Director: Sung Jin Ahn
Cast: Michael Chiklis, Sasha Alexander (VOICES)
Release Date: August 18, 2020
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 7/10
Disc Rating: 6.5/10
Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons offers a new take on the Deathstroke legacy. 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!
Please Note: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
‘Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons’ follows mercenary for hire Slade Wilson (aka Deathstroke) as the two worlds he worked so hard to keep separate come crashing together when his child is taken and the woman he loves brutally attacked. Years after he reclaimed his son and destroyed everyone involved, it finally appears that his vengeance is complete. At least until the group of villains he uprooted suddenly appears back on the scene, once again using those closest to him to try and control his actions. Never one to succumb to threats, Slade quickly heads out fully armed as Deathstroke to once again eradicate this new faction of the group, but the unexpected revelations he uncovers in the process quickly make things far more difficult than he had anticipated.
‘Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons’ originally saw its debut in the form of an animated web series on CW Seed (although never finishing its run in that format and therefore offering quite a bit of new content here) and now slashes its way into an animated feature film for adults. ‘Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons’ may not necessarily be an origin story, yet the way it plays out allows for it to also serve as a nice introduction of sorts to those less familiar with the character of Slade Wilson/Deathstroke and therefore providing some background information and brief flashbacks at times to assist without it ever dragging on for the diehard fans who would rather see it jump straight into the bloody action; capturing a perfect middle ground between the two that should thoroughly please each kind of viewer. Those who are tired of seeing watered down takes on their favorite violent comic-book characters should also appreciate the level of violence in this animated film. Never pulling its punches or resisting the chance to show blood splattering walls or other characters and limbs flying about during the fight sequences. While it’s certainly not always necessary for some animated films to get so graphic with the content, it’s been quite refreshing to see Warner Bros. catering to both sides recently and really trying to provide the fans of all ages with what they want. I would definitely encourage fans of the DC Comics universe and of the Deathstroke character in particular to try and find the time to give this one a chance.
Overall, ‘Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons’ should prove to be quite a treat for hardcore fans of the Deathstroke character as well as a nice introduction to the character for newcomers, serving up an entertaining, tense and blood drenched thriller for adults that’s definitely worth giving a shot. ‘Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons – The Movie’ is recommended for DC fans (and of course Deathstroke fans even more so) and anyone whose interest is already piqued. It’s a fast paced, exciting origin of sorts for the character with more than enough blood soaked violence and fun to make it well worth ninety minutes of time and likely the price of a rental as well. The DC fans already planning a purchase of the Blu-ray release should be generally pleased with the solid high definition video and audio presentations it has to offer, even if it doesn’t provide much in the way of bonus content.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons – The Movie’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation with the film’s original 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks great altogether, providing a clean, smooth and richly colored presentation with no significant issues or troubles to be uncovered throughout aside from some minimal banding and similar artifacts that if anything look better than usual when it comes to DC’s animated features on Blu-ray. It holds up admirably even during the various darkly lit and fast moving scenes, never causing anything onscreen to become problematic. Overall, this is a pretty great high definition video presentation that holds up nicely throughout and should please the fans.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack offers a sharp, clean and frequently aggressive audio presentation throughout. It consistently takes advantage of all five available channels in order to send bullets, characters and plenty of other action and nature related effects whipping throughout the various speakers whenever its appropriate, while always making certain that any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously remain clean and fully audible. Overall, this is a solid 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that contributes its share of extra fun to the viewing experience and shouldn’t disappoint.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons – The Movie’ includes one extra in the way of the Behind the Scenes Featurette ‘Deathstroke: One Man Death Machine’ (running approximately 14 minutes in length) which includes various cast and crew from the film and the ‘Arrow’ television series discussing the character and the care used in bringing him to the screen.