Bruce Greenwood – Batman
Jensen Ackles – Red Hood
Jon Di Maggio – The Joker
Neil Patrick Harris – Nightwing
Jason Isaacs – Ra’s al Ghul
Batman is put to the ultimate challenge physically and morally as the mysterious Red Hood tries to take over Gotham City.
I know what you are thinking, ‘”a review of a direct-to-DVD animated Batman film?” But do not be mistaken, the animated Batman films are without a doubt the most loyal, accurate, and interesting adaptations of the comic book hero. Apart from Christopher Nolan’s looks at the infamous character, these animated films are what a Batman fan should look to.
Due to the fact that the animators have nothing to prove as far as action scenes and special effects go, they have more time to focus on storyline and character. The best Batman stories are always mysteries that incorporate the character’s inner struggles with morality and his tragic past. Under the Red Hood is easily the best animated Batman film since Mask of the Phantasm, which was really like The Dark Knight of its day (to me anyways). The climax of the film is really the highlight of the film, as it takes everything before it to another level. Batman is faced with a new challenge that has no easy outcome.
While this will still be looked at as more of a kid’s film, believe me it is none of the sort. The film opens with a very brutal scene involving The Joker, and it carries a very dark tone throughout. There is a scene that could be cut from the film, as it is really only there to have an extended fight scene as it is Batman’s true entrance. Although, that scene seems to be it’s only real flaw.
The film features some exciting and stylish action scenes, as well as a few intense chase scenes. Even though it features a lot of action, it nicely weaves in a lot of tense scenes involving morality and Batman’s haunted past. The cast of voices does a very nice job here as well. Overall, I can highly recommend this film for fans of the animated series.
Rating: PG-13 for violent content and some drug references
Runtime: 75 minutes