CERT: 15 | PLATFORM: DVD, BLU-RAY (REVIEWED) | RELEASE DATE: AUGUST 4TH
Slade Wilson AKA Deathstroke is one of the greatest villains in the DC Universe, with a fascinating backstory, complex goals and motivations and having gone head-to-head with the likes of Batman, Nightwing, Green Arrow, the Justice League and the Teen Titans. He was so popular that the character began transitioning from comics to other forms of media, including the Teen Titans animated show, CW's Arrow and Batman's Arkham videogame series. Oh, and he also had an extremely brief cameo in Justice League (that's including both versions). This new animated film dives deeper into Deathstroke's backstory, touching upon Slade's life as a military man, becoming a test subject that gave him his heightened abilities, his complicated family life with two children (Rose and Joseph Wilson) spawned out of two different love affairs, and his battle against H.I.V.E..
For a near 90-minute movie, this does a very solid job at analysing Deathstroke's character, showing what drives him as a person, revealing his more compassionate side as opposed to his more ruthlessly violent one, and how being a mercenary for hire leads to devastating consequences for him and his family. This is largely because this story was written by expert comic book writer J. M. DeMatteis who, for the most part, hasn't put a foot wrong when it comes to writing exciting yet layered stories. The animation style is really impressive, allowing for more fluid character movements and is leagues better than most of the recent DC animated movies that were modelled in the style of the New 52. Michael Chiklis does an impressive job at capturing Deathstroke's war-weariness, nailing both the humanity and the ruthless sides of Slade's character.
While the ending feels too abrupt and could've been resolved better, Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons is an impressive animated film that shows why DC's Greatest Assassin is one of the best characters in that universe. The writing, voice-acting and animation are all solid, resulting in this being of the better DC animated movies in recent years.