Deathstroke: Knights and Dragons: The Movie – DC Animated once again delivers

Review by Richard Hill

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Title: DEATHSTROKE: KNIGHTS AND DRAGONS: THE MOVIE
Director: Sung Jin Ahn
Starring: Michael Chiklis, Sasha Alexander, Chris Jai Alex, Faye Mata, and Griffin Puatu
Movie length: 1 hour 27 minutes

I watched “Deathstroke: Knights and Dragons: The Movie” recently. I have to say this film didn’t disappoint, and it has me wondering with all the different versions of heroes and villains we have seen in live action and animated films, why have we not seen a Deathstroke live action film yet. I guess this film is a partial answer to that, I mean we did get Manu Bennett as Slade Wilson/Deathstroke in the CW Arrowverse, then Joe Manganiello portrayed him in the DC extended film universe which sort of counts, and of course the version I believe is the best Deathstroke live action so far, is Esai Morales on the Titans live action show from DC Universe, which will soon be merging with HBO Max.

Deathstroke has always been a favorite character of mine, and he has changed his personality over the many years and incarnations since Marv Wolfman and George Perez created him for DC Comics in 1980. He was originally a super-villain out to get the Teen Titans, then on CW’s Arrow he was Oliver Queens “sort of” mentor, in the DC extended film universe he is a mercenary hired by Lex Luthor at the end of Justice League and in the Titans show he is out for revenge. This isn’t the first animated version either, he was in both animated Teen Titans shows and has been featured in a couple animated films prior to having his own. This animated film has a little bit of all these versions of the character tied into it, but it mostly focuses on Deathstrokes messed up relationship with his wife Adelaide, his son Joe aka Jericho and his estranged daughter Rose who eventually becomes Ravager.

It has a really great story that involves Slade Wilson/Deathstroke turning down entry into the organization known as HIVE only to have one of its leaders try to force him into joining by kidnapping his son Joe. Of course, this only pisses Deathstroke off and sends him on a mission to take all of HIVE down. In the process it at first tears him and his family apart, but then through a turn of events brings him and his family somewhat closer together again. I don’t want to give anything away, because I think that if you are a fan of DC Comics, superheroes, or in this case antiheroes then you should give this film a watch. Sure, it’s animated, but that only means that they can do a lot more with it visually and artistically. The characters are incredibly driven in this; however, a few do get thrown away. We get appearances from Bronze Tiger and Lady Shiva, but they don’t play large roles in the story. The main antagonist is a character known only as Jackal; he has a vendetta against Deathstroke that you will have to watch the film to find out about. Deathstroke is voiced by Michael Chiklis (Fantastic Four, The Shield) and he actually does a pretty good job with the character. I enjoyed watching this animated DC film even though it’s not part of their most recent animation canon, I’d even watch it again down the road. I give this film an 8 out of 10, it was entertaining for animation and the voice acting was on point, however Chiklis is no Esai Morales.


FUN FACTS:

  • Deathstroke has the strength of ten men and can use 90% of his brain to outthink his opponent.
  • He has a regenerative ability, yet he cannot regenerate his eye.
  • He knows Batman is actually billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne, he has used it for leverage during tough spots but would never actually give it up. As he believes in honor and that the world needs the Batman.
  • Deathstroke has fought and taken down every member of the Justice League, most were in a single battle that he only lost after Green Arrow stabbed him in his eye socket with one of his arrows.
  • His suit of armor is made out of a rare metal called Promethium. It is from the home world of Hawkman and Hawkgirl and is very dangerous to humans, however his regenerative abilities allow him to be able to wear the armor and enhance its strength.
  • Deadpool is actually inspired by Deathstroke who was created 10 years prior, their names are even similar. Slade Wilson is Deathstroke and Wade Wilson is Deadpool, however Rob Leifield the creator of Deadpool swears the only similarities between the two is they both kill for hire and wield guns and swords.

Deathstroke: Knights and Dragons: The Movie is now available via various VOD platforms, and will be released on Blu-ray on August 18th.


Have you seen the movie? Do you plan to? Let me know in the comments or chat with me on Twitter.

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