The Batman

The Batman ★★★★½


There's so much goddamn "Ave Maria" in this movie. I think that's just the unofficial theme of Riddler like "Something in the Way" is for Batman. I'd say I like this either about the same or just a smidgen more on a rewatch, which means that I still love it. I want to still label it as a mess in terms of its structure, but then I was thinking about what I would want to cut from the movie, and I eventually realized that basically nothing could be removed without taking some integral point or character beat out. (The hospital scene with Alfred and Bruce is the only scene I think that could definitely be edited down, but its ending is so emotionally resonant that it still feels wholly necessary.) The vibes on this thing are unbeatable in terms of Batman as a character and as a concept, where I love how rusty and grimy it is while still thinking the feature from beginning to end is "fun." Still oddly good humor that never feels forced or out of place, where Reeves as a director, him and Peter Craig as writers, and the entire cast have these moments of levity while never ever poking fun at the material. The sincerity of The Batman is maybe its most silent but deadliest weapon, and what makes it feel so strong in the current blockbuster landscape. That comes through with the ending especially, which I continue to adore. The Caped Crusader literally gets baptized. This tale early on in the career of Bruce Wayne isn't about Batman's birth, but his rebirth. While most other writers with this character would stop at vengeance, and don't get me wrong, that would still absolutely work, taking it a step further to put "heroism" in the concept of being "a superhero" is special. I liked it being done in No Way Home, and I think this does that even better. Plus, for all of the complaints that "hope" is more of a Superman thing, I think the very last scene with that just triumphant Giacchino crescendo helps to show the difference between Superman's hope and Batman's hope. Clark is light incarnate. He fights evil and injustice because he is, and always has been, good and justice. Bruce is darkness incarnate, evolved but in a way where that darkness will never leave him. Instead of being consumed, and instead of just being a weapon, it's a tool. Utilized in the proper way, it can comfort as much as it shrouds. He is on the path of a hero, for the people. For those that ever aim to hurt or corrupt, then he's that darkness. He'll still be The Batman. Since the sequel has been officially confirmed, I'll throw my hat in with things and say I would love for the sequel to involve characters like Mr. Freeze, Harvey Dent, and Robin. Since this is in a way a loose adaptation of The Long Halloween with a whole lot of rain and red, let the next film take from Dark Victory, and make it all snowy and blue. Whatever is done, my trust in Matt Reeves is wholesale. He gave us the first crustpunk grunge Batman and cottagecore Riddler.


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