The Batman

The Batman ★★★★

This movie takes itself way too seriously but nevertheless it totally thrilled me. It has a genuinely adventurous, provocative, beating heart that, despite its flaws (and there are at least a few) harbors legitimately courageous ambitions. It’s a film that’s trying to expand the vocabulary of modern myth beyond pure commerce. If its overly grimy, rain-soaked aesthetic is excessive, that can be seen as a corrective to the plasticine Potemkin villages of the MCU. There’s plenty of fantastical elements in this movie, but it’s actually quite difficult to discern between what is real and what is Hollywood fakery (Colin Farrell as a case in point). It’s also unafraid to commingle its far-fetched conceits with the real world; I was amazed by how boldly director Matt Reeves placed Batman in the context of real people, real situations, and how he rationalized that a recognizably logical world would react to a freak like this amongst them. The core of it is that Reeves is fully invested in doing what it takes to allow viewers to suspend disbelief, and apparently also fully disinterested in the wink-wink, nudge-nudge, highly disingenuous forced levity of the super-hero competition. Above all else what we have here is a directorial vision, which I prefer every time.

Also, Batman vs. a bunch of Q-Anon dickheads—I’m sold.

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