Ato reviews “Batman: Under The Red Hood”

“I have given a name to my pain, and it is Batman.”  So Batman has a great array of villains, who’s your favorite?  Riddler?   Catwoman? Bane?  Yeah Bane, now there’s a villain.  Come on, he broke Batman’s back into two.  It was awesome; the Knightfall comics was a great series to read and if you haven’t, do so.  Anyways for me, my favorite is still The Joker.  Now that might sound like a cop-out answer just because he’s the main villain, but it’s not, he’s a true psychopath, which makes it fun to read and watch.  But, I don’t wanna get into The Joker right now cause I wanna talk about a different villain, how people prefer The Red Hood?  Come on show the hands who?  No one.   Really?  What the hell.  Oh I get it, maybe you don’t really know who The Red Hood is, well now you’re in luck cause you can check out more about him, in today’s review of “Batman: Under the Red Hood.”

The animated movie is about the mystery of The Red Hood.  For once I actually like the plot summary that was on IMDB so I’m just going to quote that at this time, here we go:

“Batman faces his ultimate challenge as the mysterious Red Hood takes Gotham City by firestorm. One part vigilante, one part criminal kingpin, Red Hood begins cleaning up Gotham with the efficiency of Batman, but without following the same ethical code. Killing is an option. And when the Joker falls in the balance between the two, hard truths are revealed and old wounds are reopened.”

Thank you Anonymous writer who posted it on the web.  Okay I’m done quoting now on with the review.

So the story takes elements from two comic stories of Batman and made it one and then continued the story form there; “Batman: Death in the Family” and “Batman: The Killing Joke.”  The movie starts with the death of Jason Todd, the second Boy Wonder, almost like in “Death in the Family.”  Slight spin Jason Todd’s mother is not in the room when the Joker blows him up.  As for “The Killing Joke,” the comic is about Batman finding the Joker, but it also tells a story of how the Joker became the Joker.  Granted it is still one of many telling of the story, but that’s because no one really knows, and makes it more exciting, am I right?  Anyways in the comic, the man who would become the Joker was on a job with a red hood on and when he fought Batman, he fell into a vat of chemicals, which turns him into the Joker, kinda like how it was done in Tim Burton’s 1989 movie of Batman.

It was very interesting watching the blend of the two comics.  Especially with who and why, which is pretty much what the story is who is The Red Hood and why is he really doing this.  I’m glad to see that it married each other pretty well and was able to tell a really good story.  I don’t know why, but it always seems that every time they come up with a Batman animated movie the story is always well done.  “Mask of the Phantasm,” “Return of the Joker,” and even “Gotham Knight” all have great stories.  I’m glad to see the continuing of another great telling of the Bat.

As for the animation, it does remind me of the “Batman: The Animated Series.”  I miss that show so much, also “The Batman” wow what crap; I really wish that didn’t exist.  Luckily this movie looks and has the feel of the animated series, just like “Batman: Mask of the Phantasm.”  However unlike both “Phantasm” and “Animated Series,” they obviously used more CGI, especially during the car chases.  I wish they didn’t just to keep the feel the same throughout.  But maybe that’s just me.

I also wish that they didn’t change the voices form the “Animated Series.”  They have Bruce Greenwood (Captain Pike in 2009’s “Star Trek”) doing Batman and Bruce Wayne.  Jim Piddock doing Alfred, and John Di Maggio voicing the Joker.  I’m sorry, but Kevin Conroy is the voice of Batman; don’t change that.   Just like, Efrem Zimbalist Jr. is the voice of Alfred.  Now as I watched the film, I was able to accept it even though I didn’t really want to, but no one and I mean NO ONE does the Joker like Mark Hamill.  During the entire movie I just could not accept it, John Di Maggio tried and failed.  It even sounded like they told John to be more like Mark.  Now, I don’t know about you, but if that was the notes he was given while recording the voice, then get Mark Hamill to do it.  Honestly, I really don’t see why they had to change it, he still does the voice of The Joker, AAAAAAAHH!, sorry that really made me mad.  Also, in the movie is, Nightwing aka Dick Grayson, the first Robin.  Even thought they didn’t get Loren Glester to voice him, I was perfectly okay with the new voice, Neil Patrick Harris.  It might just be me, but you just can’t go wrong with NPH.

Now the good thing about this movie is that if you haven’t read “The Killing Joke” or “Death in the Family” it’s ok, you can still watch the film.  It does allow the viewer who knows neither story to understand what’s going on.  Which was something I was afraid of while watching it, but trust me you won’t get lost in the shuffle.  However the Joker does say one or two things that reference the “The Killing Joke.”  The ending of the story is a little open ended, but its ok cause the very very ending is done well.  I can’t say more about it you’ll just have to watch.  Ra’s Al Ghul and The Riddler also make appearances.  Over all I give the movie a 7.5.  It would have gotten an 8 if they had the original voices form “The Animated Series.”  Again, I stress get Mark Hamill.  Ok that’s now out of my system.  “Batman: Under the Red Hood” is currently on DVD go and get it.  The two disk DVD also come with two episodes from “The Animated Series” and a Batmobile.

Ok, maybe not a Batmobile, maybe I just really want one.

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