Batman: Under the Red Hood Review

“Batman faces his ultimate challenge as the mysterious Red Hood takes Gotham City by firestorm. One part vigilante, one part criminal kingpin, Red Hood begins cleaning up Gotham with the efficiency of Batman, but without following the same ethical code. Killing is an option. And when the Joker falls in the balance between the two, hard truths are revealed and old wounds are reopened.”

That is the official description for the new animated Batman movie. Basically, if “The Dark Knight” and “Batman the Animated Series” got together, the outcome would be “Under the Red Hood.” Bruce Timm, who has produced many animated DC series and movies including “Mask of the Phantasm“, has put together a masterpiece for anyone that is a Batman fan.

First off, the movie is rated PG-13, which is different from the normal PG rating we’re used to seeing. The movie begins with Joker bludgeoning Robin to death with a crowbar and then finishes him off by blowing him up. Yes, this is definitely not a kid-friendly movie. The opening scene alone takes a page directly out of the “Death in the Family” comic series. The carnage doesn’t stop there, as throughout the movie you see Joker shooting people, Red Hood delivering a bag of severed heads to mob bosses and even blood splatters on the wall when people get shot in the head.

The action in the movie is great, with awesome chase scenes with Batman and Red Hood with Nightwing jumping into the mix as well. What’s also nice to see is Batman’s in-depth character defining moments such as him dealing with Robin’s death and with the vigilante Red Hood. Batman also emotionally and dramatically confronts why he never killed Joker.

Along with everything else, the voice cast is top notch as well. Even though Kevin Conroy is synonymous with voicing Batman, Bruce Greenwood does a great job of the role. Neil Patrick Harris does an amazing Nightwing with just the right amount of humor and toughness. John DiMaggio, who is best known for Bender from Futurama, takes on the Joker and does a great job of it. His rendition of Joker seems like a mixture of Heath Ledger‘s from “The Dark Knight” and Mark Hamill‘s from the animated series. Jason Isaacs makes a guest appearance as Ra’s al Ghul and Jason Ackles rounds out the main cast as the voice of Red Hood.

Like I said before, if you’re a Batman fan, you’re definitely going to love this movie. It releases on July 27, 2010 on Blu-Ray and DVD, which is actually a 2-disc set.

Grade: A

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