Release date: July 27, 2010
Holy crusted metal Batman! (Schumacher Batman Reference) This one’s a wild ride from the get-go! Batman: Under The Red Hood is a DC Universe Animated Original based on the storylines “A Death in The Family” and “Under The Hood.”
This little animated flick stars such voices as Bruce Greenwood as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Jensen Ackles as Jason Todd, John DiMaggio as The Joker and Neil Patrick Harris as Dick Greyson/Nightwing. Directed by Brandon Vietti and written by Judd Winick, Under The Red Hood picked up with the death of Jason Todd, the second Robin at the “Michael Jackson-eske” white hands of The Joker. The film then jumps five years to reveal a new Red Hood taking over the crime world of Gotham City. Once this new guy gets the attention of Batman, he pays a visit to the last known Red Hood: The Joker. Being held at Arkham Asylum, The Joker only taunts Batman while denying any knowledge of what’s going on. What Batman goes on to discover might just be his biggest emotional challenge he’s ever had to deal with.
– The story. Many times when a plot works well in the pages of a comic book, writers and directors have a hard time translating it over to moving-pictures. However, this sin’t the case. Being lifted from two of the most famous Batman stories in the comics, Under The Red Hood keeps the action and emotion constantly in motion. I’d say it rivals Nolan’s Batman series in quality.
– The critical plot twist. Even for someone who knows what’s going to happen, the emotional torment of Bruce Wayne/Batman is insane. Much like the pain of Travis in Old Yeller.
WHAT DIDN’T WORK:
– The Joker’s voice. With all due respect. I love DiMaggio’s work. He’s a heavyweight (no pun intended) in the world of voice acting. But MY Joker, was/is/will forever be Mark Hamill‘s Batman: The Animated Series‘ Joker. DiMaggio brought his own spin to The Joker, however his laughs and overall tone didn’t feel like a man whose had “one bad day” that brought him to the level of crazy that The Joker sits at. He felt more like a man who was born that way. Not like Lady Gaga whose paid to be that way.
– Certain computer animated sequences. This is a trend that grew ramped in the mid 90’s with cartoons like Spiderman: The Animated Series. I always feel that the jump between drawn animation and computer animation is like having a still image between two moving shots. It detaches the views who is older than 10. That being said there are a few car chases scenes with this technique.
– Sit back and enjoy the ride. Batman: Under The Red Hood takes you on an emotional journey that buries you deep in the mind and ethics of Batman’s being. It’s a tale of lose, ethics and pseudo betrayal, that will keep you on edge for most of the evening because Batman: Under The Red Hood is VERIFIED AWESOME!