Thursday Review: Batman: Under The Red Hood

batman under the red hood

So there is a lot of buzz in the comic book world with Dc rebooting and WB releasing a Batman: Year One DVD and Blu-ray next month. So far things have been hit and miss with WB/ DCU DVDs , like All-Star Superman was just not a good film and then there is this film I’m reviewing Batman: Under The Red Hood.

This film is about the Under The Hood story in Batman comics where Jason Todd the second Robin returned to Gotham as The Red Hood. The film starts off however with the more memorable images of the Death In The Family story in the Batman comics. I read those comics only because I read somewhere the fans really weren’t feeling the at the time new Robin and they had a chance to vote on his fate… They chose death. The opening scene is almost as chilling as the actual panels in the comic. It’s crazy because I really stopped reading comics but now that I’ve caught up on some old stuff Batman comics seem to be the most violent ones. The Joker was really on a rampage during the 80’s.

Now I haven’t read the Under The Hood story yet but what is crazy and cool is that the guy who wrote the comic story Judd Winick pitched the idea to Brice Timm and company to have it be an animated movie.  He even had a hand in the writing as well as he knew how to lay the whole story out. The movie starts out with the death of Robin (Jason Todd) by the hands of The Joker. The story picks up 15 years later and a mob boss Black Mask is running Gotham, The Joker is locked up in Arkham and there’s a new guy running around as Red Hood. There’s a bit of cat and mouse between Batman and The Red Hood, where after one chase The Red Hood throws a bit of a clue to who he may be, Batman does get the proof he needs and has to confront Jason Todd.

The regret Batman has for being responsible for Jason’s death is touched on a few times throughout the film in flashbacks and conversations with Alfred. You have The Red Hood being a major nuisance to The Black Mask forcing him to feel he has one last option to get rid of The Red hood which brings us The Joker and ok climax. The fight scene between Batman and Jason isn’t great but picks up once their in the building where The Joker is being held. The back and forth between Batman and Jason does tell something about the restraint Batman has and him understanding that if he does kill someone who he as a person could become. Again having not read the comic all I have to go off is this movie and it felt right to have such a back and forth between Batman and Jason in the presence of The Joker. The Joker has been and may be with this whole new reboot thing the most dangerous villain in Batman’s rouge gallery.

It’s funny that this may be one of the few WB DC animated movies where the time being short felt right. The action in the movie keeps you interested and it is very violent. I mean people are being killed, not hurt bad but really killed. It felt like what you would expect from a Batman movie when thinking of the comics. From seeing but not really seeing Robin get beat with a crowbar by The Joker to The Joker cutting a mans throat and shooting three or four guys point blank range in a small room, you get that this has a different tone than other DC WB animated movies.  I was also surprised just how much the voice actors almost sound like those from the cartoon series. That is a good thing in some ways I guess because those voices are etched in peoples minds forever. WB can’t do animated movie dealing with Batman without people wanting Kevin Conroy being the voice of Batman. The animation was fine as always, well the movies I’ve seen the animation is fine. To me there aren’t really a lot of flaws with Under The Red Hood, it has somehow become a standout in the recent DC WB animated movies. If you’re a Batman fan or fan of what WB and DC have been doing these last few years and you for some reason haven’t seen this, you will enjoy it. I do have to state again it’s very violent. I’ve read on Amazon how some people couldn’t show it to their kids because it went so dark. Pass that it’s great, I wouldn’t sit little jimmy down and let him watch it because it’s definitely not The Bold And The Brave at all


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