BATMAN: HUSH (2019) – #BATMAN80 COLUMN

To commemorate the 80th anniversary of Batman (#Batman80, #LongLiveTheBat), AFJ has decided to join in the fun with columns, lists, and reviews from now until Batman Day (Sept. 15th, 2019). The incredible thing about 80 years of Batman in pop culture is that we can literally feature anything from comics to movies to the fact that Mr. Freeze ride, at Six Flags Over Texas, was supposed to inaugurated by George Clooney and Arnold Schwarzenegger. True story, Google it Millenials. Today, we turn our attention to 2019. Enjoy Junkies! #AFJ4LIFE

The Good. The Bad. The Ugly. That's how I'm going to do this review of the DC Films animated feature, Batman: Hush.

The story this film is "based" on was originally started in Batman #608 in December of 2002. To say this was a great Batman story, would be an understatement. It definitely took its spot as being one of the most universally liked Batman stories of all time. One of those rare, "definitive" Batman stories. There's only a handful that fit that bill. So when DC announced that they were going to adapting this into an animated movie, the world rejoiced. Well maybe not the world, but damn, I sure did. This review will have SPOILERS, so turn back now if you care.

Also, if you've never read the book, hold off until after you watch the movie. Trust me.
The Good: It's a Batman movie! This movie finally gets rid of Batman's New 52/Rebirth hybrid look and brings him back to a more 2002 look. Yes, this means the underwear is back! There's plenty of action in this movie, and really drives home Batman and Catwoman's relationship. Nightwing also gets a bigger role in this movie.
Just like in the comics. It's great to see our hardened, don't let anyone get close to him or let his guard down in a relationship. The movie is balanced and runs long enough to tell each part of the story. It doesn't lose you. It's definitely made for an older audience though. So don't let the younger kids watch.
The Bad: The changes that were made for no reason. They will be pretty much run this section, just an FYI.

There are many. Firstly, the replacement of Killer Croc. In the books, Killer Croc abducts a child whose family is mega-rich. When we see Croc, he is heavily mutated. Much more like a crocodile. It was the perfect new look for Croc and even inspired Mattel to do a figure of him in 2003. Croc was replaced by Bane in the movie. However, there's no real logic to the drastic character change though. Bane just replaces Croc's overall part and we lose that refreshingly new take on what many consider a C list villain of Batman's rogue's gallery.
Batgirl. Again, she replaces another character for no reason. However, I don't really think it's that big of a deal except that it could've introduced Huntress.

Scarecrow. While he has a pretty decent fight scene, it's totally different from what his part was in the book. Instead of Batman fighting him, Nightwing and Catwoman.
Batman's jewelry. Instead of packing the kryptonite ring, Batman brings kryptonite knuckles...with spikes on them. I always liked the kryptonite ring, as it symbolizes not only the relationship between Superman and Batman, but it was also a piece of Superman lore.

Clayface. Clayface had a much more pivotal role in the comic book. In this, he masquerades as Riddler during the bank heist.

Harley Quinn. Her motivation for the opera heist is now actually a cover for an attempt to assassinate Bruce Wayne. She is only doing it to save the Joker, who was abducted by Hush.

Joker. He actually has a little bit more time in the movie than he does in the book. The beating he gets from Batman in this movie though is pretty intense.
The Ugly: Hush. The complete rewriting of this character makes little to no sense. I get that they were trying to keep it continuity based, even incorporating Lex Luthor and touching upon the Death/Reign of Supermen movie. But in doing this, they completely killed the major plot that the book put forward.

Hush isn't Tommy Elliot. When Tommy Elliot was killed in the book, it was later revealed that it was Clayface the entire time. In the movie, when Tommy Elliot is killed, he is in fact killed.

Riddler is Hush. God this was such a disappointment. The whole underlying plot of the book was that Riddler was the hidden mastermind of the story. He manipulated all the other rogues to do his bidding to try and get the Batman. They try explaining that the Lazarus pit used by Riddler not only revitalized him but also gives him more strength. Most fans will note that it only puts that person in their prime, not augmenting their strength and apparently their fighting ability. Because, in some way, the pit allowed him to be able to go head to head with one of DC's greatest hand to hand fighters.
Also, if you're expecting Jason Todd, don't. He's not in the movie. Which is another tremendous letdown. I'm guessing this could point back to this being continuity based. But in doing this they cut major elements that made this story great.

All and all, this movie is just ok. For fans of the book, the last leg of the movie will kill the entire experience. As far as DC Animated movies go, it was definitely a swing and a miss. I'm betting that the sound of my eyes rolling when Hush unmasked himself, revealing that he was Riddler, could be heard around the world. Yup. That was that sound last week.

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