"Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons - The Movie" Digital/Blu-ray/DVD Talkback (Spoilers)

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Yojimbo

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Get the complete Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons experience! The extended movie edition has over an hour of never-before-seen content, including the film's climax.



Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons - The Movie
Studio
: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Release Date: August 4 and August 18, 2020
Running Time: Feature: 87 minutes

Synopsis: Mercenary and master assassin Slade Wilson leads two lives: one as the relentless killer known as Deathstroke, and the other as a dedicated family man. When these worlds collide, forced together by the vicious terror group known as H.I.V.E., it is the killer in Slade who must fight to save his loved ones, as well as what remains of himself. With his soul torn apart and his young son held captive, Deathstroke will have to atone for the sins of his past to fuel the battles of his future!

Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons has been produced in a dual format – initially as animated shorts, the first five of which appeared on CW Seed. With a runtime of 87 minutes, the feature-length Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons film has nearly 50 minutes of never-before-seen content, including the film’s thrilling climax. The film is rated R for bloody violence/gore, language, disturbing images, and some sexual content.

Sung Jin Ahn (Niko and the Sword of Light) directs the film from a script by J.M. DeMatteis (Superman: Red Son, Batman: Bad Blood). Sam Register, Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter serve as executive producers.

Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner Michael Chiklis (The Shield, The Commish, American Horror Story: Freak Show) headlines the cast as Slade Wilson/Deathstroke, alongside Sasha Alexander (Rizzoli & Isles, Shameless, NCIS) as Wilson’s wife, Adeline “Addie” Kane Wilson. The cast also includes Chris Jai Alex (ThunderCats Roar, Extraction) as The Jackal, Faye Mata (League of Legends) as Jade/H.I.V.E Queen, Griffin Puatu (Beastars) as Joseph/Jericho, Imari Williams (Transformers: Rescue Bots, LEGO DC: Shazam! Magic and Monsters) as President Nichols, Asher Bishop (The Angry Birds Movie 2) as Young Joseph, Colin Salmon (Krypton, Arrow, Die Another Day) as William Wintergreen, Delbert Hunt (Bad Henry) as Bronze Tiger, Panta Mosleh (Always Be My Maybe, Pass The Salt) as Lady Shiva, and Noshir Dalal (Red Dead Redemption II) as Kapoor, Castulo Guerra (The Usual Suspects, Jane The Virgin) as General Suarez, and Minae Noji (General Hospital) as Secretary of State.

Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons is rated R for bloody violence/gore, language, disturbing images, and some sexual content.

Enhanced Content:
-Deathstroke: One-Man Death Machine (New Featurette) – Some think he's a villain. To others, he's an unsung hero of secret wars fought all over the world. One thing's for certain: When you see the orange-and-black mask, Deathstroke is coming!

Discuss the Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons release!

Reminder: This thread is for the Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons - The Movie home media release! To view more discussion on the included episodes, please click on the related discussion links below! Keep in mind at this point only the first 5 episodes have been released on the CW Seed.

Related Discussion
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"Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons" Animated Series Talkback (Spoilers)
"Constantine: City of Demons - The Movie" Digital HD/Blu-ray/DVD Talkback (Spoilers)
"Freedom Fighters: The Ray - The Movie" Digital HD/Blu-ray/DVD Talkback (Spoilers)
"Vixen: The Movie" Digital HD/Blu-ray/DVD Talkback (Spoilers)

 
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khuddle

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Jan 28, 2012
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Just saw it. Surprisingly good. The animation and artwork REALLY impressed me -- didn't think it was going to be that good (its much better than, say, Wonder Woman Bloodlines). The story is pretty good, though a little long.
Overall 8/10.
Must see, and a proud addition to your BR/DVD collection.
 
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Yojimbo

Yes, have some.
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Jul 13, 2003
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I'd sum the movie up as a thought provoking personal and intimate story with a vivid animated style and off kilter action choreography. While Deathstroke and Adeline anchored the cast, the movie suffers from lop-sided development of the other characters and a rushed ending as well. I think I felt an overall sense that a solo movie about Deathstroke could be done and there is potential for more stories but K&D needed some Act 3 polish. I give it a 3/5.

The themes of broken families, truth and lies, and heroes and monsters definitely takes some cues from the original Deathstroke comic appearances. While the through line of the movie is the global threat posed by H.I.V.E., the true core of the movie is about family and asks the question of can a family marred by lies and deception ever be whole again and can a monster really do good for others?

Slade Wilson took part in a super soldier program for the U.S. military and was discharged after it failed to yield any results but it did and he kept it a secret from everyone, even his wife Adeline. Then he lies to her about being a traveling businessman for years and also along the way cheating on her with a one night stand she she finds out about. Slade in a way deludes himself into thinking he's a valiant hero who fights for what's right like the knight in Joseph's favorite childhood story, Knights & Dragons when he's really just another monster like the dragons, swooping into people's lives and causing nothing but grief and destruction for money under the veil of doing something righteous. DeMatteis weaved a lot of 1980s movie action and drama into a really cerebral and personal story filled with so many lies and contradictions, the audience is left to wonder what was real... if anything. Did Slade really love his wife and son to risk his life to save them from H.I.V.E. or did he were they just props in his fantasy? Was his many kills justified or was did he do all that just to satiate his murderous instinct? DeMatteis got me thinking the family was Slade's real mask to appear human but the real Slade all along was the monster, Deathstroke.

The setting laid down by DeMatteis is only augmented by the unique and gritty art style by the design team like character designer Chris George and director Sung Jin Ahn. Even the fight choreography differs from past DC animated titles. Some scenes were stiff like the final battle in the H.I.V.E. jet but for the most part, the action scenes wows in that they come from unconventional angles and more audacious than usual. In addition, the 'pop art' stylized animation was by Titmouse (with additional services by REVE Animation) rather than a conventional overseas studio in Asia who are the primaries for DC animation.

Michael Chiklis voices Slade/Deathstroke and nails down that gruff, world weary merc. Sasha Alexander voices his ex-wife Adeline Kane who I thought stole the show having to do the bulk of the dramatic and poignant acting as well as the tonal shift to when she regains her balance in the second half of the movie. The rest of the cast weren't outright fantastic nor terrible but they also didn't have the same kind of focus that Slade and Adeline had. Each had their moments to shine like Faye Mata's Rose having a breakdown when Jackal points out she's been using Joseph for her own gain as well or Colin Salmon getting in a lot of cheeky quips as Wintergreen.

Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons does play around with Deathstroke and his comic roots a little. While the main story is more or less pulled from Marv Wolfman and George Perez's original take in the comics – a guinea pig for a super serum during his military stint, cheating on Adeline, becoming a mercenary-for-hire – there's some neat nods in there. Even some New 52 material like Adeline and Slade having served in the Team 7 unit. Making Team 7 a part of the Green Berets was a nice touch. The country Deathstroke starts out in was San Miguel. It's a Central American country from the comics. Notably in New Titans #70, Deathstroke was hired by the government to protect a revolutionary. And it dates back to a 1940 Hit Comics, where it was a neutral port during World War II.

But there definitely some changes made: Grant Wilson is omitted from this canon, Joseph's power set is expanded from body possession to full on telepathy, and I don't think we ever learn how Slade lost his eye. For an R rated movie, I was surprised they didn't adapt the classic 'Adeline shoots his eye out' scene.

I did have some minor issues with the changes. H.I.V.E. came off more a bit too much of an amalgamation with the League of Assassins because of some elements like the inclusion of Bronze Tiger and Lady Shiva. I felt both were really watered down and were only their characters in name. The main antagonist Jackal had an awesome fight sequence against Adeline early on, but by the end, he was a total bore and too over powered. His comeuppance didn't even really make sense either, something dramatic simply had to happen to set up the opening and last shot of Deathstroke.

The Blu-ray's only bonus feature was a featurette called "Deathstroke: One-Man Death Machine" but it provided a decent look at the character's overall history in comics and live action, a dissection of the character and talking head commentary. But I would say it was lacking a decent look at his history in animation, a definite white elephant in the room as I watched it. Another odd touch was that the physical release lacked a 4K version whereas the digital released seemed to be 4K.
 

Fone Bone

Hindsight 2020!
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Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons: The Movie

That was laughably bad. I cannot believe it.

I recall giving the first part of the CW series a lukewarm review but nothing too harsh. I was way too kind and seeing the project as a whole makes me realize how outright awful it is.

What really frustrates me is that I expect I might be the only person who has the level of disdain for this I do. While I can't actually imagine somebody enjoying this, I expect most fans' reaction will be "Meh." Why? Because it's really not much worse than other DC "adult" projects. What that tells me is that adult superhero fans are so starved for adult animation that they'll take something as bad as this with few complaints. And that's wrong. Regardless of how I feel about adult superhero fandom, one thing I really think everyone should agree on is that these kinds of projects should be high-quality. I feel like most adult animated superhero projects are so bad and disappointing and underwhelming, fans aren't even AWARE they should be demanding more. Kids in the 1980's found Super Friends acceptable, because there were no high quality cartoons like Batman: The Animated Series to contrast it with. I think that's the exact reason these DC Universe movies have been widely tolerated despite almost all of them being poor at best. I liked Batman: Under The Red Hood, Justice League: The New Frontier, and The Death Of Superman, but projects I actually dig are so rare that it does not surprise me that fandom tolerates this instead of recognizing it for the hot garbage it is. We don't have a ton of quality adult animated superhero movies or TV shows to judge lesser stuff like this by.

And this is junk food of the highest order.

Let's start off with the animation. It sucks SO bad. I really dig the simplified stylized characters designs. You'd figure they'd be dynamite to animate being so simplified. Wrong! Instead, the animation is choppy and clumsy. Teen Titans Go! boards and animates better action sequences on their show, and that's Flash and done on the absolute cheap. There is NO excuse for this. None.

Blood-spattering violence, F-bombs, and nudity don't stop the story from being juvenile with its level of melodrama and torpid dialogue. And weirdly, the bad animation makes the script seem even worse than it probably is. I think the scene that bothered me the most in the film was the quiet scene at the park where Slade catches the ball and gives it back to the kids. They freaking look at that ball with such delight that it's as if Slade just gave them each new Playstation 5's. It's a freaking ball! No kid cares about that, especially if it's one they already own! If you saw that exact scene in a live-action project you'd automatically dismiss the entire movie, and call it stupid and worthless, end of story. But nobody says boo seeing something that dumb in an adult oriented cartoon. And what really bothered me is that I see dumb stuff like that in animated superhero projects for adults all the time. And I never complain about it. I'm done being silent about stuff like that, or Slade jumping onto the rope ladder of a helicopter wearing only his underwear, or him telling Addy that he's seen her naked, which leads to believe the film was written by a 12 year old whose idea of an adult oriented film is Porky's or Scary Movie. It sickens me how stupid and badly written this is. It especially sickens me that it's not measurably worse than the previous projects. And it sickens me that I just accepted crap like this before.

This did me a favor. It was JUST below average enough for me to speak my mind about how dumb this stuff is, and now that I've done it for this, I'll be a lot more willing to call out the other stuff for dumb writing or animation too. This is just horrible on every level. But it's not measurably worse than the rest of the DC adult cartoons which is beyond infuriating and appalling as well. 0.
 
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-batmat-

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Nov 10, 2010
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I liked the art style just enough, specially the "comic book dots" that would appear in the shadows. Other than that, I thought it was pretty bad.

It actually started off pretty strong, but it just got stretched beyond what it should have been, the "love" angle was just played too much, and trying to make Deathstroke a hero, or an anti villain, or a "villain but not as bad as the other villains" or whatever, just didn't work for me.

2/5
 

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