I Saw “The Batman” This Weekend and Here’s My Spoiler-Free Review
I have been a Batman fan for pretty much all my life. My love of the best superhero of all time began when watching reruns of the classic Adam West Batman TV series that originally aired from 1966 to 1968. Some of my earliest memories are of wearing my Batman Underoos sliding down a jump rope tied to a rafter at the top of the stairs of the basement down into my "Batcave." That wasn't the only time I ever dressed as Batman. Just sayin'.
I collected the Batman comic books for years. I was at the premiere of Michael Keaton's Batman in 1989 and every Batman film after that. I'm a die-hard. So I was at the theater on Friday night for the premiere of The Batman, the ninth solo Batman film ever released, when you count the 1966 film featuring the campy TV version of Batman.
Let me just say it right at the top. This is the best Batman film ever created behind The Dark Knight, which only beats it because of the amazing performance of Heath Ledger as The Joker.
My biggest takeaway after watching this nearly three-hour-long movie is that this is the first time that writers have let Batman be a detective rather than just be a movie about gadgets and fighting the bad guys. In the comics, Batman has always been an excellent detective, which is arguably his best "superpower" since he debuted in Detective Comics in 1939.
Another big plus is that the writers didn't bother with Batman's origin story. We know it and have seen it over and over again, so they just reference it rather than flashback like every other Batman movie has done.
I felt a bit of deja-vu going into this as I was skeptical about Robert Pattinson in the role of Batman like many were back in 1989 when it was announced that Michael Keaton would be playing Batman.
That skepticism vanished quickly as Pattinson plays the role very well, using a voice that doesn't sound like he has laryngitis like Christian Bale's portrayal did. He brings more humanity to his role as Batman than any other portrayal. As I watched the movie, I started to feel that this was the most grounded in the real world as any Batman film before it. It was all believable, as opposed to Ben Affleck's Batman fighting aliens invading Earth.
The movie is a little long at 2 hours and 56 minutes, but it doesn't feel like it. A few moments are a bit slow, but for the most part, it moves right along.
As far as I'm concerned, they finally made a movie that portrays Batman as I have loved him in the comics when he's being a detective and therefore ranks as one of the best Batman movies ever made.
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