I remember the first time I saw a Batman movie. It was 1989 and Tim Burton’s Batman was literally everywhere. You could not go into a mall (remember those?) in America without seeing Batman merchandise in every window. I was 6 when my dad took me. It was unlike any other iteration of Batman I had ever seen. It definitely wasn’t anything like the Adam West TV show I used to watch in the afternoons after school.
From that moment on it became an unspoken tradition for my dad and I to see the Batman movies in theaters when they would come out. Yes, even the horrible Batman and Robin. The most recent iteration of Batman in the movies, The Batman, was the first Batman movie that we could not see in theaters together. Neither of us were comfortable spending almost 3 hours in a theater in an area where masks are rarely worn. I did finally see the movie, at home, on HBOMax, and I loved every minute of it.
The Batman that is depicted in The Batman is the most Batman Batman to ever Batman. If you grew up reading the comics, especially storylines like The Long Halloween, you’ll instantly recognize this Batman and this Gotham City. The movie is a detective noir story that oftentimes feels like the movie Seven, with constant dusk and darkness, torrential rain, and seedy alleyways. This is the comic. The Batman isn’t a gritty reboot of the franchise, this is what the franchise is at its heart.
I know DC and Warner Bros. has plans for a spinoff with the Penguin character. I just hope they stay true to the themes, ideas, and atmosphere that director Matt Reeves created. I wouldn’t mind living in this world for a little longer. 🍿