The comic Batman Hush is among my favorite Batman stories ever, as it was the first real Batman comic I ever read, so it holds a special place in my heart and I always wanted it to be adapted into an animated film, and after many years of hoping, it finally happened, with mixed results. Also, I haven't seen most of the more recent animated films and I've always felt it was a mistake to have almost all of them in the same continuity, as if you miss out on one you'll wonder what's happening.
Some of the additions are quite worthy, like more scenes of Bruce and Selina's relationship, expanding on it and making it so rewarding to see them together.
I also liked the fight with Scarecrow getting beefed up and the scene where the imprisoned Riddler is revealed to be Clayface in disguise was really cleaver.
And the final battle in the warehousefactory, though a setting that's exhaused at this point, is really well done and exciting.
Some changes are acceptable; like Lex Luthor just being a business man instead of the president (which he was at that time in the comics) and replacing Talia's role of helping Batman find Poison Ivy.
Batgirl replacing Huntress is fine, though the latter's absence is kinda disappointing. Also, having Catwoman jump down to protect Batman from the street thugs is also a welcome addition.
Merging the scenes with Catwoman and Poison Ivy and the scene where Ivy and Hush meet was good, as it shows how cunning and ruthless Hush is.
But there are disappointments: Killer Croc's role in the story is replaced by Bane, who DC animation seems to believe is a muscle-bound moron for some reason, and it doesn't quite fit like Killer Croc's role in the comic.
Harley Quinn and Scarecrow just vanish from the story and are never captured.
Absent characters are missed, as Tim Drake is never even mentioned and the Jason Todd scenes aren't adapted at all (and Jason does exist in this universe as Joker references him), Huntress and Harold are both left out as well, which sucks as the comic was how a lot of people, my self included, first met those characters, but it makes sense to not include Harold, who many people don't know of and his history with Batman would strike many as quite strange and as I said earlier, replacing Huntress with Batgirl is fine but Batgirl vanishes from the story all together after the first 15 minutes. Leslie Thompkins, a criminally underused character, is also absent and instead replaced by a generic date for Tommy Elliot (Peyton Riley, I assume?). Possibly because of earlier animated films, Ra's Al Ghul and Talia never appear and are only mentioned and Lady Shiva's role goes from Ra's ordering her to save Talia from Catwoman and beating the hell out of Selina to just showing up at the beginning and telling Batman about someone using the Lazarus Pit.
Another thing the film suffers from is not using RobinDamien, as his only appearance is in a call with Bruce, as he's off with the Titans, but why does that mean he couldn't be in the film proper? Maybe have him interact with Selina and have conflicted feelings about a step-mother? A wasted opportunity.
The scene where Batman nearly kills the Joker isn't nearly as effective as it is in the book, as Catwoman and Harley's attempts to stop Batman are omitted and Gordon snapping Batman out of it lacks the punch of the story.
Two-Face's role is reduced to a mere cameo appearance instead of turning on the other villains and helping Batman and Gordon, possibly due to it leaving open a story for Harvey's inevitable return to his life of crime that they probably don't intend to show in a movie.
There's also an odd plot hole where, instead of Batman looking into Elliot's records after the main conflict has ended and discovering who was the mastermind, there's a break-in at Elliot's office for Batman and Gordon to investigate and it's never explained who broke into the office, it just happens so that Batman can figure out Riddler was behind it all.
Another plot hole is omitting Lex Luthor's role in the conspiracy, as in the comic he supplied Hush the kryptonite so Poison Ivy could control Superman, but here it's never explained where Hush got it.
And as for the final act... I have mixed emotions about changing who Hush is.
In the comic, Hush is revealed to be Tommy Elliot, who faked his death with help from Clayface, but here Hush is revealed to be the Riddler, who was the mastermind behind it all in both the film and the comic. Tommy dies for real, and Scarecrow even steals his body for Riddler to torment Batman with. changing up the comic where it was Jason's body missing from the grave (and the implication that it really was Jason Todd Batman was fighting, not just Clayface). This works just fine, but at the same time it seems like a pointless change and a poor change to Tommy Elliot's character, who is a monstrous sociopath who envies Bruce so much that he's willing to even change his face to look like Bruce, where instead he's just some friend of Bruce who gets killed.
Despite that, the final battle is more exciting than the one in the comic and it's well choreographed and animated, but the ending... leaves a lot to be desired.
In the comic, Batman breaks it off with Catwoman because earlier, Scarecrow tried to use his fear gas on Batman, but it didn't work and he said that Batman's mind was already being affected by something else. Because of that, Bruce was overcome with paranoia and uncertainty and couldn't shake the slim chance that Selina might have been a part of the Hush conspiracy the whole time.
In the movie, Catwoman saves Batman, who is too busy trying to save Riddler as the warehousefactory explodes around them. She cuts his line and let's Riddler fall to his death, and they escape. She leaves Batman because she can't stand his firm stance on 'no killing' and his moral code, even for someone who tried to destroy him so thoroughly as the Riddler just did. This makes Catwoman look incredibly shallow and morally corrupt, she does have issues and takes umbrage with Batman's code, yet still respects him for it, The music is...there, never really takes off.
Animation is good, smooth and the fights and action are awesome.
Voice Acting Wise: Jason O'Mara and the other DC Animated Movies voice cast give solid performances. Jennifer Morrison as Catwoman was a bit off at first but she really grew on me and I liked her by the end. The only voice actor I didn't like was Peyton List, the voice of Poison Ivy, as she turned in a quite wooden performance.
Overall, it's a mixed bag. There are good things about the movie and some of the changes and additions work, but some changes and the things they took out don't improve the story, but are more to its detriment. It's sad that the adaptation's of Frank Miller's work were so faithful, yet everything else is changed up for the worse. Hey, at least it's an enjoyable movie and not an incompetent mess like The Killing Joke movie or Batman and Harley Quinn!
I'd say give it a watch, but read the comic.
Review by cdietz94-667-599244 from the Internet Movie Database.