Batman: Under the Red Hood

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This article is about the animated film. For the comic book, see Under the Hood.
Batman: Under the Red Hood
Batman under the red hood poster.jpg
Two-Disc Special Edition DVD cover art
Directed by Brandon Vietti
Produced by Bruce Timm
Bobbi Page
Written by Judd Winick
Based on Batman: Under the Hood 
by Judd Winick
Starring Bruce Greenwood
Jensen Ackles
John DiMaggio
Neil Patrick Harris
Jason Isaacs
Wade Williams
Music by Christopher Drake
Edited by Margaret Hou
Production
company
Distributed by Warner Home Video
Release dates
  • July 27, 2010 (2010-07-27)
Running time 75 minutes[2]
Country United States
Language English
Box office $10,227,455[3]

Batman: Under the Red Hood is a 2010 American computer-animated superhero film produced by Warner Bros. Animation and released by Warner Home Video.[4] It is the eight animated feature in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies series. It was released on July 27, 2010. The film stars Bruce Greenwood as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Jensen Ackles as the Red Hood/Jason Todd, John DiMaggio as the Joker, Neil Patrick Harris as Nightwing/Dick Grayson, Jason Isaacs as Ra's Al Ghul, and Wade Williams as Black Mask. The screenplay was written by Judd Winick, who also wrote the "Under the Hood" run in the monthly Batman comic.

The two-disc special edition and Blu-ray also includes an animated short featuring Jonah Hex.[5][6]

Plot[edit]

At a manor in Sarajevo, Ra's al Ghul ruefully realises his mistake in allying himself with the Joker, while his assistant informs him that the Joker has captured Jason Todd, the second Robin. In a warehouse, the Joker brutally beats Jason with a crowbar while Batman races there. Joker then leaves the warehouse and traps a half-dead Jason inside. Although Jason attempts to escape, a planted explosive destroys the building before Batman can rescue Jason.

Five years later in Gotham City, a masked criminal called the Red Hood takes command of the drug trade, assuring eight prominent drug lords protection from Batman and crime boss Black Mask and more money in return. Elsewhere, Batman intercepts a stolen truck carrying Amazo, an android weapon, and Nightwing arrives to help take it down. The drivers reveal they were under Red Hood’s orders before being assassinated by their employer. Batman gives chase and eventually ends up at the chemical plant that created the Joker, who was the original Red Hood. The current Red Hood confronts Batman and comments, before escaping, that it is the site of Batman's first great failure.

Regrouping, Batman and Nightwing check on the Red Hood's movements. Since the Red Hood had appeared, drug trafficking is high, but crime as a whole is down in Gotham. Afterward, they interrogate the Joker at Arkham Asylum about Red Hood; the clown merely taunts them with Jason's death and denies involvement. Angered over his stolen android, Black Mask puts out a hit on Red Hood, who promptly hijacks another weapon shipment, with Batman and Nightwing interrupting. During a chase over the city rooftops, Red Hood displays physical skills similar to Batman and Nightwing's. Red Hood then eludes them at a train station, where a planted bomb explodes and injures Nightwing's leg. Back at the Batcave, Batman sends Nightwing home and then discovers Red Hood knows his secret identity.

Batman also recalls that Jason once used such escape maneuvers, and that he became violent and impulsive, as he grew older. Meanwhile, the Fearsome Hand of Four, a group of four assassins working for Black Mask, attacks Red Hood. He stalls them to lure Batman out, and together they incapacitate three while Red Hood kills one. When Batman confronts him about it, Red Hood insists that he is doing what the Dark Knight is unwilling to do by killing criminals who step out of line. Batman offers to help Red Hood, who refuses and leaves. Batman later uses a blood sample from the battle to confirm that Red Hood is in fact Jason Todd, back from the dead. Meanwhile, Red Hood fires a rocket-propelled grenade into Black Mask's office, nearly killing the crime lord. Pushed to his breaking point, Black Mask cuts a deal with the Joker: He will be released from Arkham in exchange for killing Red Hood.

Bruce discovers the body in Jason’s coffin is a fake. Enraged, he visits Ra's al Ghul for the truth. Ra's reveals that five years previous he commissioned the Joker to distract the Dynamic Duo during their investigation of one of Ra's' terrorist plots, but the clown kidnapped and murdered Jason, which Ra's saw as unnecessary. To make amends, Ra's chose not to make war with Batman anymore, and attempted to revive Jason in the Lazarus Pit, which yielded disastrous results: Jason was driven over the edge by the chemicals in the pit, and fled. Meanwhile, the Joker abducts Black Mask and his associates and tries to burn them alive in a bid for Red Hood’s attention. Red Hood reveals his plan the whole time was to intimidate Black Mask into freeing the Joker so he could arrange a meeting. Batman intervenes, saving Black Mask and his underlings, but Red Hood gets away with a captured Joker in tow.

Red Hood takes the Joker to an abandoned apartment and savagely beats him with a crowbar the same way he was beaten five years ago. He then meets Batman in Crime Alley, where they first met, and they get into a fight that culminates with Jason holding Batman at gunpoint and demanding to know why he has not killed the Joker. Batman says that although he has thought every day about killing the Joker, he cannot bring himself to do it — he knows if he starts killing, he will never stop. Jason gives Batman a gun and an ultimatum: Either Jason will shoot the Joker, or Batman has to shoot Jason to stop him. Batman silently declines participation, drops the gun, and walks away. Angry and hurt, Jason shoots his gun at the back of his former mentor, but Batman dodges the bullet. Batman then disables Jason's gun with a batarang. Jason activates a bomb, and slumps to the ground, defeated.

Batman tries to defuse the bomb, but the Joker stands in the way, determined to see that they all die together. Batman knocks the Joker aside to try to save Jason as the explosive goes off. When the smoke clears, the Joker and Batman are revealed to have survived, but Jason is nowhere to be found. In the aftermath of the incident, a news report reveals that the Joker was returned to Arkham and Black Mask is back on the streets after paying a million dollars bail. At the Batcave, Alfred Pennyworth asks Batman if he should take down the memorial holding Jason’s old Robin costume. Batman refuses, saying nothing has changed. The film ends with a flashback of Jason’s first day as Robin, in which the boy declares that it is the best day of his life.

Voice cast[edit]

BruceGreenwoodTIFFSept10.jpg Jensen Ackles by Gage Skidmore.jpg
John DiMaggio by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg Neil Patrick Harris 2011 (cropped).jpg
Top row (l-r): Bruce Greenwood, Jensen Ackles
Bottom row (l-r): John DiMaggio, and
Neil Patrick Harris
  • Bruce Greenwood as Bruce Wayne/Batman; a billionaire industrialist whose parents were killed by a mugger when he was eight years old. After traveling the world for several years to seek the means to fight injustice, he returns to Gotham. At night, Bruce becomes Batman, Gotham City's secret vigilante protector.
  • Jensen Ackles as Jason Todd/Red Hood;[7] Jason Todd was the second Robin, who got brutally murdered by the Joker. Resurrected by Ra's Al Ghul. Jason turned against his Batman for not avenging his death. Now on a path to redemption, Jason uses the skills Batman taught him as an anti-hero using the Joker's former identity: The Red Hood.
  • John DiMaggio as The Joker;[7] An insanely homicidal super-villain, the Joker's white skin, green hair, and blood-red lips belie the chaotic nature underlying his cartoonish appearance. The self-styled Clown Prince of Crime has no superpowers, beyond a capacity for incredible violence and a skill at creating deadly mayhem. He frequently concocts elaborate schemes to entrap his arch nemesis, Batman.
  • Neil Patrick Harris as Dick Grayson/Nightwing;[7] Richard Grayson was a trained acrobat, touring the country with his family in Haly's Circus until they were murdered in the middle of their act. The stunned young boy was taken in by millionaire Bruce Wayne, who had also lost his parents at a young age, also killed in front of his eyes. He revealed to the boy that he was working out his revenge on criminals as Batman and trained the youth to fight crime at his side as Robin. Eventually he stepped out of his mentor's shadow by taking the new identity of Nightwing. He grew gradually more distant from Batman over the years, moving to a different city, Bludhaven, where he acts as a vigilante.
  • Jason Isaacs as Ra's al Ghul;[7] Little is known of the early years of the nearly immortal Ra's al Ghul, whose name means "the demon's head," but it is accepted that he has lived for many centuries due to Lazarus Pits' mystical and alchemical brews that restore his youth. A brilliant master of strategy and organization, Ra's al Ghul's goal is to save the Earth from ecological devastation by destroying most of it's population. He recognizes Batman as both a worthy foe and a possible ally—expect that Batman cannot accept his dystrophic world view. Batman also shares a love-hate relationship with Ra's daughter, the beautiful Talia.
  • Wade Williams as Roman Sionis / Black Mask;[9] Following the suspicious death of his multi-millionaire parents in a fire, Roman Sionis inherited their fortune and went on to bankrupt their company. Saved by a buyout by Bruce Wayne, Sionis came to resent and hate Wayne. Fixated on the concept of masks, Sionis carved one from his farther's black coffin and sought revenge; his ensuing battle with the Dark Knight caused his mask to be burnt into his skin, remaking him as the Black Mask. Sionis is now a feared gang leader and one of the most powerful mob bosses in Gotham, with a burning hatred of the Batman.
  • Gary Cole as Commissioner James Gordon;[7] the police commissioner of Gotham City and Batman's closest ally. He refuses to capture Batman, believing the Dark Knight is not responsible for any of the gangster murders.
  • Jim Piddock as Alfred Pennyworth;[7] once the trusted butler to Bruce Wayne's parents, he continues his loyal service to their son after their deaths. He is Batman's closest confidante.
  • Bruce Timm as The Riddler;[7] Edward Nigma is a villain obsessed with riddles, puzzles, and brain teasers, who took the alias of the Riddler to commit crimes. Riddler frequently tries to outsmart Gotham's hero Batman, but is always defeated by the Dark Knight. After spending some time 'reformed' working as a Private Investigator in Gotham, he has returned to his old villainous ways.

Additional voices: Carlos Alazraqui, Robert Clotworthy, Gary Cole, Brian George, Kelly Hu, Phil LaMarr, Kevin Michael Richardson, and Dwight Schultz.

Music[edit]

Batman: Under The Red Hood - Soundtrack to The Animated Original Movie
Film score by Christopher Drake
Released July 27, 2010 (July 27, 2010)
Length 57:24
Label WaterTower Music

The score for Batman: Under the Red Hood was composed by Christopher Drake,[10] who had previously scored several animated films set in the DC Universe. It was inspired by the soundtrack of the 1993 film Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, which features a traditional orchestral score, and the 2008 film The Dark Knight, which features a computer generated, electronic score.[11] Drake said that since Under the Red Hood has a darker tone than previous DC Universe animated films, he chose not to use the music as epic and melodramatic, but instead as a bit more intimate, minimal and restrained.[11] He added that this is the first DC film he has scored that didn't rely on using a large choir to make the fight scenes sound bigger. The music played in action scenes in the film are more percussive and rhythmic, serving the emotion of the scenes without overpowering them.[11] Drake scored the film as a reference to modern minimalistic electronic scores, as the film's director Brandon Vietti felt that Under the Red Hood needed to go in a different, more modern direction to separate it from previous DC animation's scores. At that point, Drake started introducing more electronic and ambient elements, like synthesized and processed electronic guitar, while still keeping some orchestral elements.[11]

Batman: Under The Red Hood - Soundtrack to The Animated Original Movie was released by WaterTower Music on July 27, 2010 and features 18 tracks composed for the film.[12]

Reception[edit]

The film's dark tone was acclaimed by critics. Many reviewers praised the film for being more realistic than previous Batman animated films. Jason Todd's death (pictured) was largely praised for being dramatic and touching.

Batman: Under the Red Hood received widespread critical acclaim. Based on 7 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, the film received a 100% approval rating from critics, with an average score of 7.3/10.[13]

Zach Demeter's review for The World's Finest stated: "I have to say this really was a damn good film." James Harvey's review on the same website was even more positive, calling it "a mature and faithful take on the Batman lore." [14] IGN gave the movie an 8 out of 10, calling it "An interesting peek inside the psyche of Batman and the fine line between good and evil."[2] Based on seven reviews collected on Rotten Tomatoes, Batman: Under the Red Hood has 100% freshness with an average of a 7.3 approval rating. The movie also holds an 8.0/10 on IMDB; it was the highest rated direct-to-video Batman film until the release of The Dark Knight Returns which is rated 8.0/10 as of October 20, 2012.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Answer Studio Overseas Work". The Answerstudio. July 27, 2010. Retrieved August 16, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b White, Cindy (July 8, 2010). "Batman: Under the Red Hood Blu-ray Review". IGN. Archived from the original on July 12, 2010. Retrieved July 9, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Batman: Under the Red Hood - DVD Sales". The Numbers. Nash Information Service. Retrieved March 21, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Batman: Under the Red Hood". Amazon. Retrieved August 7, 2014. 
  5. ^ ""Batman: Under the Red Hood" Trailer". Comic Book Resources. 2010-04-27. Retrieved 2010-06-20. 
  6. ^ "Warner Premiere Formally Announces 'Batman: Under the Red Hood' - ComicMix news". Comicmix.com. 2010-04-27. Archived from the original on 29 June 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-20. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h Harvey, James (July 9, 2010). "Complete Cast And Crew, Features Details For "Batman: Under The Red Hood"". worldsfinestonline.com. Retrieved July 11, 2010. 
  8. ^ "The World's Finest - New Cast Details For Upcoming "Batman: Under The Red Hood"". Worldsfinestonline.com. March 11, 2010. Retrieved December 29, 2010. 
  9. ^ "The World's Finest - New Cast Details For Upcoming "Batman: Under The Red Hood" Animated Feature". Worldsfinestonline.com. Retrieved January 2, 2011. 
  10. ^ Cite error: The named reference Score was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  11. ^ a b c d "Backstage - Christopher Drake Interview (WF Conducted)". The World's Finest. Retrieved August 16, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Batman: Under the Red Hood - Soundtrack to The Animated Original Movie". iTunes. July 27, 2010. Retrieved August 16, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Batman: Under the Red Hood Movie Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved August 16, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Batman: Under the Red Hood Film Review". The World's Finest. Retrieved April 3, 2013. 

External links[edit]