The latest animated adventure from DC’s impressive animation house is one of the best ones we’ve had so far. The seminal story arc for Hush, which was written by Jeph Loeb and iconically pencilled by Jim Lee, gets the big screen treatment in an adaptation that does the key elements of the source material real justice. This creates a Batman adventure that keeps you gripped with great characterisation, stunning action and a story with a genuine high-stakes that always keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Batman’s rogues gallery are in full swing as they terrorise Gotham in a serious of dangerous, escalating attacks, but with schemes that are slightly out of their usual modus operandi. This doesn’t go unnoticed by the Dark Knight (Jason O’Mara). His alter ego Bruce Wayne in the meantime is re-introduced to Selina Kyle (Jennifer Morrison) and there seems to be a real chance that the two can finally form a serious, lasting relationship now. But a shadowy figure is orchestrating these latest attacks in the city, and has an agenda against the Batman that must be fulfilled. With a bandaged face, the criminal known as Hush puts his masterplan into action to end Batman once and for all.
Batman: Hush has plenty of amazing moments that captures the style and tone of the comics with animation that captures the raw intensity of Jim Lee’s striking artwork, but that keeps the anime aesthetic of the recent DC Animated movies. Whilst this doesn’t have the intricate detailing of the comics, it keeps the key moments present. But this is an ‘adaptation’, and as such there are a few omissions from the original that may anger die-hard fans of this memorable story-arc. The Jason Todd elements have been removed, but I can see why for the sake of a clearer, more accessible story for the casual viewer. Sequences with Bruce’s friend Thomas Elliot have also been shortened from the comics. It would have been great to have those bits in it, but it doesn’t dampen enthusiasm for what does make it to screen.
A lot of characters feature in Batman: Hush, and each deliver really exciting action scenes. Scarecrow, Bane, The Joker, Poison Ivy, Superman, Harley Quinn, Nightwing, Clayface and Harley Quinn are just some of the awesome names to appear (and all of them have decent screen time to shine). Some of DC’s more recent animated films haven’t managed to really deliver action that’s big and memorable, with The Death of Superman being a particularly let-down, however Batman: Hush is full of amazing set-pieces that stay true to the characters that you know and love.
The cast assembled are fantastic here, with Jason O’Mara once again doing great work as Batman and Bruce Wayne. Crowd favourite Jennifer Morrison is the star of the show though, and her portrayal of Selina Kyle/Catwoman is extraordinary. There’s genuine trust and mis-trust between Bruce and Selina, along with a lot of genuine love, with their tortured souls knowing that a happy life isn’t readily on the cards for them. Their involving relationship is the key success of this Hush animated project. Geoffrey Arend gives Hush a decent level of threat and mystery too and is a worthy villain.
Elsewhere, Jerry O’Connell is great as Superman, Rebecca Romijn returns as the assured Lois Lane, Chris Cox chills the bones as Scarecrow and Jason Spisak suitably scares as The Joker. Harley Quinn steals her scenes thanks to Hynden Walch and Sean Maher delivers the sidekicks and laughs as Nightwing/Dick Grayson. Peyton List (last seen in Cobra Kai) is awesome as Batgirl, and in a rare coincidence, another Peyton List (Gotham) is also great as the sultry Poison Ivy. Adam Gifford doubles up well as Bane and Clayface, with Vanessa Williams and Rainn Wilson rounding off the principal cast as Amanda Waller and Lex Luthor respectively.
Batman: Hush is one of the best DC Animated movies that I’ve seen. It combines the rich storytelling of the comics with great spectacle and absorbing drama to deliver a thoroughly enjoyable movie experience. I just hope that Batman: Knightfall gets the animated treatment next, because for what DC lacks in their live-action movie slate, they have in abundance over at DC Animation.
Cast: Jason O’Mara, Jennifer Morrison, Geoffrey Arend, Peyton List, Jerry O’Connell, Rebecca Romijn, Chris Cox, Jason Spisak, James Garrett, Hynden Walch, Sean Maher, Peyton List, Adam Gifford, Vanessa Williams, Rainn Wilson, Bruce Thomas, Maury Sterling, Sachie Alessio, Stuart Allan Director: Justin Copeland Writer: Ernie Altbacker, Jim Lee, Jeph Loeb Certificate: 15 Duration: 81mins Released by: Warner Bros Release date: 12th August 2019