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Movie Review

Batman: Under the Red Hood

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violent content and some drug references.

Reviewed by: Jacob Airey
CONTRIBUTOR

Average
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens Adults
Genre:
Action Animation
Length:
1 hr. 15 min.
Year of Release:
2010
USA Release:
DVD: July 27, 2010
Copyright, Warner Home Video click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Warner Home Video Copyright, Warner Home Video
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Warner Home Video

Justice

Justice of God

Just One

Judgment seat

Judge

Law

Righteousness


REVENGE—Love replaces hatred—former israeli soldier and an ex-PLO fighter prove peace is possible-but only with Jesus

Featuring: Bruce Greenwood (Batman / Bruce Wayne—voice), Jensen Ackles (Red Hood—voice), John Di Maggio (Joker / Additional Voices—voice), Neil Patrick Harris (Nightwing—voice), Jason Isaacs (Ra’s al Ghul—voice), Wade Williams (Black Mask—voice), Carlos Alazraqui (Chi Chi / Thug #1—voice), Robert Clotworthy (Leon / Thug—voice), Gary Cole (Bobo / Commissioner Gordon / Guard—voice), Brian George (Ra’s Assistant—voice), more »
Director: Brandon Vietti
Producer: DC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Animation, Alan Burnett, Benjamin Melniker, Bobbie Page, Sam Register, Bruce Timm, Michael Uslan
Distributor: Warner Home Video

“Dare to look beneath the hood”

Bruce Timm has done it again. After retiring what fans call the DC Animated Universe (The New Batman/Superman Adventures and Justice League), he has begun to produce movies based on DC Comics storylines. Batman: Under the Red Hood is the second solo Batman movie after Batman Gotham Knight. This new Batman movie combines elements from the comic book storyline Under the Hood and the older storyline Death In the Family. The former is relied more heavily on with the latter acting as simply a back story to the movie.

The story goes that Batman is facing a brand new threat. The villain Black Mask (first time animated movie appearance) has taken over all of the crime in Gotham City, however, a villain taking over the Joker’s old Red Hood persona has come to challenge his kingdom. The gang war accelerates out of control, with Batman and Nightwing (Dick Grayson, the original Robin), trying to settle the war before the circumstances get worse. However, Batman soon discovers that there is a mysterious link between this new Red Hood and Jason Todd (the second Boy Wonder, killed in action by the Joker at the beginning of the film). Black Mask, in desperation, turns to the one person crazy (quite literally) enough to take on the Red Hood, the Joker, leading to a calamity like no other.

This is definitely not a kid’s movie. While the film has no sexual content whatsoever, it does have vulgarity and several drug references. The violence in the film is typical of a PG-13 movie. It has lots of fight scenes and gunfire that will scare little children. There is a brief bloody scene where Red Hood jabs an assassin in the face with a taser. The camera moves away, but we see blood splatter. The Black Mask’s face is slightly disturbing. It is reminiscent of Marvel’s Red Skull, but looks charred.

From a Christian perspective, the movie deals a lot with justice and vengeance, a recurring theme in Batman titles. When asked why he does not kill the Joker, Batman explains that he wants to, but does not, because once he crosses the line, he cannot go back. God tells us in His Word that vengeance is His, and we should not take it for ourselves. He will take care of us and that He remembers all of our tears. Despite Batman’s violent approach to battling crime, his decision not to fight like the criminals he captures, makes him stand out as a hero.

Bottom line, I will say that while Bruce Greenwood and Joe DiMaggio do a great job as Batman and the Joker, no one beats (not even Bale and Ledger) Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill. They are still number one as the Caped Crusader and the Clown Prince of Crime. Batman fans like me will love this film. Those of you who like the animation style films will love it. Action film fans will adore it. Parents thinking this is related to the popular “Batman The Animated Series” will be disappointed. I must again stress this is not a kid’s film.

Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Mild / Sex/Nudity: None

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Positive
Positive—This is by far one of the best of the DC Universe films and definitely the darkest animated Batman film since “Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker.” The voice casting in this film is exceptional. Bruce Greenwood and Joe Dimaggio nail there roles as Batman and Joker respectively and truly give it the gritty feel the material deserves. As a Christian viewer and filmmaker, I am not opposed to violence when used to tell a compelling story as this one does. This is my complaint with films such as the “Left Behind” film series which abandoned the graphic nature of the source material in order to appeal to its Christian audience. I applaud this film for not watering down the source material to pander to a younger audience. It made an uncompromising film that was absolutely riveting from start to finish. I truly believe that Christian filmmakers should take a similar stance and make films that reach outside the church and reach the lost. Language wise, its pretty mild compared to what usually passes in a PG-13 film. “Batman: Under the Red Hood” is incredibly faithful to the Batman mythos and a great, great movie overall. This is one to see.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Will, age 35 (USA)
Negative

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