Batman: Soul of the Dragon: Or, Batman with a Kick – Amazon Review

The answer to: “What if you combined Batman and Enter the Dragon?”

SUMMARY

Richard Dragon (Mark Dacascos) is a super spy who trained previously with Bruce Wayne (David Giuntoli) in his youth under the powerful O-Sensei (James “Lo Pan” Hong). Richard discovers that the leader of the terrorist group Kobra, Jeffrey Burr (Josh Keaton), has acquired a mystical gate which previously belonged to O-Sensei. He recruits Bruce Wayne and their fellow students Lady Shiva (Kelly Hu) and Bronze Tiger (Michael Jai White) to help take down Burr and his chief assassin Schlagenfaust (Robin Atkin Downes) by breaking into his island fortress.

One of these things is not like the others, one of these things is Batman.

END SUMMARY

Considering that Bruce Lee actually appeared on the 1960s Batman show, I am blown away that no one has thought to combine a Bruce Lee-style Martial Arts movie with a Batman movie. I mean, a lot of Batman films have martial arts and fight scenes, but the style is completely different. It’s even crazier that it hasn’t happened when you realize that all of the characters featured in this film are recurring characters in the comics and even some other media. The biggest change is that Richard Dragon, who is usually white, is very blatantly redesigned to be Bruce Lee, but other than that most of the characters match their traditional designs. It does help that Bronze Tiger is played by Michael Jai White, whose “Black Dynamite” character is at least partially based on Jim Kelly. 

O-Sensei almost always looks like this, but that’s what old Martial Arts masters look like.

The film actually contains a number of references to the film Enter the Dragon, including having a number of flashbacks to explain everyone’s motivations, making O-Sensei more closely resemble Bruce Lee’s mentor from the film, having Richard Dragon avoid a fight by tricking his opponent similar to how he does in the movie, and even having a pretty strong reference to the Bob Wall fight (down to the bottle). Granted, in order to make some of these moments work, Batman is shown to be a lot more tolerant of his compatriots committing murder than in most incarnations. Ultimately, though, the film’s plot has no real resemblance to anything I’ve seen before, which is for the best. It’s nice to have an original story. 

I do love the 1970s style on everything, too.

Overall, if you are a fan of Batman, old-school martial arts films, or both, this is actually a pretty solid film for you. Check it out. 

If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All TimeCollection of TV EpisodesCollection of Movie Reviews, or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.

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