he wasn’t dead.
I honestly don’t have a problem with the extended Bat Family and I actually like the character of Batwoman, warts and all. Nightwing’s always been a favorite and I’m even warning to Damian as Robin. Bat-Wing, however, was useless to the story, superfluous to everything that happened, and the movie could have easily gotten by without him in it. I would much preferred to see his role go to Batgirl or Catwoman or no one, really. His inclusion in the movie felt like last minute interference from the higher-ups for more diversity in the cast.
I guess my biggest problem with Bad Blood is that it doesn’t tell the story it needs to tell. Yes, we know Batman isn’t really dead and we know everything is going to be mostly status quo at the end, but the movie really takes off when Dick Grayson, known as the hero Nightwing, takes over the role of Batman. He used to be Robin and he’s done everything he can to distance himself from Batman and is awfully bitter about it. Seeing him pulled into that life out of obligation and honor was wonderful and needed to be explored more. I wanted to see more Dick and Damion as Batman and Robin… there was genuine potential there.
But no… a few scenes and he’s pretty much done.
It’s this lack of depth that makes this movie so dull. Characters are awkwardly shoe-horned in and the film never really becomes more than filler what what’s coming after this one.
It’s not a terrible movie, don’t get me wrong. It’s got its strengths and, based on the animated movies that Marvel farted out, it’s practically Shakespeare. The voice talents are all wonderful, the editing and adult themes lend itself to Batman quite well, I just found the lack of depth disappointing and the movie underwhelming as a result.