Reviews: Batman Under The Red Hood

Actually made me like the character

Now, I am an enthusiastic Batman fan. That said, I'm not a big fan of the new incarnation of the Red Hood. Mostly because of who the character turns out to be, and how he was made the way he is in the comics. If you're a die-hard Batman fan, or just really observant, you can figure out who it is rather quickly.

But this film, cutting out all the silly parts of the comic that felt out of place in a Batman book, and actually providing a more... well, Batman-ish explanation, has actually made me really like the character of the Red Hood. I kind of hope DC release a sequel to this film so we can see more of him.

Spoiler-free synopsis: A new crime boss has arrived in Gotham. He calls himself the Red Hood, and he is a combination of criminal mastermind and vigilante, a Batman who has no problem with killing criminals. And as Batman attempts to find out the true identity of the well trained newcomer, the outcome will have repercussions on one of the greatest tragedies in the Dark Knight's past.

Now, without spoiling it, this is by far one, if not the best, animated films featuring Batman in a starring role. Comparisons have been made that this is the animated equivalent of "The Dark Knight." While I feel that can be a little generous, the quality of this film cannot be ignored. We have well animated chase and action sequences, and the choreography of the fights actually had my jaw on the floor and my hand on the remote control rewinding so I could see again how that sequence went.

Story-wise, this has a lot of what makes a good Batman story. What that means is it is dark and atmospheric, has its moments of humor, tragedy and drama. And like any good Batman story, it asks the question of why Batman is the way he is, and what drives him that way. While I highly recommend this film to Batman fans, I must warn parents NOT to just put this on for their small children. There are scenes of brutal violence and drug references. This is as dark as it can get while not going to an R-rated. Now that you've been warned, go and enjoy this film.