DVD Review – Batman: Under the Red Hood

Thanks for checking out our Under the Red Hood Review

Genre: Action
Directed by: Brandon Vietti
Staring: Bruce Greenwood, Jensen Ackles, John Di Maggio, Neil Patrick Harris, Jason Isaacs, Wade Williams
Released: July 27, 2010


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.


This explores an amazing storyline in the Batman comic books that I never thought I would see in film. Animation was the best way to go about this, but don’t let that fool you. This is not a kids cartoon; it is a very mature storyline.

The story is deep and has a LOT of history in the comics, but the film does an amazing job of illustrating this history appropriately so you are not lost. We get to see the original Robin, we see him grown up as Nightwing. We see the second Robin Jason Todd being brutally beaten and killed by the Joker. Its graphic.

The voice acting on this is amazing. Greenwood is the voice of Batman. And we are introduced to the super chatty and energetic first Robin, his evolution into a grown up Nightwing is perfectly given with Neil Patrick Harris behind his voice. And Di Maggio’s Joker is delicious too. I didn’t think I would ever say it, but I liked it better than Mark Hammil’s Joker.

But doing the voices is only half the job. Its the dialogue that lands it home. You FEEL how important these relationships are, and you sense the history from one character to another. Even the interactions between Batman and Joker are excelent as every word illustrates just where they stand with each other.

But the real star is the new menace Red Hood. Not the first villain to use the name and guise, and that history is explained as well. But Jensen Ackles has a knack for putting PAIN to his voice. And the Red hood is a great Villain. This is what solidifies the story for me. A badguy is fine, but a badguy you empathize with and struggle to see his way with is amazing and that happens here.


Sometimes in the voice actors performances you hear a hint or phrase that pulls you out. DiMaggio’s Joker is Amazing but briefly I hear Bender from Futurama in there. And Neil Patrick Harris does an amazing Grayson/Nightwing, but its still a trademarked NPH in there. This distracted me a few times during the film and while a very minor thing, it did pull me out of the illusion if only very briefly.


The film deals with a LOT of history and character development and still has time for action and excitement with a LARGE cast of players in its run time, and does it so extremely well. There were some changes from the comic book version, but very few and none that ruin the transition. It is fairly faithful.

There are some storylines that while amazing in the books are only amazing because they delve so deep into the character’s history. This makes them very hard to present in a film because you have to share all that history and still keep in the story. I look forward to other feature presentations like this that handle depth as well as this one did.

I give Under the Red Hood a 9.5 out of 10


On a side note, the BluRay came with a short film of Jonah Hex.

The story kind of picks up midstream as we see a man traveling through a western town fall victim to a very sexy tavern harlot. Then Jonah Hex – a bounty hunter comes looking for the man and finds himself dealing with the seductress instead.

Its a good little story and fun to see. The animation style was good for the most part, but the “glow” effect used to imply the women had makeup on was distracting.

It was a light story that doesn’t touch at all into the supernatural side of Hex, but worth the bonus feature. I dont know that I would have wanted a whole film of that. But it was a cool little side story.

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15 thoughts on “DVD Review – Batman: Under the Red Hood

  1. I swear I’d left a comment here before…

    Anyways, just watched this on Netflix – was amazing. As you know, I don’t delve into the comic book world too often… so for me to be able to jump right into this and understand it… well, that just goes to show how well the film was projected from comic to animation.

    1. (Yeah, I know this is a reply to a comment from a year ago . . .)

      I checked this out on Netflix as well and was really pleasantly surprised. As Rodney says in his review, the voice acting is excellent and the storyline manages to be mile-a-minute, jam-packed and yet still very easy to follow.

      I used to watch Batman: The Animated Series when I was younger, and I have a lot of fond feelings for the series, though I never really read the comic books. Still, this was a fun, yet dark Gotham excursion. I do have to say though, THAT SCENE at the beginning between Robin and the Joker left me a little horrified at its brutality. Yikes.

  2. Bought this on blu Ray the day it came out. This movie is a masterpiece in the animation realm. I mean the pain,remorse,and regret that they were able to capture at the end with Batman and red hood(don’t want to give identity away if someone hasn’t see it yet)was just amazing. The scene was just powerful for an animation movie and made you really feel for those characters. The voice work to me was perfect,everyone captured the characters personalities and really delivered. The artwork was very well done and captured the mood and grittness of Gotham city. I would personally state that I thought this was better than mask of the phantasm not taking anything away from that movie there both excellent. The Jonah hex short that was included was good and captured the spiritof the character, but I enjoyed the spectre short on jl:crisis on two earths better. That all being said I can in all honesty give this a 10/10 and say that marvel animation can learn a thing or two from DC. Sorry this was so long lol

  3. Thank you for a good review, Rodney-san. I especially like your clever and accurate description of how Jensen Ackles has a knack for putting PAIN to his voice. :D I couldn’t agree more! I like this movie and would give it 8.5 out of 10 (10 being the highest score).

  4. I just saw it and it was amazing. The story the movie was based on is one of my favorite Batman stories from the comics and I was a bit worried that they wouldn’t be able to pull it in movie form but they did. It’s amazing. Just amazing. The best original DC animated movie so far.

  5. I love that both Marvel and DC are completely embracing how truly violent their comics are when brought to the screen, instead of GI Joe’ing it all up. Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Planet Hulk and others are just really bringing the heat!

  6. just finished it…really good. Goes well with the original storyline. Kinda sad at the end but it is a great movie especially if you like batman.

  7. It is pretty close to the comic storyline that it is based off of. I think that Joe “Bender/ Simon Fenix” DiMaggio did a good job as the Joker. But I don’t think it was as good as Hamil’s Joker but close up there. I did enjoy this film and hope they make more like this.

  8. Wow. I watched this for 4 times and it keeps getting better . This would be so awesome if translated into a live-action movie. Great voice acting by Jensen Ackles and Bruce Greenwood.

  9. Ah man I got to see this asap…..might take off at lunch to go buy it and watch it at work today wooot. And wow better then Mark Hamills Joker! awesome.

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