****

Lie to me again, and crashing into a wall head-on will be the least painful activity of your evening.

Joker and Robin, © 2010 DC.

Joker and Robin, © 2010 DC.

The artwork in this was spectacular. As was the story, which I already loved from the comic books. The voice acting was great—although I prefer Mark Hamill to the extremely talented John DiMaggio, Bender on “Futurama,” when it comes to the Joker.

The Red Hood and Batman, © DC 2010.

The Red Hood and Batman, © DC 2010.

The premise of this is that Gotham has a new crime lord/vigilante, the Red Hood. But no-one knows who he is. Moreover, his name harkens back to an early villain “The Red Hood.” However, as fans of the Joker may recall, before he was The Joker, he was just another schmoe who told some crooks how to steal from his employer—Acme Chemical. He got suckered into putting on the Red Hood to appear to be the ringleader. Instead he became a poor guy who falls into some chemicals and comes out scarred and emotionally damaged. Eventually that man becomes The Joker. The movie does not start here, instead it tackles the hardest scene to film that I could imagine—the death of Robin (II) at the hands of The Joker. This is from the infamous “A Death In The Family” story where the second Robin, Jason Todd, was in Joker’s power and a telephone number was presented to DC readers for them to decide Robin’s fate. It was a vicious scene, but as I said about Sin City last year, there is a difference between violence in comics and violence in movies. In comic books the action takes places “between the panels,” whereas in a movie the action takes place in before our eyes. This movie does an exceptional job of putting the action before our eyes.

In addition to the stylistic and character successes, there are also very interesting moral questions the movie provides. I do not know which side people will side—Batman’s or the Red Hood’s, but it is a fair question. One that levels a very fair criticism against Batman. A criticism that very well might make you reject his approach to seeking justice.

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