Title: Batman: Hush
Release date: August 6, 2019
Studio: Warner Bros. Animation
Directed by: Justin Copeland
Release format: Straight to Digital/ DVD
Classic Batman Story with a Modern Twist
Batman: Hush is the newest released DC animated movie. It starts as a continuation of the newly designed DC cast of supers. It showcases a moment of Bruce Wayne being Bruce but then starts to get into his dynamic other-self. From the beginning of this movie, you see the classic duality of having to be a billionaire playboy and a crime-fighting vigilante. Bruce is conflicted not just with the woman he loves but with seeing an old friend he hasn’t seen for years. Batman: Hush is the biggest stories of the Batman universe there is, compared right there with the juggling act which is Batman and the Joker. For avid Batman fans and those that have played the Arkham Knight game as well, Batman: Hush, unfortunately, did not do the story from the comics any justice. It is a great DC animated movie for those wanting to see Batman kick some bad guy butt and see some classic well-known villains. This movie doesn’t showcase the storyline and character of Hush the way the game did in a few missions. Spoilers ahead!
Batman and Bruce’s Lives Collide in Batman: Hush
Batman: Hush showcases Bruce and Batman leading two separate lives and those two lives now encompassing two loves with Selina Kyle and Catwoman. The beginning of the movie introduces Selina Kyle first with a hint of an introduction of Bruce’s life long friend Thomas. Thomas, as you know if you have played the game or read the comics, is the man who is a gifted surgeon. Thomas then removes bits and pieces of his face and replaces it with pieces to make him look like Bruce. The small introduction the movie incorporates is not needed. It implies yes Bruce Wayne has friends other than Alfred but at this small conversation between Thomas and Bruce, there’s more talking about Thomas’s accomplishes rather than the “life long friendship,” he shares with Bruce. DC animated was better off focusing more on the developing relationship between Bruce and Selina rather than trying a lover’s triangle with his friend, Thomas.
It Begins. Act 1!
We see in the first act of the movie classic villains such as Poison Ivy, Bane, and even Detective Jordan being rather chummy with Batman. Implying him and Bats had a rather good couple years being buddies rather than playing the cat and mouse game when they first met. We meet Bane in a warehouse to set up a kidnapping of the kid from the family that owns the factory they’re in. A ransom amount is agreed upon by Bane and Detective Jordan with Jordan sending in the bomb robot with the cash on its back. After a successful detainment of Bane by Batman and the return of Richie Rich i.e., not his real name, to his family Detective Jordan and Batman notice Catwoman stealing the money. Catwoman, under the spell of Poison Ivy, gives the money to Ivy. After everything is over with between the two ladies, we finally get to see Hush in tattered bandages and a Dark Knight Rises Bane type of coat. Hush is then offering a barter of sorts with Ivy. The agreement is her to kill Batman and Catwoman for ten times more than what she made with the ransom.
Hush is Introduced
This introduction of our real villain pulling the metaphorical strings over the others made for the thought of the connection he had made him want Batman and Catwoman dead. Questions were stirring and the action and suspense were still there for the viewers unfamiliar with the character. Then after an attack made from Hush on Batman we see Bruce as the wild and crazy playboy in the hospital Thomas is at instead of Thomas treating Batman. I thought this was too easy. It didn’t feel as immediate going forward with Batman needing attention for the ten-story fall he just fall to. This specific moment of Batman lying still in all of his broken bones and coughed up blood would’ve allowed for more tension if he went to see his best friend as Batman instead of Bruce Wayne. We would’ve seen more between the two of them and really how strong their friendship was at that point if Batman was taken to the hospital and treated by Thomas instead of Bruce. But, unfortunately for the viewers of this one we see Bruce making a pact with Thomas when he wakes up from his injuries to be a better friend now that they are both in Gotham. The amount of time spent on this relationship the two have is downplayed and minimal at best in this film. DC and Warner Bros. could’ve implemented the story of Thomas and Bruce much better and for a much longer time in this universe rather than casting it aside. If DC is looking to keep with the same style of animation for Batman and those in Gotham then a one-trick pony isn’t going to cut it. We all know Batman and his adventures as a caped crusader but we have yet to see who Bruce is.
Familiar Characters, Confusing and Uninteresting Stories
Thomas miserably gets the ax at the end of the second act by yours truly, the Joker. The fifteen-minute scene with Harley and the Joker at the opera was used primarily to set up the death of Thomas. Eliminating almost all possibility of him being Hush. If you’re thinking a fake death planned by Thomas and the Joker, so was I. The use of Thomas’s dead body to give Batman and Bruce Wayne during his most crucial moment in the movie a moment of choice with an ultimatum was riveting. The third and final act showcased the true person behind the bandages pulling all of the strings. We get introduced to the Riddle rather late in the movie during a chase scene. The Riddler is easily apprehended by Batman, taking him to Blackgate Prison. Something felt off about this to Batman so he investigated further by going to Blackgate to speak with the Riddler. Riddler explained the discovery of the brain tumor and his connection with Thomas. Riddler used the Lazarus Pit to heal his tumor and gain a massive amount of strength. To close out the third act, Batman found where Riddler was and where he was holding Catwoman. Remember when I said Thomas would come back? Thomas’s dead body blocked the path to Bruce’s lover, Catwoman. Putting Bruce in a lover’s triangle once again, but with a friend and a lover. Batman quickly pushed aside his dead friend to save the love of his life. A fight scene between the overpowered Riddler acting as Hush and Batman ensued. Hush and the Riddler were defeated in the fiery pits of a machine crusher, thanks to Catwoman making the call to rip the rope Batman was holding Riddler on. Batman and Catwoman escape but Bruce, unfortunately, did not get to keep the girl. Catwoman walked after realizing Batman’s code was too much if it meant she would lose him because of it.
Verdict: Batman: Hush included classic Batman villains, maybe too many with too many unnecessary scenes, as well as a fan-favorite story between old friends. The story of Thomas and Bruce could’ve received more attention and the longevity of their friendship could’ve gone on for another movie or two. This one felt like more of a story between Bruce and Selina trying to develop and work through things together. They were trying to make things work. The time and attention given to the relationship between Bruce and Selina made me think this was an attempt at making an animated movie of the wedding comic released recently. But, even with this relationship as well they cut all potential for more by breaking them apart at the end of it. Sprinkle in a few classic villains without much of a connecting story to the main one and you have a C listed Batman animated movie. I appreciated the continuation of the art style and keeping the same voice actors for the main parts. It feels like DC and Warner Bros. wants to keep an animated DC universe going in the future. There was, with this movie, too much randomness as an insurance plan as well as not enough validation of use for the story of Hush. I give this movie a Good rating.
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- Classic lineup of Batman villains
- Great Pace of Action Scenes
- Great node to Adam West Bat-suit
- Great Catwoman/Batman Development
- Hush Storyline not well done
- Introduction of main villain wasted
- Too many villains sprinkled in
- Too many character plots to follow