A fearsome new vigilante arrives in Gotham City to clean
up the city's criminals in ways that Batman never could.
Batman: Under the Red Hood (2010)
Directed by Brandon Vietti
Written by Judd Winick
Starring Bruce Greenwood, Jensen Ackles, John DiMaggio,
Neil Patrick Harris, Jason Isaacs, Wade Williams, Kelly Hu,
Gary Cole, Jim Piddock, Kevin Michael Richardson
Based on characters from DC Comics
Under the Red Hood is one of the most tragic Batman stories, and one of DC's best animated movies. The voice work is fantastic, the animation is so fluid, and the story just pops. You can feel the damage that's been done to these characters thanks to the insanity of the Joker, and the wounds never really healed. This film revolves almost entirely around the identity of the mysterious Red Hood, though comic fans know who it is immediately. Jason Todd, Batman's second Robin who was murdered by the Joker and brought back to life by Ra's al Ghul.
Todd is voiced by Jensen Ackles, and he does a phenomenal job of relaying the character's anger, fear, and sense of betrayal that gives the audience conflicted feelings about the character. It's a great vocal performance, and he shines alongside Bruce Greenwood's version of Batman. John DiMaggio does a surprisingly good Joker, though there are times where I just hear Bender Bending Rodriguez. Still, he does his best not to imitate Mark Hamill and go for his own thing. I also think it's cool that Black Mask gets some time to shine, as he's one of Batman's rogues that always gets overshadowed.
Under the Red Hood is a solid Batman adventure for longtime fans, and a great adaptation of one of DC's most polarizing stories. Jason Todd was reviled by fans for many years, and the decision to kill him off in the comics was decided by the fans themselves. Bringing him back was a game-changer that reinvented the character as the Red Hood, and ultimately gave us this wildly entertaining movie.