BATMAN: UNDER THE RED HOOD is a new release from Warner Animation. The Red Hood goes back in Batman lore all the way to the beginning. A guise of a criminal mastermind, he’s confronted by Batman and, attempting to escape, falls into a vat of chemicals, thus came the origin of the Joker!
The whole thing has changed several times over the years, with various writers and situations.
The direct to video film opens with the death of the second Robin, Jason Todd, at the hands of the Joker. A vicious beating with a crowbar is followed up with an explosion that levels the building and finishes the job-just as Batman arrives.
Then five years later, a meeting of the drug kingpins is called and none of them claimed to have arranged it. That’s when the Red Hood shows and declared it was him. Here’s his proposition. They carry on business as usual and send him forty percent of their profit. For that he will protect them from both Black Mask, the crime overlord that controls Gotham City, and Batman. His only caveat is they don’t sell to children. To reinforce his claim, he throws down a duffel bag full of heads, those of each drug lord’s lieutenant.
Battles ensue with Black Mask and Batman. No one knows the identity of the Red Hood, though Batman starts to figure it out, impossible as it seems, at the end of an encounter when Red Hood gives a parting shot, “You haven’t lost it.”
The film has a lot of familiar faces. Nightwing participates briefly. The Joker, after being broken out of Arkham Asylum by Black Mask, plays a significant role. The Riddler appears in a brief flashback. Alfred is there of course. Ra’s Al Khul even has a meaty role. No Commissioner Gordon or Batgirl though.
Lots of action as one would expect, superb animation, and including the voices of Bruce Greenwood(Batman), Jensen Ackles(Red Hood), and Neil Patrick Harris(Nightwing).
Worth checking out.