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Batman: Hush Movie Review

Batman: Hush Movie Review

By Michael Miranda

This time around, I'm going to be reviewing the animated film adaptation of Batman: Hush.  The book and its follow-up - Heart of Hush, are two of my favorite trades that I own.  The movie though, really isn't my favorite.  Now, unlike The Killing Joke, I do really enjoy this film, and can watch it again, but I feel like the story itself was solid all around without the added twists, turns, and sexual tensions.  

If you read the book, you know that Hush is Bruce's childhood friend, renowned Neurosurgeon Thomas Elliot.  Tommy grew up in a home that was...broken to put it nicely, and as a result, he killed his mother and father.  Bruce on the other hand, grew up in a happy home, and was broken when his parents were killed.  Tommy grew resentful of Bruce as they got older because of the independence he had with his money, while Tommy watched his mother squander all of his inheritance.  This leads to Thomas Elliot doing everything he can to try and outshine Bruce. 

Now, in the book, to my memory, it isn't really explained how Tommy figured it out; but he was able to deduce that Bruce was Batman.  This in turn led to the discovery of the secret identities of his entire family.  With this information, Tommy Elliot secretly enlists the help of some of Batman's greatest rogues in order to bring the Dark Knight down.  He also mentions to throw a twist in at the end, which even though it is years old, the twist is worth keeping a secret.  

Any who, Batman and Hush eventually come face to face as all big fight scenes go.  The two kind of end in a stalemate with Hush escaping (although they believe him to be dead).  Well, that pretty much sums up the book, although it doesn't do it any justice.  So now, let's jump into the movie, shall we? 

The underlying question in the majority of the film isn't so much "Who is Hush?" so much as "When are Bruce/Batman and Selina/Catwoman going to stop playing hard to get and just have sex already?" It is a persistent and slightly annoying theme in the movie, and even though Selina is more than capable, it does sort of paint her as the Damsel of Distress when it needs to in order to propel Batman's story forward.  I like Catwoman as a character, and in general I hate when female characters are sort of dumbed down for the sake of boosting fragile male egos.  

With that being said, the animated film does follow the book in some scenes, but for the most part, the two only have their title in common.  Tommy Elliot isn't Hush; he isn't even a bit player. He's this fleeting glimpse of what we could've had, and at that point the movie kind of lost a lot of its appeal to me. But I persisted and finished it.  The twist at the end, while a bit of a surprise, isn't really hard to figure out once you put the pieces together, it almost seems a tad elementary.  

The animation, voice work, and script is good, and so is the pacing. But I didn't appreciate that DC took a story that we a solid 10/10 in book form and turned it into a very rocky 4/10 in animated film form.  I think they did the book a severe injustice, but I also know I don't speak for everyone.  If you have absolutely no desire to read the books, and instead prefer to rely on the movies to get your fill of information about these characters, you have absolutely zero to lose.  If you've read the book, and respected the work that went into it, unless you really have an itch that needs to be scratched by watching the film, I wouldn't beat myself up about it at all.  

 

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