Batman ★★★★★

My first time watching blew me away. It was freshman year of college, second semester in 2018, and I was back from winter break, needed time to kill and noticed this as-of-yet-undiscovered series of Batman films were on Netflix- and better yet- I could watch them in succession. So that’s exactly what I did.

I grew up on the LEGO Batman video game, so to hear its music again, in its own proper setting, gave me chills that I’ll never again be able to replicate. I was thrown at first by the strange Gothic Noir vibes of the film, but loved how it leaned into the comic camp while keeping a dark shadow over everything- the perfect balance of fun, dark, and colorful while not overly gritty or realistic in a way that diverges too much from the source material. I could see a wonderful, albeit trope-y arc through the film, and it carries and delivers like no other, with quotable lines that’ll never get old, and performances that turn pages in actors’ careers. The aesthetic and musical sound space of this film are everything: Danny Elfman is at his peak and Anton Furst’s art design, heavily modeled on Fritz Lang’s 1927 masterpiece Metropolis, complete the atmosphere of Gotham City. This film really has it all.

And while I was shocked and disagreed with the ending of the film (because TBH we need more Jack Nicholson Joker in our lives), it left me hungry for more, and the sequel, while tonally darker, certainly brought it home to me. This is undoubtedly one of my favorite films and a must-watch.

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