Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Batman: Hush

The latest DC Comics animated feature is an adaptation of the hugely popular twelve-part mini-series by Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee. The film takes quite a few liberties with the source material, even going so far as to change the identity of the villain named Hush who the arc introduced as a mastermind attacking both Batman (Jason O'Mara) and Bruce Wayne from multiple angles prior to revealing himself. Although some cutting may be necessary to fit within the structure of the movie, the script still oddly keeps an excessive amount of the (mostly unnecessary) thread involving Superman (Jerry O'Connell) and Poison Ivy (Peyton List).

Fitting into the existing storyline of the Son of Batman movies, with only a cameo from Damian, the script does take steps to push Batman into more of a classic costume for most of the film to more closely resemble the look of the comic (if only the those in charge of the project had done the same with the plot).

The comic was notable for the large number of Bat-villains (which gets truncated here as well), the tease of Jason Todd's return (completely missing from the film altogether), and the romance between Batman and Catwoman (Jennifer Morrison). The later becomes the major focus of the story with the new villain Hush playing second fiddle to Bruce Wayne's love life. The result feels incomplete and not completely thought out. Yes the villain reveal at the end works within the confines of the new story but lacks the personal motivations Thomas Elliot (Maury Sterling) had in the comic (and whose presence in the first-half of the movie lacks any payoff when he turns out not to be the villain).

Available on DVD, Blu-ray, and 4K, extars include audio commentary by producer James Tucker, director Justin Copeland, and screenwriter Ernie Altbacker, an animated short featuring Sgt. Rock, featurettes on the relationship ups and downs of Batman and Catwoman, an episode of Batman: The Animated Series, and a tease at the upcoming Wonder Woman: Bloodlines.

[Warner Bros., Blu-ray $24.98 / 4K $39.99]

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