Batman:Under the Red Hood - (Region 1 Import DVD)
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Jason, Bellville. 13 September 2010
The cover on this one says PG-13, but the content leans closer towards an R-rating. That's a good thing, by the way. The opening crowbar scene sets the tone for all the hard hitting action to come. The plot involves Batman having to deal with a new figure muscling in on Gotham's underworld. And somehow The Joker and Ras Al Ghul also have a hand in the matter.
There is violence aplenty with bloodshed and even death, all complementing the grittier more modern setting of Gotham City. Yes, the creators have moved away from the the film noir influence of Tim Burton and adopted a sensibility more akin to Christopher Nolan. The setting is modern right down to the nature of the criminals, who no longer wish to conquer the world and instead corrupt and exploit it through their criminal empires. This new influence extends particularly to The Joker, who in this feature borrows a few pages from the Heath Ledger playbook. He's older, more world-weary, less pantomime and much much deadlier. See what happens when someone brings him a glass of water. Yet Batman remains constant, always ready to meet the challenge and triumph over evil no matter what the personal cost to him.
I place this in the upper echelons of the DC Animation roster. It's very well written, well executed, and will leave smiling approvingly at how comic book characters and their stories have matured over the years.
Region 1 - United States, Canada, Bermuda, U.S. territories.