Best adaptation yet
This is a pretty haithful adaptation considering the source material, they've kept the main body of the story from the comics but took out a lot of the stuff that if left in would have probably confused the mainstream viewers. Also a win is how they educate the casual viewers with some history and exposition in a pretty natural way.
Absolutely loved the scenes with Nightwing & Jason Todd fighting alongside Batman, there's emphasis on the synergy between Batman and his proteges. When they fight together it's almost ballet, it really brings home how closely Batman works with his 'sons' it's the same when they're swinging and savings each other. But there's a small but important difference which just shows the great attention to detail, the fighting styles are distinctly different, close enough to see they're had the same teacher but different enough to reflect the comic continuity.
This attention to comic continuity detail runs throughout the movie and it's so good it makes me drool, like Jason Todd's robin costume in the flashbacks, it changes as he grows. The comment to Batman saying Thank you to nightwing, Alfred's reaction to Jason's blood (he was as much his son too), Joker's negotiations with Black Mask are perfect in terms of character, Same goes for Ra's Al Ghul's characterisation, he has his own twisted sense of honour but it is absolute. I could go on but don't want to ruin the film.
Nightwing's banter with Batman("I'm chatty it's part of my charm"), it keeps this pretty dark movie light while giving a way for Bruce's personality to shine on screen. Plus NIGHTWING!!!! Bout time he got some facetime, when was the last time? 15+ years ago in TAS, too long to be on the shelf considering the amount of b+c list guys who came out the woodwork since then in the JLU & recent animated movies.
Joker, despite no Mark Hamill the voice acting is pretty good and a natural fit. It's not as maniacal but certainly darker fitting the tone of the movie. Red Hood's voice actor is good too.
International Distribution. DCAU pisses me off, they don't want people pirating these movies but they make them a nightmare to source outside of the US as there's no clear advice on if they're region-free. And even when you do source them it costs a ton, the market is there why don't DC get their act together and start distributing!!!
The first scene with Black Mask, the characters in the background don't even flinch when Mask is shouting in their faces. Maybe it's supposed to be that they're scared but it comes across as being too lazy to animate the background characters. Even a bead of sweat would do.
No Talia, this screws up any follow up for lost days and is quite annoying in itself as Talia's a good character to reintroduce into the DCAU there's good stories to be had there. Plus is makes more sense that she'd bring Jason back rather than Ra's. Oh and she was in the background so why not use her!!! Now the 'lost days' make less sense, where did Jason get his training, rehab and money?
Fearsome Hand Of Four, they do a good job of convincing us that they're a threat but it's a still a pretty anonymous group of villains. They look like they're modelled after the Last Line but less remarkable. If Black Mask is serious he'd send more than this.
I know it's for exposition but how do the crooks know nightwing is the former robin?
No Mark Hamill, I know I said the voice acting was good but without Mark Hamill the Joker seems more evil rather than crazy.
Batman just storms Ra's Al Ghul's palace and pins him too easily, this is one of his biggest and toughest enemies. It makes more sense Batman would get his attention by raiding a few of his safehouse or something so that they could have that conversation. by going the way they did it makes Ra's seem less dangerous.