Feb. 2, 2021

Batman: Soul of the Dragon Review

Batman: Soul of the Dragon Review

**SPOILER REVIEW**

• 0:00:00 - Introduction • 0:02:16 - No-Prize Time • 0:08:16 - Zach Snyder’s Justice League to released on March 18th • 0:11:37 - Question of the Week • 0:12:11 - Sandman casting announcements • 0:16:35 - Batman: Soul of the Dragon Review • 0:54:26 - Sign off

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Transcript

[Music] hi and welcome to the dynamic duel podcast a weekly show where we review superhero films and debate the superiority between marvel and dc by comparing their characters in stat based battle simulations i’m marvelous joe and i’m his twin brother johnny dc and in this episode it’s another review episode where we’re gonna discuss the new dc animated film batman soul of the dragon yeah two batman reviews in a row yeah this movie came out a few weeks ago on digital and blu-ray so it’s new and we’re reviewing it now it’s going to lead into our next episode where we pit lady shiva against shang chi it’ll be a big huge kung fu fight because this is an awesome kung fu movie oh yeah yeah it totally is a call back to like the kung fu films of the 70s it was just a great use of the genre i really liked the film and i’m really looking forward to talking about it later on in the episode yeah before that we’re going to give a quick rundown of the comic book movie news that happened in the past week there wasn’t much but we did get a release date for the upcoming zack snyder’s justice league film and we did get new cast announcements for the upcoming sandman television series that’s going to be on netflix as always we list our segment times in our episode description so feel free to check out the show notes if you want to skip ahead to a particular topic real quick remember guys that this podcast now has a card game out called dynamic duel war and you can get it by joining us on patreon on any one of our tiers you can find information on how to get the game if you want to have fun simulating battles between marvel and dc characters check us out at patreon.com dynamic duel or visit dynamicduel.com war just a quick reminder guys to please subscribe to our show if you haven’t already and if you have please help us grow our podcast audience by leaving a quick rating or review on whatever platform you’re listening to us on or by sharing this with your fellow dc and marvel fans and with that out of the way quick to the no prize so a no prize is an award that marvel used to give out up until the 90s to fans our version the dynamic duel no prize is a digital award that we post on social media that i personally draw for those who we feel gave the best answer to our question of the week last week’s question which tied into the new superman and lois television series trailer was who was your favorite superman actor of all time and why we didn’t get a ton of answers it may be because of our new format it may be because i didn’t post the question to facebook so people forgot to answer it’s definitely the latter it’s definitely the latter my bad but guys always remember that you don’t have to wait for the question of the week to be posted to social media you can answer it literally whenever like even right after we ask it yeah and when i say literally whenever i mean only within the certain amount of time before we record the next episode you know what i mean you guys get it right before we announce the winner of this week’s no prize let’s run through our list of honorable mentions the first of which goes to michael hagerty i mean sylvester stallone who said what’s going on guys it’s me sylvester stallone my favorite superman was uh every couple he has emotions and layers and he was all good and stuff he made me cry and i don’t normally cry listen man sylvester stallone sounds drunk as hell the 80s were a hell of a decade so henry cavill i really like henry cavill as superman i know he’s not everybody’s favorite interpretation of the character but like michael hagerty or i mean sylvester stallone said the guy has layers to him and i think a lot of that has to do with the more humanistic and realistic approach to the character and guys i do have to say if you are going to do impressions for the question of the week make sure that you can do them well and that we can understand the character unfortunately last time we did have someone do a venom impression and while it was pretty good it was kind of unusable for the audio for the podcast so just letting you guys know our next honorable mention goes to mickey madden gehen who said this is maggie and my favorite superman actor is brandon ruth because he was my first live-action superman superman returns was actually the first movie i saw in theaters and it’s just one of my favorite memories from growing up in the philippines mickey’s been a fan of the show for a while now and he has such a deeper voice than i ever thought he would good job man yeah especially for someone whose first movie was superman returns like he sounds more manly than i do that’s not that’s not fair but great answer uh with brandon routh he definitely did a good job of filling in christopher reeve’s shoes i think for superman returns now we reviewed superman returns we didn’t give it a great rating uh but i think we definitely both agreed that brandon route’s performance was not what made that film so mediocre right right i’ve always liked brandon routh and i think he’s only become a better actor since his performance in superman returns so that leads us to our next honorable mention by matt estes who said hey there matt estes here my favorite superman would have to be brandon ralph but not from the movies from his role as the kingdom come superman from crisis on infinite nurse now as mediocre as superman returns was i think everyone was kind of rooting for brandon routh to get another shot at the role uh perhaps in a sequel or in a reboot the fact that brandon routh only got one swing at the character and one film was a little bit tragic so it was nice that he was actually able to revisit the role within the cw crossover television event crisis on infinite earths yeah it was such a great event and one of the highlights for me definitely was seeing brandon routh as superman from my favorite dc comic storyline kingdom come it was amazing you know just to see him still have a handle on the character yeah and i think he proved once and for all with that latter performance that he is a consummate superman actor and while not necessarily you know the face of a superman for a generation at least a great superman for a dedicated group of fans yeah absolutely before we announce the winner of this week’s snow prize we want to give a quick shout out to everyone else who took the time to visit our website and record an answer for us including john spees and nate yeah thanks guys for taking the time to interact with us except for you nate you know why but the winner of this week’s no prize is richard mcgrew who said rick from the retro nomipod here uh christopher reeves is the best superman he worked with david prouse aka darth vader to get into shape uh plus he’s my mother’s favorite actor my brother and i were both named after christopher reeves and characters he played now i had to look this up i think richard was named after christopher reeve’s character richard collier from the film somewhere in time from 1980. now i’ve never seen that movie but how cool is it to know that about yourself to know that you’re named after this icon of an actor i wonder if his brother’s name is clark that would be cool i wish that was my name but yeah christopher reeve is the superman for multiple generations like richard’s mom like richard himself again he was just so iconic in the role and really made us believe in his first film that a man could fly he nailed both superman and clark kent and the differences between the two and there was a charm about him that’s just undeniable yeah i never knew that he trained with david prowse the actor who played darth vader that was a pretty interesting bit of trivia thanks for that richard yeah word to your mother oh my god congrats once again to richard for winning this week’s no prize if you’re the listener a shot at winning gear oh no prize stay tuned to later on in this episode when we’ll be asking another question of the week with that out of the way on to the news [Music] okay so on january 29th zack snyder released a series of three posters on his social media accounts confirming the release date of the snyder cut as march 18 2021 on hbo max now there have been rumors circulating for a while that it was going to be coming out this march i didn’t quite believe them because it seemed like incredibly soon but apparently his version of the film was more complete than we or i guess i thought yeah if i had a guess i would have said that this movie wasn’t coming out until like september but then again the snyder cut was announced to be coming out last may so it’s actually been quite a bit of time that’s true and now it’s just next month it’s a month and a half away we’re getting a justice league film in a month and a half it’s awesome apparently the trailer for the film is going to come out on valentine’s day that’s the rumor right now so we’ll get a better idea of what his cut of the film will be once we see that trailer for now we have three new posters to look at when zack snyder posted the posters to social media he also posted three different words attached to each one the first one was fallen and we see a photo of like the justice league logo on the ground like in some rubble just like cracked and kind of broken the next poster was risen and it showed like a tattered like justice league flag standing amidst like that same rubble that you imagined would be caused by like dark sides invasion of earth or something i liked that poster i think that was my favorite one it reminded me a lot of the poster for the death of superman film well that was inspired by the comic book cover for the death of superman the issue where he died okay but yeah it’s a great homage especially considering that like superman starts off dead in this film so yeah i love it that one was also my favorite the last poster is reborn where it shows a film reel canister with the justice league logo on it and all these posters have been in black and white but on this last poster snyder’s name is written on the film reel canister in red so that’s interesting that is pretty cool yeah for those of you who unfortunately don’t have hbo max because you’re outside of the united states the film will be available on other hbo platforms in europe it’s going to latin america later on this year when hbo max debuts in those countries later on and in asia it will be available on hbo go i think hbo max is going to get a ton of subscribers for this film i think a lot of people including myself signed up for huomax initially just based on the news of the snyder cut alone apparently from the time that they announced that wonder woman 1984 would be available on the platform to when it actually debuted i guess hbo max nearly doubled the number of subscriptions they had and for a long time people thought that seoul beat out wonder room in 1984 for the holiday but it turns out that wasn’t the case it looks like wonder by 1984 was by far the clear winner of the past holiday according to nielsen ratings yeah i heard they’re starting to track streaming services now so that’s pretty cool yeah they just started tracking hbo max  i don’t know how many people have issue max but again i think this is really going to bring up their numbers and that brings us to our question of the week do you have hbo max if yes why did you subscribe and if not will you be subscribing to see zack snyder’s justice league record your answer at dynamicduel.com by clicking on the red microphone button which will prompt you to leave us a voicemail your message can be up to 20 seconds and don’t forget to leave your name in case we include you on the podcast we’ll pick our favorite answer and draw that person a dynamic duel no prize that we’ll post to social media be sure to answer before february 7th in other dc news netflix has announced its cast for the sandman series which they’re co-producing with warner brothers it looks like tom sturridge who’s best known for his role as lord byron in mary shelley will be playing dream of the endless wow now i have no idea who tom sturridge is i haven’t seen any of the films he’s been in but i have to say his look is really good for the character dream has always had an interesting long pale kind of face and i think that’s an apt description of tom sturridge dream always kind of reminded me of neil gaiman like his look kind of like a punk rocker from the 80s you know with like crazy wild hair and there’s a lot of photos i’m seeing of sturridge that are just like that so from a look perspective i’m really excited about this casting and also when it comes to gwen dylan christie who has been cast as lucifer i loved her character in game of thrones so i’m really excited about this casting yeah yeah especially because in the sandman comics lucifer was this blonde androgynous like beautiful kind of figure and i think gwendolyn christie fits that look a lot better than say someone like tom ellis from the lucifer television series yeah it’s interesting because they are playing the same character from dc comics right yeah i never saw the lucifer show i’ve heard it’s actually really good the trailers i have seen though don’t really fit my idea of who lucifer is from what i’ve read in the sandman comics but i think gwendolyn christie is a phenomenal actress i think she’s gonna nail the role i think it’s really good casting as is charles dance as roderick burgess if you’re not familiar with that character he was like the sorcerer from the beginning of the santa man series who tracked dream in like this bubble and kept him trapped there for decades another villain of the series the corinthian is going to be played by boyd halbrook who you may know from logan yeah that’s right he played donald pierce in that movie also a really good actor he definitely has the look of the corinthian and the corinthian is super scary and i think boyd hallbrick could do a really good job with that character rounding out the cast is vivian and chiempong as lucien i think that’s a gender-bent role it’s a dreams librarian in his world of the dreaming but we also have asim kadri as abel and sanjeev bhaskar as kane those are just two characters that inhabit the realm of dream as well we don’t have a release date for the series i think it’ll be starting up like either the end of this year or early next year but i’m really looking forward to seeing like photography of these actors as the characters that they play now are you disappointed that we won’t be reviewing this television series [ __ ] you we’re reviewing it but it’s not on hbo max i know so in order to kind of set some limitations as to the amount that we review we set up rules for our podcast saying that we were only going to review marvel and dc shows from the disney plus or hbo max platform going forward because then we would have to be reviewing every cw show you know agents of shield yeah that’s a lot of episodes yeah it’s way too much television to watch personally for me i really want to review this series because i’m a big fan of the books and i really think an exception should be made in this case because dream does interact with characters like superman and batman in the comics and this deal with netflix was made prior to the launch of hbo max i think if they were going to make the show now it absolutely would be on their platform i mean if you want to change the rules man you’re just inciting anarchy tear down the system turtle down i mean i am interested in this series so i wouldn’t mind making an exception for sandman yes honestly i wouldn’t be surprised if the show is a huge hit if it moves to hbo max i’m sure it eventually will honestly and also marvel has a crap ton of television series coming out for disney plus and dc is actually a little bit lacking so that’s another reason why i think this is a good go later on this year we’re also going to be reviewing titans and star girl season  young justice harley quinn there’s going to be a lot of dc content that we haven’t reviewed before on this podcast that we’re going to start reviewing looks like they better catch up you won’t regret it but i think that does it for all the news for this episode so let’s go ahead and get into our main event where we review the new dc animated film batman soul of the dragon [Music] okay so batman soul of the dragon is dc’s latest direct-to-video animated film directed by sam liu veteran animation director for warner brothers animation it’s a batman film but there’s actually very little batman in it it’s more of an ensemble film highlighting bruce wayne’s past training and classmates specifically richard dragon lady shiva and ben turner they’re kind of obscure characters from the comics but they’re actually a pretty cool martial arts trio that you can learn more about in our bronze tiger vs white tiger episode ben turner is bronze tiger and actually it was that episode specifically that got me really pumped for this film when it was first announced i’ve seen a lot of people online say that they had no interest in watching this film to which i say well that’s because you don’t listen to this podcast but also like that’s a shame because this is a damn good movie i love every minute of it and if you haven’t seen it yet i definitely recommend you do because this is a spoiler review as all of our reviews are and you don’t want to ruin a really fun movie for yourself by listening to this yeah go see the film and then listen to our review but first listen to the bronze tiger versus white tiger episode yeah that was a fun one now this film is a tribute to genre films popular in the 1970s black exploitation kung fu movies spy thrillers the film dabbles in a few genres but primarily i’d say it was a martial arts action film and from the opening scene to the final battle the fight choreography was pretty badass yeah it was it’s interesting for me this film definitely opened my eyes to all the different genres that the batman franchise is a part of essentially most batman movies are like dark detective stories or crime thrillers or something like that but batman definitely also belongs in the martial arts genre yeah it always kind of surprises me how well certain dc characters can fit into different genres like i never thought i would see batman work in his 70s genre film but he totally does and i think that’s a testament to how strong the character’s archetype is like as long as you stay true to his core this tragic figure dedicated to justice then you could put him in almost any genre and it would work this one is especially fitting though given his background given that he is one of the premier martial artists within the dc comics universe alongside his former classmates yeah yeah the film is like a who’s who of the martial artists and dc comics but you wouldn’t really know what characters they are unless you were familiar with them from the comic books you know you of course have his former classmates richard dragon lady shiva and bronze tiger but o sensei’s other students were jade and rip also known in the comics as cheshire and judo master respectively oh i had no idea who those guys were yeah i thought they were like throw away no there weren’t okay now the main villain jeffrey burr was cobra also sometimes in the comics known as lord naga though the film never gives him either of those titles his demon servant uh schlengenfaust i don’t think he’s from the comics at least not under that name but his other henchman the woman and the blind martial artist those were lady eve and king snake the sword that oh sensei gives to shiva soul breaker is i think it’s supposed to be the same blade that’s wielded by the hero katana it’s a muramasa blade that absorbs the souls of those killed by it but in the comics it’s known as soul taker nanda parbot the shangri-la type hidden temple where oh sensei trains his students that’s the earthly domain of the fictional hindu deity ramakrishna and that’s the goddess who uh resurrected dead man from justice league dark yep exactly yeah the whole film is just a treasure trove of these minor dc heroes villains artifacts and locations that all fit together under this badass batman story in a 70s world that predates like batman’s dark turn i feel like the whole thing shouldn’t work but it absolutely does like batman is used a lot in animation to introduce audiences to new characters like take justice league dark for example or the suicide squad but this is the most successful attempt at that in my opinion at least my favorite attempt now it’s interesting though in that our theory that this was going to be a new origin story for batman within a new animated dc universe was incorrect considering that this movie is actually set in the 1970s and not just inspired by the decade no yeah like in hindsight from the trailers i should have known that the animation style of this is very much you know in the old bruce tim’s style it’s not like the new computer animated style from men of tomorrow and honestly i’m beginning to wonder whether or not men of tomorrow really was the kickoff to like a new animated movie continuity or not maybe it was just a standalone film and you know i don’t hate dc’s like one-off films like i really liked superman red sun i really liked batman ninja i really liked this film so we’ll see how their animated movies continue they may not end up like you know a connected franchise like the way the mcu is although this film better have a [ __ ] sequel that’s all i’m saying we’ll get into that later i really appreciate the story structure to this movie where it was a series of present scenes and past flashbacks that informed what you were seeing presently i thought that was really well done and a good example of a successful framed narrative kind of in the same vein as like the first deadpool movie yeah yeah it kind of keeps the audience on their toes you know like they’re looking for clues as to what happened what’s going on and the movie doesn’t give you information until it needs to i think films like batman begins also did that well i think it’s just a good way to tell a story that works really well in film because you could jump around in the timeline and that adds interest yeah do you think this movie had the best fight choreography out of any dc animated film we’ve seen thus far i’m pretty hard pressed to think of something that was as fun and as exciting maybe assault on arkham or maybe batman ninja but even then i think this film topped those i was really surprised at how fluid everything was because usually sometimes these dc movies can get pretty choppy with their animation and even seeing martial arts action in animation itself is not always that impressive i think anime has really figured out a way to render that where it’s exciting with the background blur lines and everything like that but the way they animated this everything felt very hard-hitting felt very impactful like it had weight behind it i think they did a really good job and i’m almost wondering if maybe they kind of rotoscoped some actual martial artists and used them in kind of like a motion capture effect oh to get everything so fluid and natural yeah it was natural it didn’t feel quite so floaty and slow the way martial arts fights can typically appear in animated films yeah you know as cool as the fighting and stunts were in this film they actually made me wish this was live action because it’s so much cooler to see stuff like that with actual actors instead of animation yeah the movie also made me wish that bruce lee was still alive like every couple of years i get really depressed that bruce lee is dead and this film definitely brought that out he was one of a kind for sure one of the more interesting things about the character of batman is that he’s an ordinary man who becomes an extraordinary hero due to his drive and training but his training has always been something of a mystery and i think that’s why stories such as batman year one batman begins or even batman mask of the phantasm have been so interesting because we know he learned how to fight and stuff but where and from whom like where could i learn you know in the comics bruce wayne didn’t train with her sensei only lady shiva richard dragon and ben turner did and even they didn’t train in nanda parbot but this movie makes me feel like the comics need to be retconned because this was perfect it’s so cool to see batman reunited with his classmates to see other badasses who knew bruce wayne before he was batman and each of the students were different you know let’s go over each one in more detail in our character breakdown now batman slash bruce wayne was voiced by david giantoli i think i’m pronouncing that right he’s from the tv show grimm he does a pretty decent job with the character you know he sounds like a younger version of kevin conroy and like conroy giantoli has a noticeable difference between his you know bruce wayne facade voice and his more serious bruce wayne voice though his serious bruce wayne voice was maybe a bit too serious in some instances the character didn’t come off as interesting i think as the other cast of characters and i think it was in part because of how straightforward giant totally voiced him yeah it did come across as a bit detached but you can kind of attribute that to the nature of bruce wayne himself but i think that for the most part i did like his performance i liked his cadence i think he’s a damn decent voice actor now batman’s arc in this film really is about dedication you know the first scene we see him in his girlfriend silver st cloud breaks up with him because he won’t tell her his secret you can’t even tell the people closest to him about his secret that’s how dedicated he is to it for better or worse now who is silver saint cloud if she looked like somebody i was supposed to know especially with that weird ass name and her unique look but i just it wasn’t registering anything she was one of his love interests from the comics she’s not like supposed to be a superhero or anything she was always just you know a love interest actually trivia note she was the first character in the comics that kind of showed readers that bruce has sexual relations with his romantic partners no he doesn’t he totally does in flashbacks we see he was driven enough to find nanda parbot hidden in the himalayas and in probably the movie’s most powerful scene we see a training exercise where he continues to punch a rock trying to break it long after everyone else had given up after osensei essentially told him bruce you’re not gonna break the rock bruce just kept punching it the lesson is so moving like sensei explained to bruce that the rock represented evil and that both were eternal even if bruce broke the rock there would still be pebbles and if you broke those there would be sand it was a lesson about accepting the things we cannot change because they are not our burdens to bear but of course batman is a static character so despite the lesson bruce keeps punching the rock because he doesn’t know how to not be dedicated to a goal and ultimately that helps him because while he may not be as talented a fighter as richard ben or shiva he’s able to hold his own with drive yeah it was a good lesson in dedication it does show the importance of continuously trying to achieve your goal whether or not you’ll succeed right always getting back up when you fall those are good lessons all about drive and bruce has that in spades drive and gadgets he’s definitely the gadgeteer of the group and they come in pretty handy over the course of the film whether it was his car or his cape it gave him an advantage that others didn’t have that’s kind of critical in a super team like this when each character excels in their own area yeah they definitely made a point to show that yeah batman’s not as skilled but he is more dedicated and he does have something that the others don’t gear other tools that he can use in battle beyond just his fists and his feet and i think in that regard batman was kind of like the donatello of the group yeah for sure and if batman was donatello richard dragon was leonardo he was in a way the main character of the film you know it starts with him and he’s the one who delivers the killing blow at the end richard dragon was voiced by mark dicascus who’s been in a bunch of films and television over the years you’d recognize him if you ever saw like john wick chapter 3 or iron chef america i thought he did a phenomenal job i think he was my second favorite voice actor within this movie yeah yeah he did a fantastic job i love the bruce lee redesign they did for the character in the film like in the comics richard dragon i think you mentioned in a previous episode you know he takes after someone a bit more like chuck norris you know he’s white with red hair but it never really made sense for the best kung fu fighter in the world to be someone who isn’t chinese since the martial art was developed in china yeah and that’s not to say that martial artists have to be chinese but it does say that when a character is so heavily inspired by a culture it does make sense for that character to be a part of it and i have that same feeling for iron fist like i always felt like danny rand should be asian it’s kind of like having a character like black panther who is an african you know right yeah it doesn’t work as well that being said by turning richard dragon from this red-haired white guy into a chinese character they’re essentially cloning marvel’s shang-chi i did not watch this movie viewing that as richard dragon in my head it was just shang-chi fighting alongside these guys because they’re it’s literally the same exact character it was like both characters ripped off bruce lee but then richard dragon ripped off shang qi except you know dc did it better so oh we’ll see this summer when the chongqing movie comes out i mean animated wise [Laughter] now like in the comics richard is a spy in this film and that’s a ripoff too because shanghai was a spy he works with mi6 against his father fu manchu and we’ll go all into that next week when we go into the backstories when we pitch shangchi against lady shiva but yeah richard dragon is just a huge [ __ ] ripoff dude dude richard dragon was the spy in the comics don’t you remember the bronze tiger versus white tagger episode dude dude shang chi was a spy in the comics richard worked for good which was the global organization of organized defense and he worked for the central bureau of intelligence the cbi i’m not hearing any denials here or admissions no i’m just all i want i’m not going to richard was established as the most senior student of osensei oh let me guess that’s a rip off of shanxi too was he the most senior student of osensei yes [ __ ] you and in this film richard shark is more or less about legacy and destiny before osensei seemingly died he was training richard to become his successor as the guardian of the gate when he realized the gate resurfaced he took it upon himself to find his old classmates to help protect it when he’s confronted at the end by naga the serpent demon in the body of osensei naga tells richard that osensei was always loyal to naga and was in fact training richard to become the perfect host for him at that point richard had the choice of either following his destiny as told by naga or the one he felt osensei had guided him toward and in that decision he was somewhat elevated from simply being a spy as cool as that is to being earth’s primary champion and defender against naga and the demon realm just like osensei was now naga was lying right like osensei wasn’t really sighted with him that’s my belief they don’t really give the audience like a definitive answer but like in the comics oh sensei was always a good guy yeah i mean osensei wouldn’t have closed the gate if he indeed was trying to bring naga into this realm i think it was just like a clever lie by the serpent you know yeah i do like how he was elevated from being just a shang qi clone uh to being something a little bit different so he wasn’t quite so cloney a little bit better yeah i agree [Laughter] moving on to lady shiva she was voiced by kelly who known for playing lady deathstrike in x2 x-men united in the comics lady shiva’s real name is sandra wuson and was osensei’s goddaughter here they just call her shiva but she’s still osensei’s favorite and is his most talented pupil she was chosen to wield the muramasa blade soul breaker which acted as the key to unlock the gate to the demon realm shiva’s arc is all about retrieving the stolen sword and reclaiming her honor this is probably the coolest we’ve seen the character in any media outside of the comics like i loved that they made her the leader of organized crime in gotham’s chinatown she’s always walked the line between hiro and villain so it was cool to see that the reason batman hadn’t taken her on yet was because of their history and him knowing how good and lethal she was yeah that was cool she was done really well here i loved kelly whose performance she was definitely the raphael of the group yes um because shiva had just a really no-nonsense attitude about her uh she knew that she was the best she wasn’t like cocky about it either or anything she just simply was yeah super confident in her abilities the way she shoved her hand into people’s like throats and stomachs like a knife it was so brutal i did like her fighting style and how lethal it was like most of the time in martial arts movies when people are trying to kill each other they’re like throwing fists and stuff like that which is effective in beating somebody up but not as effective in stopping a fight for good you know you have those like secret kung fu moves that teachers don’t like to teach people where you like jab your fingers into their guts and then like rip out their [ __ ] ribs or something like that you know right it’s like hardcore [ __ ] and that’s the kind of crazy ass stuff that she was doing she was going for like these like one-shot kills where she’s just jamming her fingers like into your throat and stuff like that it was really uncomfortable but it made her kind of scary and formidable oh yeah totally she was definitely not a playful martial artist you know sometimes you have people like richard dragon and bronze tiger kind of like showing off a little bit and perhaps having fun with what they’re doing lady shiva was not that no absolutely not yeah shiva doesn’t [ __ ] around i’m just wondering if the film is implying that like her violent nature and eagerness to kill may have been like the corruption of the muramasa blade because you’re right she is the raphael of the group it did make her like the rebellious foil of the team moving on to ben turner aka bronze tiger he was voiced to perfection by michael j white the only voice actor to have played the character in live action though honestly all of the voice casts could have played live-action versions of these characters you know michael j white mark tacoscos and kelly who they’re all trained martial artists oh that’s true yeah it seems like dc has the most brilliant ideas for movies that should be live action but you know they just don’t have the budget or the scheduling or something like that so they end up turning these really great ideas into animated films but i really want to see a live action version of this movie with this exact cast yeah me too sometimes i wonder if it’s really just faith in the material on behalf of warner brothers that prevents stuff like this making it to live action i know it’s cheaper to do it animated but i think some of these stories are good enough to be seen amongst a broader audience rather than just you know the direct-to-video market now ben turner if you remember from our duel episode with bronze tiger he was just a boy when he witnessed a thief hold his parents up at gunpoint kind of like bruce wayne but unlike bruce benner responded by killing the thief with a kitchen knife the experience left him with a lot of confusion and anger and guilt the guy has some demons and his anger gets the best of him which is apparent in this film brent tiger’s arc has always been about finding peace and channeling his rage into a mission in this film his mission was to take down the cobra cult after they were responsible for the death of osensei when he made it to their supposed messiah jeffrey barr jeffrey was just a kid at the time and bronze tiger couldn’t bring himself to kill him he was defeated in a sense and that kind of pacified him you know he went home opened a martial arts school and over time forgot all about cobra in the comics ben was brainwashed by the league of assassins into becoming their most lethal assassin killing thousands they didn’t do that here but ben did carry around some kind of guilt that he thought he could atone for by sacrificing himself at the end though that’s not really explored and he was also kind of the jokester of the group so i’m gonna say he was michelangelo my favorite scene in the movie with him was actually when he and bruce got up for seconds of rice and bruce ended up taking all of the rice ben got offended when bruce offered to share and then beat his ass that was a great scene and i really like how they didn’t go the route of bruce ending up winning just through his persistence like bronze tiger kept knocking him down and then bruce kept getting back up in a lesser movie bruce would have like knocked him out with like a haymaker or something like that right at least in this movie through their fighting they found mutual respect for each other and so eventually bronze tiger was just like you know what i like you and he just stopped beating the crap out of him i think in that scene it was also kind of moving due to ben’s words to bruce about how in his poor neighborhood kids lose their parents every day but it doesn’t make the newspapers i think that was pretty relevant oh yeah absolutely i love docency’s response to their fight you know when richard dragon was like shouldn’t we step in and do something oh sensei was like no they need this plus my tv is broken oh sensei was a gem of a character he was the best character in this movie by far yeah yeah speaking of oh sensei he was voiced by james hong famous for playing lopan in big trouble in little china he’s such a great voice actor and he’s perfect in this role again another actor who could have played the role in real life he was beyond good like this was actually my most favorite dc comics animated voice performance out of all their films i think he did such a good job in this role it was almost like his lines weren’t written but they just materialized as the animated character was saying them because they were just so natural james hong did a phenomenal job yeah and i think that was a good way of putting it like when he needed to sell the humor when he needed to sell the emotion he just did it effortlessly yeah from his jokes to his concern to even when he was possessed he was just so believable in everything that he said yeah that was kind of terrifying when that happened i was like oh no yeah from the first moment we see him when bruce makes it to the door of nanda parbat or sensei acts as comedic relief in the film though he’s not the only one like we mentioned there’s actually a lot of funny moments from almost everyone except for bruce and the bad guys i think osensei introduces us to the world of nanda parbot and reveals the stakes of the film in the scene in which he dies to prevent naga from being unleashed into the world his death was pretty well set up in the sense that by the time you saw him walking into the gate sacrificing himself you as an audience member cared about him and understood why his death would be so devastating to his students yeah especially hearing him like get tortured by the door and everything that was just hard to listen to that was sad it was surprising at the end to see his return especially as a possessed entity that his former students had to fight it was just good writing almost poetic like he represented that final test he was the one that had to be defeated to prove to themselves that they were as worthy as he was the you know this highly respected wise and powerful figure and really they were only as powerful as he was together that was something go sensei told them before he died that they were stronger together and it was something richard elaborated on in the end that together they were the dragon that each of them as those sensei’s students really were one united force against naga and the demon realm i love this team together yeah as good as batman is alone he absolutely is so much more when he’s with these characters because they’re all on his level right now they’re all different so there’s probably no way they could always like work together if they weren’t you know working to bring down the cult that took down their master but that would almost be fun to see them try yeah i would love to see that getting into the plot breakdown the film opens up with richard dragon spying on a crime organization that ran a casino richard is caught taking photographs of a mystic gate and he fights his way out this scene was heavily inspired by on her majesty’s secret service and the living daylights some shots were actually like pretty much lifted straight from those movies especially when he parachutes onto the yacht with the girls and says dragon richard dragon yeah i think it was pretty blatant you know i don’t think they were trying to hide that yeah it definitely was an homage and one that i absolutely appreciated being a huge james bond fan myself yeah i love the opening credits like a lot of dc’s animated films have animated title openings and i’m usually like okay i’ll set through this but this is one of the few that i actually thought worked with what the filmmakers were trying to achieve with the film it was this james bond title sequence with like the silhouettes and the smoke and the music the music here and really throughout the whole film was really well done yeah they did a great job of capturing like all the different  spy to blaxploitation to kung fu after the opening titles were introduced to the main villain jeffrey burr who cruelly kills a prostitute with cobras i honestly hate scenes like this where it’s only purpose is to show how evil the villain is early on in the film to me it’s like usually the sign of a weak villain and yeah the main villain of this film does take a backseat developmentally to the team of heroes so maybe you need a scene like this but it’s just not fun to watch well it’s not fun to watch in the way that exploitation films in the 70s were and this felt very sexploitation almost not in the sense that there was like nudity and stuff like that but in the sense that it was over violence against a sex worker kind of gave it that feel true so it could come across as very misogynist um and it is but it’s also an homage to the type of films that they had in those days that’s very true yeah i didn’t think about that that being said it was weird like he killed her with cobras but he was also eating a mouse at the same time bizarre super bizarre i think it was just kind of like you know like those james bond villains have these weird quirks that was his weird quirk his snake eyes and his snake fetish and the eating of rats yeah just bizarre but it was that scene and the senior the end with the tide of kids in the shipping container that i was like okay the filmmakers are going a little above and beyond for us to hate this guy without developing him as a character it’s one of the few marks this film has against it in my opinion yeah like they always say like one of the shortcuts to get an audience to endear to them is to show that character being nice to a child they’re automatically a good guy and it’s also a shortcut if you see them having tied up kids in the back of a truck that they’re automatically the bad guy and yes that’s the case yes that’s true but again it’s just a shortcut it’s not real development it’s kind of cheating getting back into the plot richard visits bruce wayne at his gotham city club to get his help retrieving the gate in a flashback bruce recalls his arrival at nanda parbot meeting osensei and his students richard shiva band jade and rip what do you think of bruce wayne owning a club i didn’t like it initially like when it first dawned on me that bruce was the owner of that club i was like what but you know when richard showed that he was listening to conversations of the patrons there kind of spying on them to learn about where things were going down in the city it kind of made sense it does kind of cross like the privacy barrier though i would like to think that bruce was a better detective than that yeah batman’s always been more of a detective than a spy and i also was kind of taken back by this element of the story but ultimately like you i did think it worked well bruce’s club is attacked by a gang of ninjas looking for the soul breaker sword and richard and bruce who dances batman costume fend them off really it made no sense that the ninja gank went to bruce’s club asking for the sword it was actually kind of a lazy way to direct richard and bruce to shiva but knowing that she was the sword’s caretaker and that the sword was the key to the gate you think that they would have gone to her without help from the ninjas yeah but we want to see action so that’s that’s very true that was a really cool action scene too the ninjas looked like they came right out of mortal kombat yeah i especially like how this fight was very much a straightforward kung fu fight until bruce became batman and like the lights went out and everything like that and then all of a sudden it was a very different fight and he was taking him out in a much different way than he was earlier yeah he just kind of like broke the rules of like close quarters combat he was like nope not gonna play that game i’m gonna do something completely different yeah i also loved that richard loved his batman costume yeah sort of he was like those guys were scared shitless yeah he was like really impressed that was cool yeah when bruce and richard arrive as she was gambling kite out it’s invaded by the cobra cult who managed to steal the sword bruce richard and shiva chase after the thieves in bruce’s car in a pretty sweet car chase scene but the enemy car is carried off by a helicopter richard suggests that they recruit ben and that was another homage to uh you only live twice with the car magnet and everything but this chase scene was so epic it’s one of the best car chases i’ve ever seen in an animated film if not the best especially the way shiva went off on her own on the motorcycle i thought that was really cool and bruce’s batmobile like it wasn’t bat themed but it had like all the gadgets of a spy film like the living daylights yeah i was wondering if it was the batmobile or not maybe he just tricked out his own personal ride i have no idea but it was really cool i love how shiva ejected herself out of the car with like the ejector button she was just like is that what i think it is and bruce was like she even know and then it was too late she’s just launching up and then like a badass she just like kicks that guy off the motorcycle at the same time as she lands on it it was so cool i loved that scene it was so good i i’d watched that scene again for sure the car action was just as good as the martial arts action yeah yeah totally now after that scene the trio meet ben who’s opened up his own martial arts dojo shiva shows him a sword she took from one of the cobra agents with the cobra logo on it and we see a flashback to when rip killed jade with the soul breaker in order to open the mysterious gate to nanda parbot rip we learn was a secret agent of cobra and the gate that oh sensei didn’t like to talk about was a portal to a demon realm that contained naga the serpent demon worshipped by the cobra cult that they were trying to unleash as bruce richard shiva and ben fought off the emerging demons that killed rip oh sensei sacrificed himself to close the gate now it was kind of a surprising turn that rip ended up being the bad guy here because judo master was never a bad guy now cheshire aka jade on the other hand is a bad guy really so i figured that if they were going to have someone be a traitor it would have been cheshire well it seemed like they were telegraphing that considering that she was always questioning go sensei and in fact she was there with rip at the opening of the gate but it was just as a sacrifice you’re right yeah i think they were trying to set up that she had bad intentions it was a bit of subversion back in the present bruce and the others fly to the cobras island base somehow knowing where it was i’m not quite sure how i’m assuming bronze tiger put in the coordinates into the plane since he knew where it was or something maybe but then i guess the others were just like well i guess we’ll just trust him i guess he knows where he’s going because it wasn’t until later that he revealed that he had been to the island and they had spent the years after sensei’s death tracking and hunting down leaders of the cobra cult the four make their way past the island defenses and take on cobra’s top henchmen including schlungenfest lady eve and king snake after freeing some kidnapped kids intended as sacrifices to open the gate jeffrey burr sacrifices himself to open it releasing oh sensei still alive and possessed by naga i thought it was pretty hardcore that jeffrey sacrificed himself because he was so devout in what he had been told to believe the timeline with jeffrey though does get a little bit confusing because when bronze tiger first met him he was just a child and that’s why bronze tiger didn’t kill him but in this movie he’s a grown ass adult man meaning that there’s been at least 10 to 15 years of time since oh since they first went behind the gate i don’t think bronze tigers like journey around the world trying to stop cobra took 10 years and also i’m thinking that jeffrey burr as leader of the cobra cult is probably closer to age like 18 or something oh really yeah and he may have been like  it’s not entirely clear how old jeffrey burr is because you know it’s animation but yeah i think like maybe at most he’s in his early 20s okay yeah the posesto sensei makes short work of each of his four former students breaking them down physically and psychologically richard manages to stab oh sensei with the soul breaker sword pulling out the spirit of naga within but also killing his former master that was kind of tragic yeah but in the best way it had to be done but you really felt the emotional weight of what was happening there i also would like to point out that batman freaking broke oh sensei’s neck with his cape like that was crazy i did not expect to see him do that yeah batman could get pretty lethal if he needs to it was pretty shocking because sensei was like you know you’re the least talented fighter of the group what do you have that the others don’t the batman just comes out of like the smoke just like a cape then yeah just freaking twist his neck around so crazy and even more crazy since they stood up from that like that was super creepy yeah i wonder why bronze tiger didn’t use his claws in this fight because we saw him using them before he just didn’t pack them i guess yeah he should have to me i think that’s like the signature bronze tiger weapon as richard shiva and ben say goodbye to osensei they realize batman has walked into the gate intending to sacrifice himself to close it they follow him in determined to face whatever challenge was within together and then the film ends and i was so devastated i was pissed i was yeah i was super into this movie i was on the edge of my seat during this final moment like what was going to come next how are they going to get out and then out of nowhere boom credits roll yeah i was surprised because the sensei fight felt such like a boss level and then they went through the gate and it looked like they were prepared to fight an even bigger boss and i was like oh [ __ ] i like i wasn’t prepared for this this is gonna be so epic considering how epic that last fight was right and and yeah credits nothing if i had a table in front of me i would have flipped it totally now we didn’t buy or rent this movie we got a press screener and i thought i was being punked when the movie ended i thought warner brothers was like sorry to see the ending you’re gonna have to buy the movie like which was fine i totally would have but it turned out that was the actual ending of the movie so are they setting up a sequel or are they trying to be ambiguous as to whether or not the four succeed against naga i would be surprised if they were trying to set up like a series of films based on this but i would love it if they did you know they’ve never really done that before it’s not like there’s a sequel to batman ninja or anything like that you know but there was a sequel to the death of superman and like the dark knight returns maybe it is a two-parter well usually when it’s a two-parter they bill it as such when they announce the film like they just announced to the long halloween and they’re saying that’s gonna be a two-parter they haven’t said anything about that for this film really disappointing because i would love to know how they got out of the gate if they got out of the gate we do know that to open the gate one of them has to die though probably richard dragon honestly if i had to choose because it kind of seemed like it was his destiny sort of in the same way it was osensei’s plus the other characters are kind of more popular so i wouldn’t be surprised if they made a sequel if richard dragon died if bronze tiger like became brainwashed by the demons if lady shiva became pregnant with cassandra cain sort of like a rosemary’s baby type thing that was also in the 70s yeah they could all work if you’ve seen the movie if you’re listening to this if you want a sequel we need to get a hashtag going hashtag hole of the dragon what because you know it’s like a plot hole there’s a missing plot this sounds kind of dirty i don’t know sure we’ll go with that hashtag hold the dragon let’s get the sequel produced overall though uh you know the film had great action had a great voice cast it was a great use of the genre um i did think though that it felt a little bit short when it came to the villain and some story logic bits but ultimately i loved this film even with the ending and i loved that it made me wanting more i give this film four stars yeah i almost feel like i would have given this movie four and a half stars but in the end that ending did hurt the film so i’m gonna knock it down a half star because of that and agree with your four-star rating yeah same here like i totally could have been talked into four and a half stars if it wasn’t for the ending absolutely but that does it for this review let us know what you thought about the movie by writing to us at dynamicdulpodcast gmail.com or by visiting us on facebook instagram or twitter you can find links to all of our accounts by visiting our website dynamicduel.com and on our site you can also find a link to our patreon page where we offer bonus content and our very own marvel vs dc card game called dynamic duel war check it out right after this episode our lowest patreon tier is only two dollars a month also on dynamicduel.com is a link to our merchandise store where we sell t-shirts hoodies stickers and more with our dynamic duel no prize artwork and i think this time i’m going to draw bronze tiger i didn’t actually get a chance to draw him back when we did his duel episode against white tiger so i think i’ll do that now yeah that’s a good idea and don’t forget our next episode is going to be a duel episode where we pit lady shiva from this movie who is one of dc’s premier martial artists against shang chi who is one of marvel’s premier martial artists and is also getting his own movie later on this year yeah i’m actually looking forward to learning more about him i really don’t know anything about the character so yeah i can’t wait to tell you guys all about him look forward to that next week in the meantime again please guys subscribe to our show if you haven’t or please leave a rating or review on your platform of choice sharing the show on social media or in person is also a big help for jonathan and myself but that does it for this episode we want to give a big thanks to our executive producers ken johnson jace krump john starovsky john spees isaiah bethune zachary hepburn and john betchinina for helping make this podcast possible and we’ll talk to you guys next week up up and away true believers