Batman: Under the Red Hood: A Review

by on July 27th, 2010
9 CommentsComments

Hey guys,
You can see my video review in an upcoming edition of the Naked Nerd on Naked News. But for now, since the Batman: Under the Red Hood DVD is out today, let me tell you why you should by it.

Here’s the trailer:

Now, as the latest in the WB direct-to-DVD series, Under The Red Hood has a LOT to live up to. I mean, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern: First Flight were so good, that I think they could have been animated blockbusters, had they been given a theatrical release. So I went into the theatre, like any fanboy or girl, with high hopes.

The basic storyline is this: Batman’s facing a vigilante who intends to elimate crime in Gotham…sounds great, right? Only, problem is, the new guy doesn’t have a problem with brutally assassinating everyone in his way to do it.

Well, Under The Red Hood did NOT disappoint. The film starts out with a poignant, heartwrenching scene that seets the tone for the entire movie. I’m not going to lie, even though I read the comic books this was drawn from(Batman: A Death In The Family, and Under The Hood), I still sobbed like a little sissy bitch. Unlike many films, this one does not draw out the opening setup. The opening scene is succinct, brutal, and powerful. The entire movie plays out this way, with every second filled with a brilliantly well-crafted concoction of exposition and seat-of-your-pants action, with healthy dashes of humor supplied by Neil Patrick Harris’ witty Nightwing, and John DiMaggio as a brilliantly psychotic Joker. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Mark Hamill as the Joker as much as anyone, but DiMaggio definitely brings his A-game to the role. Another thing worth mentioning about the humor is that it’s not overused. Too often, especially in animated films, I find that most stories fill plotholes with an overuse af slapstick. This is not the case with Under The Red Hood, most likely because there’s no plot holes to fill. The story is incredibly written, and does a great job of honoring the source material- as well it should, since it was written by Judd Winick, the award-winning writer who wrote both the original storylines that Under The Red Hood was based upon. The animation is slick, and the voice acting is amazing.

Be sure to check out some of the DVD extras as well.

There’s an animated Jonah Hex short on the DVD, which is a great little highlight of one of the lesser-known characters, and a featurette on the original Robin, Dick Grayson, including two Robin-themed episodes from the Batman animated series. One qualm I had with the DVD: the story focuses on Jason Todd, so why a featurette on Dick Grayson? And if we’re doing a Robin featurette, why not mention Tim Drake as well?

Those minor issues notwithstanding, this DVD is worth every penny. The film is beautiful, dark, and incredibly well-written. Don’t buy this one for your ten-year-old, because the violence in this flick is definitely for the “teen-and-older” crowd, but buy it for yourself. You’ll love it.

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  • Rafael

    So, no such thing as Superboy Prime ‘punching the reality’? What explanation they used to justify Jason’s comeback?

  • Anthony Mark

    awesome review by the Kat on the BAT!

  • Brett Brooks

    I agree. This movie was surprisingly strong. Judd Winick did an amazing job with the script, and turned his comic into a strong, tight animated movie. It holds up to any other Batman movie–animated or live-action–that has been done to date.

  • Searcher

    Sounds great, Kat!

    As I’ve already told you on twitter yesterday, so I’m going to give you some feedback about it when I’ve received it in the mail.

    One of your quadrillions of loyal minions,

  • Chris

    EGADS… The self-proclaimed spelling and grammar junkie… mistaking by for buy. The world will come to an end! (See? That’s what happens when ya type too quickly, Ms. Curtis)

    Otherwise, I loved the review. I am not going to buy the dvd though. It sounds a bit too violent for me. Glad you seem to have enjoyed it, however. You write one helluva review!

  • JB

    After the last GL film I know I will enjoy this. Release date NZ 8th september… blarg.

  • Charles

    Wow, Sounds great. I can’t wait to see it.
    Thanks for the review Kat!

  • Viktor

    I liked the film, too. It had some memorably scenes (mainly involving the Joker and Red Hood). The climax was surprisingly intriguing.

    But I didn’t care for John DiMaggio’s Joker all that much. I prefer a more high-pitched, dorkier-sounding Joker. Both Ledger and Hamill have done great Joker voices. And DiMaggio sounded a bit too much like his Bender towards the end of the film. But he did a good enough job.

  • Searcher

    Kat, I’ve just watched the movie, so here’s the comment I promised you on twitter earlier today. Now, I know you’re very busy, so I’ll keep this short and concise:

    Frankly, I love this movie; and I find this to be the most mature animated Batman-feature to date. The storytelling is powerful, and the action-scenes are some of the best I’ve seen in an animated movie since Appleseed. The voice-acting is first-rate as well. Also, without giving away spoilers, the end-scene was heartwrenching. Why this wasn’t given a theatrical release is a mystery to me.

    As for the Jonah Hex-short: I am not really familiar with the character beyond the cameo-appearances he had in Batman TAS: Season 3 and Justice League: Unlimited but this was surprisingly good. It was dark and brutally violent, and the end was pretty disturbing as well.

    I am not disappointed, Kat!

    One of your quadrillions of loyal minions,

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