Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons (2020)

deathstroke knights and dragons poster 2020 movie
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 7/10

Good cast, decent story

Deathstroke isn't my personal favorite

Movie Info

Movie Name: Deathstroke:  Knights & Dragons

Studio: Bernlanti Productions

Genre(s): Animated/Comic Book/Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s): August 4, 2020

MPAA Rating: R

deathstroke knights and dragons the movie costume

Someone always has to clean up a mess when Deathstroke comes to a party

Slade Wilson has been keeping a secret from his wife and son.  While Addie and Jacob believed Slade left the military after receiving an experimental drug, Slade has actually become a high level assassin and mercenary while posing as a businessman.  Endowed with superhuman strength, speed, and healing among other abilities, Deathstroke is an in demand killer.  When Deathstroke refuses the H.I.V.E.’s offer to join their organization, the H.I.V.E. targets Deathstroke’s son Joseph…leading to disaster and the destruction of Slade’s family.  Now years later, Slade’s past is coming back to haunt him and the new threat could come from his own family.

Directed by Sung Jin Ahn, Deathstroke:  Knights & Dragons (also known as Deathstroke:  Knights & Dragons:  The Movie) is a DC Comic book animated movie.  The film is an adaptation/compilation of the CW Seed series which premiered on January 6, 2020, but only aired one episode.  It received positive reviews.

deathstroke knights and dragons joseph throat slit jericho

No Joseph…you can’t die. You need to grow up…have a bad afro and sideburns…maybe wear a ridiculous costume…

I will always give DC Animated features a chance.  I haven’t gotten into the “Seed” material as it was released, but I have enjoyed both this entry and Constantine which also had a Seed series which was made into a featureDeathstroke:  Knights & Dragons isn’t the most compelling DC animated feature, but it still is fun.

The plot is essentially a Deathstroke origin story.  It features Deathstroke’s transformation into a super soldier (via flashbacks) and his family dynamic with Joseph and Rose.  While Rose was introduced much later, Joseph was a staple of the New Teen Titans when he was introduced.  His bad hair and sideburns mixed with a rather abstract power.  For this movie, the power is simplified mostly to mind control.  Like the comic, Deathstroke himself is more of an antihero that generally chooses the right thing if money isn’t the deciding factor.

The H.I.V.E. also was a classic Teen Titans villain, and it seems appropriate to use them here.  Unlike a big named super-villain, there is no problem with Deathstroke executing nameless H.I.V.E. “drones”.  With an R-Rating, the film has a lot of leeway for violence and often uses it.  Is the H.I.V.E. the most interesting villain?  No…but it is a more logical villain for Deathstroke.

deathstroke knights and dragons hive leader rose

Pretty much all the “dads” in this suck…

Visually the movie is good, and the cast is strong.  It doesn’t seem as polished and slick as some of the DC Animated Movie Universe releases, but it also doesn’t seem cheap.  The movie brings in Michael Chiklis as Slade along with Sasha Alexander as Addie with Arrow and Krypton DC vet Colin Salmon as Wintergreen.

Gun superheroes never have been my personal favorite.  Characters like Deathstroke and the Punisher never made much sense to me.  If you are shooting to kill, there is little wiggle room…the person dies or doesn’t die.  In general when battling a supervillain, the second shot isn’t going to do much more than the first shot.  Deathstroke does have superhuman abilities which makes him slightly more interesting to me…plus, his tie to the New Teen Titans was really made him work.  Deathstroke:  Knights & Dragons unfortunately isn’t a Teen Titans movie, but maybe Deathstroke will get his chance against the Titans again.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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