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Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons Review 2020 Tv Show Series Season Cast Crew Online
Stars: Michael Chiklis, Sasha Alexander, Asher Bishop
VOD release Deathstroke: Knights and Dragons: The Movie officially has too many colons in its title, but there may be a reason for that. The animated film featuring the popular DC antihero was originally conceived as a series of shorts to stream at CW Seed, but they’ve been repurposed into a full-blown feature; only one episode debuted at CW Seed, and it’s still available, constituting roughly the first third of the movie. The kill-’em-all-let-no-god-sort-’em-out character made a brief live-action appearance during the end-credits sequence of Justice League, and he was not only supposed to be a major player in the sequel, but he also was slated to be the villain in the Ben Affleck version of The Batman and the subject of his own film with director Gareth Evans (The Raid) attached. With all three of those projects dead by the sword (for now at least), the thirst of Deathstroke fans will hopefully be slaked by this cartoon.
The Gist: Slade Wilson (voice of Michael Chiklis) is a “businessman” on a “business trip.” He calls home to his wife and former military asskicking trainer Adeline Kane (Sasha Alexander), and she’s still traumatized by the time when they were engaged and he shpladoinked another woman during one of his “business trips.” But things are OK now, sort of, as they have a house in the suburbs and a son, Joseph (Asher Bishop). Over the phone, he reads a story about knights and dragons to Joseph, then says he has a “dinner meeting” to attend, and he’s totally not a secret MURDER ASSASSIN with super healing powers who’s about to don a mask and armored costume as Deathstroke and go murder and assassinate some nasty people by slicing them into ham steaks and bacon slabs with his samurai sword, then blowing them up with grenades just to be sure.
But. Just as Adeline gets the boy to bed, an intruder in a cape and cowl busts into the house. He is the Jackal (Chris Jai Alex), mastermind behind the evil organization H.I.V.E. — not to be confused with A.I.M., C.O.B.R.A., S.A.V.A.G.E., F.O.W.L., S.P.E.C.T.R.E., V.E.N.O.M., I.C.E. or G.R.O.S.S. — and although Adeline’s a tough customer, he bests her at fisticuffs and kidnaps Joseph. The ruse is up for Slade/Deathstroke. His marriage is probably dead, but his son doesn’t have to be, because after the inevitable rescue, he’ll be battling D.I.V.O.R.C.E. He confronts the Jackal, who says stuff like, you and I are a lot alike Deathstroke, killers are killers, it is what it is, we are what we are, people are people so why should it be you and I should get along so awfully, join H.I.V.E. or the kid gets it. Deathstroke apparently dispatches him and rescues Joseph, but not before the boy’s throat gets cut. He lives, but he’ll never talk again.
TEN YEARS LATER. Deathstroke is still killin’, but he goes home to a disheveled apartment, and I didn’t see the universal movie symbol of loneliness and depression, strewnabout empty Chinese takeout containers, but I’m sure they’re just out of frame. At least he’s killin’ human traffickers and other horrid types. He hasn’t spoken to Joseph, and wallows in his failure to be a family man who doesn’t assassinate, like, even one person. But a mysterious figure who identifies herself as the H.I.V.E. Queen emerges, snatching teenage Joseph (Griffin Puatu), who now has some super brain powers. There’s a trip to a volcano-island bad-guy lair, brutally violent fights by land and sea and air, old resurfaced bitternesses and shocking revelations leading up to the big, final plummet to the death. Is this the mission that’ll be so heavy-duty it’ll even kill Deathstroke?
Our Take: Deathstroke: Two Colons: The Movie is a decent starting point for anyone unfamiliar with the character because it encompasses his origin story and establishes him as a man of many sins and a few virtues who wears an Eyepatch of Moral Inconclusiveness and exists somewhere in the murky soup between good guys and bad guys. Is that enough to make him interesting? Sort of. His angst over being a crap father doesn’t really resonate, considering the bar being set here is, the best way to raise a child is to not be someone who gets paid to stuff grenades in peoples’ mouths and let their heads burst skullgore all over the walls, because it takes you away from home for too long, and merely being present without blood all over you is half the parenting battle.
The film is a collection of reasonably enjoyable cliches that become tiresome after an hour. Bodies that are presumed dead but probably aren’t are merely thrown into the sea and not into the nearby volcano, faceless bad-guy goons were schooled in firearm accuracy by Imperial Stormtroopers, the bad guys are slow-clapping exposition-spewing blowhards, etc. The Knights and Dragons thematic bookend (Slade reads Joseph his favorite medieval-fantasy storybook) is flimsy, too. I dunno. This type of humorless R-rated endeavor exists as a delivery service for violence and action and more violence, and it delivers some of it in a mildly boilerplate manner, which is just a lot more blackhearted fun when Deadpool does it.
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