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YMMV / Batman: Under the Red Hood

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Jason himself seems unsure if his new outlook on life is due to the Lazarus Pit's influence or his true personality coming out of the woodworks. Though he claims it's the latter, the evidence doesn't lend to it with how Jason as Robin would defer to Batman and follow his lead, albeit reluctantly. Or, he could be lashing out from the trauma of being beaten to death and then blown up and is expressing his anger in an unhealthy fashion.
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  • Author's Saving Throw: Many fans prefer the film's explanation for Jason's resurrection note  over the comic one note , since the film version simplifies things and keeps things condensed to Batman's corner of the DC Universe. Newer versions of Jason's story in the comics borrow from this.
  • Better Than Canon: As stated under Author's Saving Throw above, fans preferred this film's simplified explanation as to how Jason came back, over the comic book version.
  • Catharsis Factor: The Red Hood earns Rooting for the Empire points with his actions. He unleashes a machine gun on Black Mask's drug dealers, aiming a gun at the man in question, and showing The Joker exactly what it's like to be beaten up with a crowbar while tied up, even managing to get the clown to panic in fear . The last scene is pretty awesome even as it shows Jason has no more compunctions.
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  • Complete Monster: The Joker opens up the film by brutally beating the young Jason Todd, the second Robin, to a bloody pulp with a crowbar, before leaving him to die in an explosion he sets off. After Joker is released by a reluctant Black Mask from Arkham Asylum to kill Red Hood, Joker demonstrates his propensity for random violence by slitting the throat of one of his guards and shooting the other four dead, and soon after backstabs Black Mask by gagging him and the members of both his and Red Hood's gang, intending to burn them all alive for the purpose of getting Red Hood's attention. Once it's revealed Red Hood is in fact a resurrected Jason Todd and Batman turns the tides against Red Hood in the final confrontation, Joker tries to pin Batman down for the purpose of dying with both his arch-rival and Red Hood in an exploding building, absolutely ecstatic that he gets to die getting everything he wants.
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  • Crosses the Line Twice: The Joker, as usual, has a sense of humor that is both depraved and oddly amusing. His reaction to finding out that Jason Todd was behind it all is to ask for a picture of the pair "with the crowbar".
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
  • Evil Is Cool: The Red Hood is a criminal, but an incredibly badass criminal who operates under a moral code, makes mincemeat of the Black Mask, and seriously challenges Batman's moral code.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Crossing over into Tear Jerker — Red Hood's boast about becoming a better Batman than Bruce becomes harder to swallow after the Young Justice (2010) episode "Agendas", where Batman admits that he trained Dick as Robin to ensure that he wouldn't turn out like him.
    • Batman's It Gets Easier rationalization for why he won’t break his one rule even for someone like the Joker is proven to be true come Crisis on Infinite Earths (2019). In the latter, we're introduced to a Batman who did break that rule... And indeed, he wasn't able to stop, ultimately culminating in him murdering his world's Superman.
    • Batman's It Gets Easier rationalization is echoed in the dark multiverse, where on Earth -22 he kills Joker, and "never comes back" as he became the Batman Who Laughs due to Joker's toxin.
      Batman: It'd be too damned easy. All I've ever wanted to do is kill him. A day doesn't go by when I don't think about subjecting him to every horrendous torture he's dealt out to others and then... end him. [...] But if I do that, if I allow myself to go down into that place, I'll never come back.
    • Thanks to some of choices allowed in the follow-up DC Showcase – Batman: Death in the Family, Jason can make good on his comment about killing Joker if he'd killed Bruce as the "Batman saves Jason" paths do show Bruce being killed by the bomb instead of Jason.
  • He Really Can Act:
    • Many a fan doubted that John DiMaggio could pull off The Joker, but once they actually saw the movie, they quickly changed their minds.
    • Jensen Ackles as Jason raised some eyebrows, but he silenced everyone with a heartbreaking performance, especially in his final scene.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: Among the names Jason lists of the villains who he's not asking Bruce to kill is Two-Face and even went as far as to refer to him by his real last name. The follow-up film, DC Showcase – Batman: Death in the Family, confirms that like in Post-Crisis comics, Harvey killed Jason's dad, so he is stating he's not asking Bruce to kill his father's murderer and even called his dad's killer by his real name instead of his codename.
  • It Was His Sled: A resurrected Jason Todd, the second Robin, is the Red Hood. For comic book fans, this is common knowledge and the film barely tries to treat it as a genuine mystery.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Jason Todd/Robin II/Red Hood. He may be a murderer who straddles the line of Anti-Hero and Anti-Villain, but damn if you don't feel sorry for him and even understand some of what he does.
    • Ra's al Ghul. Despite his being a ruthless supervillain who, as Batman says, has never shied away from shedding blood, his deep remorse and sorrow over Jason's fate, resurrection, and subsequent rampage are clearly heartfelt and genuine.
  • Love to Hate: The Joker is a mind-blowingly evil, sick, and twisted man with an especially grotesque sense of humor. But this is why he's so memorable.
  • Magnificent Bastard: The titular "Red Hood" is in truth the resurrected second Robin, Jason Todd, revived from his brutal death at the hands of The Joker and seeking both revenge and to continue his war on crime. Deciding that crime can't be stopped, merely managed, Red Hood is introduced taking control of a massive chunk of Gotham's crime bosses, showing them the heads of their lieutenants and threatening to do worse to them should they refuse his rule, Red Hood prohibits the sale of drugs to children and creates a far more organized crime syndicate while taking on the last established boss, Black Mask. Red Hood routinely outsmarts and humiliates Black Mask while simultaneously evading capture from his former mentor Batman, and soon enough, Red Hood's master plan to drive Black Mask into releasing the Joker comes to fruition. Capturing his killer, Red Hood brutalizes Joker and then confronts Batman over his no-killing rule, calling him out on not avenging Jason Todd when Joker killed him before trying to coax Batman into finishing the Joker off once and for all. Giving Batman one of the harshest moral, physical, and intellectual battles of his life, Red Hood very nearly succeeds in his schemes, and serves as a testament that Batman's more lenient methods may not be the best way to handle Gotham's crime.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Variations of this piece of dialogue, swapping out Batman, Jason and Joker for other characters/parties:
      Jason Todd: Bruce, I forgive you for not saving me. But why, why on God's he [Joker] still alive?!
    • The comic itself is somewhat of an inversion. A popular phrase used to be "Nobody stays dead in comics except Bucky Barnes, Jason Todd, and Uncle Ben". Due to Captain America: Winter Soldier being released the same year, Uncle Ben is now the only one who's stayed dead.note 
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • The Joker crosses his in the film's opening scene, as he savagely beats Jason, then leaves him to die.
    • Red Hood killing the Joker would not be this. Him handing Batman a pistol and telling him to do it is. Red Hood has had ample time and opportunity to kill the Joker if he really wanted to, but here he shows that what he really wants is for Batman to demonstrate he'd be willing to break his moral code for the Red Hood's sake, a demand that boils down to Red Hood's selfish interest that Batman demonstrate he's the most important person in his life. If that still doesn't count, he definitely crosses it when he fires at Batman when he tries to walk away.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • The general plot - a mysterious opponent who is eventually revealed to be someone from Bruce's past ends up fighting alongside Batman when Joker takes over the plot - was used earlier in Batman: Mask of the Phantasm.
    • This is not the first time that Jason got killed, resurrected and turned against Batman before, as there is a similar plot in the Amalgam Universe nine years before Jason was canonically resurrected as Red Hood.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Talia al Ghul appears only briefly, Evil Is Sexy as always and wielding a Luger.
  • Rooting for the Empire: More than a few fans sided with Jason in the film's climax and wanted him to kill the Joker, both to avenge his own torture at the villain's hands and all the Joker's other monstrous crimes. He only crosses the line by trying to force Bruce to do it.
  • Signature Scene:
    • The final confrontation between Batman, Red Hood, and the Joker.
    • The Joker's vicious and gruesome killing of Black Mask's henchman with a glass of water.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Even though Red Hood is revealed to be Jason Todd and thus someone with a very personal connection to the entire Bat-Family, he never interacts with either Nightwing or Alfred despite both being in the movie, and the latter in-particular taking news of Jason's resurrection and fall to villainy almost as badly as Bruce does. It especially is a shame because Dick treated Jason as his kid brother and was devastated when he died in the comics.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Batman claims the reason why he didn't kill the Joker, even after the clown killed his surrogate son, was because he was afraid of losing his soul. However, a lot of people don't exactly sympathize with this reason.
    • The Red Hood is clearly off the deep end and has committed serious crimes, but he still manages to retain a moral code in his criminal enterprise. Jason himself says he would never murder the less evil of Batman's Rogue Gallery who haven't crossed any serious lines. Killing one extremely monstrous human being doesn't automatically make you a completely evil monster.
    • The Joker's very existence is causing human beings as much pain and suffering as possible. Some find Batman allowing this man to live is plain irresponsible. Killing him can easily be argued as self-defense.
  • What The Hell, Casting Agency?:
    • Reactions to John DiMaggio's casting as Joker were... mixed, to say the least. The release of the character models featuring a burlier-than-usual Joker eased concerns somewhat. Then the film was released and a lot of those who doubted he could pull off the role did a complete 180.
    • Audiences were also skeptical of Jensen Ackles playing a lead character, as he had never done voice acting work prior to this film. Again, he proved them wrong.
    • And anyone other than Kevin Conroy as Batman raises suspicions. But Bruce Greenwood did a good job, especially as a Batman who's supposed to be a little older than we normally see him (though he's one year younger than Kevin Conroy). He would later reprise the role for Young Justice (2010) where he received even more praise as a Batman who's decidedly a very good and encouraging mentor.