5 years after the death of 2nd Robin, Jason Todd(Alexander Martella), we find Batman(Bruce Greenwood) in Gotham reunited with an old protege and first Robin Dick Grayson, now under the guise of Nightwing(Neil Patrick Harris). During a battle with Blackmasks thugs Batman and Nightwing run into the new,yet somewhat familiar face of the Red Hood(Jensen Ackles). Leading Batman to relive some old and hurtful memories of one of the darkest periods in his career, the question is who is under the Red Hood....and is he friend or foe?
The story as a whole is very compelling with a much darker tone than most other animated features, it shows a level of brutality from the beginning with life and death playing a major role in the story. We also get some flash backs, a small but interesting glimpse into Batman and the Jokers first ever meet, to the early days of Batman and Jason Todd, showing the relationship until the young Robins death. There are good action scenes as well as some dark humor, the animation is great, with a feel similar to the Animated Series but different enough to stand on its own.
Many actors have played the character of Batman on tv and film, and at least to me, it is easier to adjust and accept the different portrayals of the characters involved when we see them in live action.
When it comes to animated versions of these characters it seems hard not to compare the casting to the amazing voice acting in Batman: The Animated Series. Although it may take a while to get over the initial change you come to hear some great acting from all the cast here. John DiMaggio gets top marks here for his version of the Joker, much darker and with slightly more menace than his Animated series counterpart, he presents a Joker to be afraid of who early on shows a level of brutality not regularly seen in the cartoon version of the character.
Bruce Greenwood gives a good performance as Batman but i couldn't help but feel he was imitating Kevin Conroy, rather than making the character his own.
Jensen Ackles is great as the Red Hood giving the character energy and emotion, which helps you sympathize and understand why he is the way he is.
Neil Patrick Harris gives a great performance as Nightwing just a shame he wasn't present in the second half of the film but memorable none the less. All other voice acting was top notch coming together to create a dark and gloomy Gotham.
This is a great animated Batman feature and i strongly suggest that all Batman fans should check it out, its darker and more violent than some other Batman animations but this shouldn't put you off it all plays a part in the story and an interesting story it is. From start to finish the story will grab you, plenty of action and some great voice acting makes this one of the best Batman movies around.
9 out of 10