A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Batman: Hush is a full-length animated movie. Based on a classic 12-issue comic book series from 2002 by fan favorites Jeph Loeb (story) and Jim Lee (art), the modern filmmaking team has updated it with several twists and alterations, but it's still chockfull of Batman's perennial villains and one ruthless newcomer. The movie is slanted more for teens and adults (MPAA rating is PG-13). At the movie's core is a romantic relationship with an implied sexual affair. It's also very heavy on cartoon violence. Action sequences include: fierce and lengthy hand-to-hand combat scenes, explosions, machine guns, electrocution, grenades, conventional and unconventional gunfire, many narrow escapes, and a few significant brutal deaths. Sexual content includes some skimpy clothing, and Batman and Catwoman kissing, then waking up in bed together. Cursing includes "s--t," "bitch," "goddamn," "a--hole," "thumb up your ass." The iconic Batman, as always a superhero extraordinaire, operates from a strong moral foundation in this film.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Strange events in Gotham as BATMAN: HUSH opens. A bevy of villains, including Bane (Adam Gifford), Poison Ivy (Peyton List), the Riddler (Geoffrey Arend), Harley Quinn (Hynden Walch), and the Joker (Jason Spisak), are wreaking havoc, and they seem to be working in harmony, if not always together. Batman (Jason O'Mara) is puzzled, but with help, manages to foil their wrongdoing time after time. And it's all happening just as a romance is finally blossoming between Batman and Catwoman (Jennifer Morrison). As the violence mounts, Bruce Wayne's childhood friend, Thomas Elliott (Maury Sterling), a brain surgeon of great renown, becomes a victim of the expanding crew of baddies. It quickly becomes clear to Batman that one singular force is orchestrating the company of evil-doers and that he may be the central target. Batman and Catwoman, whose relationship is now so solid that they've moved in together, team up to stop the violence and uncover the identity of the mind-controlling power who's calling the shots, the power they call "Hush."
Is it any good?
Batman and Catwoman in a budding romance, a brand new (to film) supervillain whose identity may or may not be revealed, and start-to-finish hyper cartoon violence should satisfy most loyal fans. Batman: Hush is based on a much beloved comic book series, and devotees have been waiting since 2002 for the story to be brought to film. Changes have been made, not extensive, but a few significant ones. Some Batman buffs may be disappointed, but it's been speculated that the creators of this film were hoping to excite and surprise all Batman fans, including those who'd already read the "book."
On its own, the film works for the most part. A few of the vocal performances are aimed at understated but read as flat instead. And a 12-issue comic book series offers more opportunity for the characters to develop and emerge, a luxury that an 81-minute movie doesn't have, so the movie feels crammed with an over-supply of DC villains. Best for more mature audiences.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the animated violence in Batman: Hush. In what ways, if any, is your response different when watching live-action violence? Why is it important to be aware of the impact of media violence on kids, even cartoon violence?
In the movie, Batman says: "Without a (moral) code, I'm no better than them (the villains)." What does he mean by this statement? Have you thought about your own values? What influences have contributed to your development of a strong sense of right and wrong? Has exposure to media helped? Name one fictional character that you admire and find yourself following by example.
If you were already one of the multitude of fans of the Batman: Hush comic book series, did the changes that were made work for you? Were you pleased or disappointed? Did you understand the reasons for the changes that were made? If you were not already familiar with Batman: Hush, did the movie inspire you to read the comic books?
- On DVD or streaming: August 6, 2019
- Cast: Jason O'Mara, Jennifer Morrison, Geoffrey Arend
- Director: Justin Copeland
- Studio: Warner Bros. Animation
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Superheroes, Adventures, Friendship
- Run time: 81 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: violence and action, suggestive material and language
- Last updated: November 15, 2019
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