If you are thinking of seeing The Batman at the movie theater, waste no more time doing so. Just go do it. I think the new film in the Batman franchise is one of the best ever, and it’s a top 50 movie of all time, directed by Matt Reeves and acted by Robert Pattinson. Just talking about good movies; they just don’t make them much better than this one, at nearly 3 hours long. Technically it hits all the cylinders in a very satisfying way. The music is great, the cinematography, sound design, direction, acting, everything is fantastic. There is a love for this subject that obviously comes out of the filmmakers. They painstakingly put that love into every shot of the film, and it shows both behind the camera and in front of it. When you think of a movie that has been done so much, it is easy to be skeptical that anything substantial could come out of a new version of Batman. But this was clearly a fresh take on an idea that Warner Bros. has been building for nearly a century. And it culminated in this film. It reminded me of one of my favorite Dirty Harry films from back in the 70s called Magnum Force. It explores corruption on both sides of the law and why there is a need for good people to step in and fight for justice. But there is, of course, more depth to it than that, and that is why this film is an exceptional one with great artistic value for a culture like we have in our modern one in desperate need of clarity on the definitions for existence. There is big stuff in The Batman that is valuable on many levels, and for that reason, I can’t recommend it enough. I’d give it an 11 out of 10 stars. Go see it now!
I’d go further in scale in recommending this movie because there is an underlying element to it that says a lot about modern culture and its failures. This is the best Batman character I’ve ever seen in any form, comics, television show, or movie. At no point in the film does this Batman waiver in his resolution to fight for good and to fight for justice. He is never tempted or shoved over the edge, only to be redeemed later. He is solid throughout the entire film, and in the end, he becomes a great leader instead of a hiding recluse. Coming out of the Covid years, there is a lot that this film has to say about the state of our world. And this is not a Hollywood progressive offering of nonsense. It’s an honest story examining real human issues, and as Batman faces those issues, he is a solid pillar of virtue through the entire event. Apparently, they are planning to make three of these Batman movies, and if they put the kind of effort into the following two as they did this one, I can’t imagine what that will look like. The amount of work it took to make this The Batman movie is on a big scale that it would be hard to duplicate, ever. The focus on all the little details is overwhelming. This is Hollywood at its best. It’s just a shame that we can’t get more films like this from an industry that has turned so radically left politically. I would not say that this Batman film is political in the way of Republicans and Democrats, but it does explore in detail the cause of all corruption and gets into the weeds in a better way than even the best of the mobster films ever produced. In many ways, I kept thinking of Scarface from the 80s as a comparative film to what they pulled off with The Batman.
Yet, the best part of The Batman is that it honestly explores the nature of evil and what leads to all corruption, and that is when the adults let kids down. Parents’ impact on children is a real, unexplored problem in our modern society. Governments have even attempted to replace the parents in society with government supervision, which has worsened the situation. We now have a culture in real life that has produced millions and millions of villains like the Riddler in this movie, the primary bad guy. But I found myself understanding the Riddler quite a lot. Who could blame him for his anger when the world he sees is so corrupt, and all the parental figures in his life were robbed away from him? The constant theme in The Batman is the cost to young people when adults let them down. When dad runs off with a cheap whore. Or when the District Attorney spends the night in a risqué club instead of staying home with the kid’s doing cocaine with young women draped from his arms. When kingpin fathers manipulate the entire police force and have illegitimate children all over the place, leaving those kids to feel abandoned and broken as adults. The real villains in The Batman are the parents who fell short and left their children without something to hold on to, turning them into adults, broken and vengeful. What is the cause of all crime and corruption, bad parenting? As I sat watching the movie, I looked around at the glassy eyes of the parents taking their kids to see this film. Could the parents relate to the good guys or the bad guys? Or was it just too much for them?
I understood Batman and the Riddler. At the end of the film, I loved the question, which was the same posed to Clint Eastwood in Magnum Force. Who is good, and who is bad? What does it mean to fight for what’s good when most of what’s going on in the world are so bad? Is any of it worth fighting for at all? Should we just leave the world and head for the country as Catwoman did at the end, warning Batman that his fight for justice would likely kill him? And when Batman said to her that he had to try to save the city, it’s the same things we are now saying about our country. Is it worth saving? Should we fight at all, given all the corruption that we see? It’s a worthy question, one that we are all asking in our own specific ways. These are complicated things to think about, but this movie, The Batman, has a definitive statement on it, and I think it’s a great definition that will take time for many to let wash over them. This is a movie worth seeing for more than entertainment. It’s what families should watch together and figure out their place after that where they fit into the puzzle. And hopefully, in the end, the resolution is that they’ll want to be more like Batman than the other characters. And parents will want to be good role models for their kids instead of just the lately louse that fills the halls of corruption in almost every institution created by mankind. Despite the enormous responsibility it requires to bring children into the world, it is worth doing. But the job only gets more complicated the older they get, and if there is a lesson in the movie, The Batman, failing in that job can lead to all the corruption we see in Gotham City and the greater world in general.