Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Batman: Under the Red Hood (Brandon Vietti, 2010) Review

So if Mask of the Phantasm was just a movie for the animated series, was this film just a spur of the moment? This wasn't really based on a specific Batman medium other than adapting the 'Death in the Family' comic so I guess it makes it special. I would gladly have liked this film to be in the cinemas because I think the animated Batman films need more love. Well then, let's get this show on the road...

After a recent run in with the Joker (John DiMaggio), the second Robin/Jason Todd (Jensen Ackles) is killed leaving Batman (Bruce Greenwood) in mourning over the loss of his sidekick. Back at Gotham, a new villain known as the Red Hood has taken control of the mobs in the city which puts him in strict competition with Black Mask (Wade Williams). Batman teams up with the first Robin, Nightwing (Neil Patrick-Harris), in order to find out who the Red Hood really is and how Joker and Ra's Al Ghul (Jason Issacs) are connected.

The main reason I wanted to see this on the big screen was because the animation is amazing. It has a great animation style  I know that Batman is really about colour but it looks very nice and compliments the smooth animation. The focus on action and loads of dark moments (and incredibly violent) makes this one of the most accurate Batman adaptations based on one of the best stories in the comics. It's also great to see Black Mask get a big role for once. He wasn't in any episodes of the show or films and his role in Arkham City is just... pitiful. I'm glad he was finally given some dignity.

John DiMaggio steals the show which I guess is to be expected if you play the Joker. I was sceptical after Mark Hamill retired from the role and I can safely say that I want DiMaggio to voice the Joker more in the future. Other casts members are pretty good like Neil Patrick Harris and Jensen Ackles but Jason Issacs' role as Ra's Al Ghul is pretty forgettable and I have to wonder why they didn't bother to get Kevin Conroy to play Batman. Ah well, it all comes together as a great film nonetheless.

Batman: Under the Red Hood is only a bit worse than Mask of the Phantasm but I was tempted to say they were both equal (just imagine this is 89% and the other is 90%). The plot is well written and leads to an excellent twist (if a bit predictable). I recommend this to anyone that considers themselves a Batman fan...also watch Mask of the Phantasm. They are both excellent films that rival the phenomenal Dark Knight Trilogy.

A well animated adaptation of a classic comic story. The new cast does a good job and is just as good as Mask of the Phantasm.

Yes! I didn't mention that Red Hood is basically DC's answer to Deadpool...oh wait, I just mentioned it...oops.

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