“Batman: Under the Red Hood” is animated DC film, apart of DC’s Animated Cinematic Universe and is the 8th in the series. The film follows the third & final chapter in Batman’s Red Hood series, “Under the Hood”. The voice over cast include Bruce Greenwood, Jensen Ackles, Neil Patrick Harris, John DiMaggio, Jason Isaacs, Wade Williams, Gary Cole, Kelly Hu & Jim Piddock. The film is produced by Bruce Timm who had also done work on “Batman: The Animated Series”, “Batman Beyond” and a number of DC’s animated films like 1993’s “Batman: Mask of the Phantasm”, 2000’s “Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker” & 2015’s “Justice League: Gods & Monsters”
In Bosnia, Batman (Greenwood) & the second Robin, Jason Todd (Ackles), are investigating attacks on European financial districts by Ra’s Al Ghul (Isaacs) and the League of Assassins. However, they are blindsided when the Joker (DiMaggio) appears to stop them. As Batman fights off the League, the Joker kidnaps Robin and takes to an abandon warehouse. There, he brutally beats him down and leaves him for dead. Batman gets to the warehouse but explodes before he can save Robin. The image of Batman carrying the lifeless body of Robin creates a dark cloud over Batman & Bruce Wayne. 5 years later, Gotham City is disarray as Commissioner Jim Gordon (Cole) is dealing with Black Mask (Williams) and his crime organization. Batman comes to the docks to stop a delivery to Black Mask but when the package is revealed as Amazo, an android designed for destruction for Gotham City & Metropolis. With the help of Nightwing (Harris), they destroy Amazo. Nightwing, a.k.a Dick Greyson and the first Robin, gives Batman information and help from the guys making the delivery of a new mysterious vigilante known as the Red Hood. Before they can get anymore information, the delivery guys are killed by the Red Hood. Batman pursues the Red Hood and as he & Nightwing investigates more they begin to discover more secrets to this mysterious figure and his origin. Batman’s moniker as the world’s greatest detective is put to the ultimate test as he must face his failures, dark past and even an enemy that knows his every move and even his biggest secret.
For an animated film, this was very dark and violent film but a damn fine one at that. DC’s animated films were always their own separate things but it wasn’t til this film in particular that they were given a dark and gritty edge them. Superman, Wonder Woman & Green Lantern films were very entertaining but did pack the punch of the Red Hood. “Batman: Gotham Knight” was Batman’s first animated film but that was tied to Christopher Nolan’s 2008 film, “The Dark Knight” and didn’t correlate with DC’s animated universe. This animated universe has some pretty very good entries so far beginning with this one. Damn good movie and perfectly executed for an animated movie.