Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Batman: Under the Red Hood Review.

By popular choice, here is the review for Batman: Under the Red Hood.

Thoughts: Batman: Under the Red Hood is a 2010 direct-to-video animated superhero film based on the Batman storylines "A Death in the Family" and "Under the Hood".
2D animation is one of my favorite forms of animation and DC has made some great direct-to-video movies that could even compete with some of the best live-action comic book adaptations and Batman: Under Red Hood is definitely the best of their recent movie.
While this version of Batman is still dark and gritty, it is definitely more rooted in the comic book universe than other adaptations of the character. Also this movie is made more for people who are at least somewhat familiar with the other adaptations of Batman.
The action is fantastic and probably the best animated action I have ever seen (more on action below), the animation style drawn well but the use of 3D animation mixed with 2D animation does not work well at all. There were a few noticeable flaws, some of the dialogue was a little corny, and the movie could have been slightly more realistic in parts of the action. Also if there was a small change to the ending, it would have been perfect. One of the strongest aspects of the film is some of thematic material. Mostly about would it be better to just kill The Joker and end the suffering of millions. Another strong point of Under the Red Hood is the ending, it was very suspenseful, and I was waiting with bated breath during the final scene.

Note: The scoring of the film is relative to other animated movies, not live-action films. Therefore a animated movie with a score of 9.5/10 is not necessarily better than a live-action film with a score of 8.7/10.

Directed by: Brandon Vietti
Genre: Comic Book, Action, Animated,
Release Date: July 27, 2010
Running Time: 75 minutes
MMPA rating: PG-13

The Good: Amazing action scenes, Near perfect ending, Mostly strong voice cast,

The Bad:

Note: Although Under the Red Hood is animated, it is rated PG-13 for violence, and language.

Plot: The following plot summary is copied from
At a manor in Sarajevo, Ra's al Ghul ruefully realizes his mistake in allying himself with the Joker, while his assistant informs him that the Joker has captured Robin (Jason Todd). In a warehouse, the Joker brutally beats Jason with a crowbar while Batman races there. Joker then leaves the warehouse and traps a half-dead Jason inside. Although he attempts to escape, a planted explosive destroys the building, taking Jason with it as Batman arrives too late to save him.
Five years later in Gotham City, a masked man known as Red Hood takes command of the drug trade, assuring eight prominent heads of the business protection from Batman and the crime lord Black Mask in return. The heads initially decline, but Red Hood tosses them a bag full of the heads of their lieutenants, easily changing their minds. Elsewhere, Batman intercepts a stolen truck carrying Amazo, an android weapon, and Nightwing arrives to help take it down. The drivers reveal they were under Red Hood’s orders before being assassinated by their employer. Batman gives chase and eventually ends up at the chemical plant that created the Joker, where Red Hood confronts him and comments that it is the place where Batman made his first great failure. Red Hood then escapes. Afterward, Batman and Nightwing interrogate Joker at Arkham Asylum for information; the clown merely taunts them with Jason’s death and denies involvement.
Watch the movie to see what happens next.

Plot: 9.5/10- Despite a few areas were Under the Red Hood could have improved (noted above), the pace was unrelenting and the serious moments worked perfectly. However, some of the more comedic parts did not blend well with the rest of the movie. Also themes worked very well and the ending was great.

Action: 9.9/10- Although of the action could have been slightly more believable, it is by far the best animated action I have seen. The scenes are very impressive and the use of weapons is very inventive. If you are an action movie fan, it is worth for the action. Additionally the references to The Matrix during some scenes were great.

Voice Acting: 9.2/10- Overall the voice cast is strong including some familiar stars like Jason Isaacs (The Patriot, Harry Potter series), and Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother). Except that Bruce Greenwood as Bruce Wayne / Batman was not a great Batman, although it is hard to match Kevin Conroy's superior performance. Jensen Ackles as the Red Hood was excellent in the role and one of the strongest aspects of the film. Also John DiMaggio as The Joker was a good mix of Mark Hamill, Jack Nicholson, and Heath Ledger. His laugh almost sounded exactly like Hamill's iconic laugh.

Art Style: 9.3/10- While the 2D animation style is fantastic, the 3D rendered objects occasionally added with the 2D did not blend well and it looked unfinished, although it was really only in one scene of the movie. Despite that small complaint, the animation was portrayed brilliantly and fluently during the action scene.

Soundtrack: 7.4/10- A few of the tracks were memorable and overall it complemented the film well enough.

Comedy: 6.9/10- Some of the humor was out of place and was a little corny but Black Mask and The Joker did deliver some humorous lines.

Would I Watch This Again: Definitely, one of the best animated movies ever made.

Note: The scoring of the film is relative to other animated movies, not live-action films.

Overall: 9.5/10- Overall Batman: Under the Red Hood is action packed, yet has depth and a suspenseful ending.

Closing Comments: Batman: Under the Red Hood is a must see for any Batman or animation fan.

Recommended for: Batman fans, Animation fans, Action fans, Comic Book fans,

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  1. Great Review! Thanks!
    Yes, the Black Mask and Joker had some pretty funny lines.

    "And by party I mean a whole lot of people with guns who are going to kill him!!" ~ Black Mask


    "And I'm gonna need some men... Not these guys, of course, because, well, they're kinda dead." ~ The Joker. Dimaggio gave that line perfectly!

  2. Awesome review!

    Gonna try and give this a watch at some point this week, been meaning to for a while and I have heard some really good things about it.

  3. Sounds like a really exciting movie! :D Great review! :D
    Which of the animated Batman films would you say is your favorite?

  4. @Jake P: Thanks!
    Hahaha! Those are probably my favorite lines from the movie in terms of humor. I was not expecting Black Mask to be a big part of it but I did really like him in the movie.
    I agree, Dimaggio was delivered that line excellently. I really liked his version of the Joker, probably my third favorite varsion after Ledger and Hamill.

    @Cherokee: I hope you will like it, if you liked any of the other DC animated movies I am sure you will enjoy it.

    @Shena Tokala: I would have to say Mask of the Phantasm is still my favorite because the mystery was great and more story driven than action driven. :)


  5. Great review! I'm gonna have to check this out! Thanks! =D

  6. @Edessa: I hope you will enjoy it. :)


  7. Good review. I reviewed this one myself awhile back. I liked it, but not nearly as much as the more drama driven animated Batmans like Mask of the Phantasm and Return of the Joker.

    I agree with you about Bruce Greenwood's voice acting, though he was nowhere near as bad as the one in Batman Year One. I was honestly surprised by how good John DiMaggio was as the Joker. He managed to make him different enough to be distinguished from Mark Hamill's iconic version.

  8. @Banon: Thank you, I definitely agree that Phantasm was the far better film. But I have not seen Return of the Joker in years, I do really need to watch it again.
    I haven't heard the one from Batman: Year One yet, but I did just get a free copy with the Batman: Arkham City Game of the Year Edition,I suppose I will watch it.
    Since it seems that Hamill will not return, I hope DiMaggio will take his place in the various roles.


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