The Batman. My Review

I saw this movie with my family over the weekend. There were five of us. We spent roughly $156 on this outing. That breaks down to $60 in tickets, $66 in concessions, and $30 at the bar. I’m telling you this to illustrate our commitment to the adventure classifying as “all in.”

It’s exciting to go to the movies and my son had The Batman on his list of something we had to see. I’d read good reviews on the movie, and Robert Pattinson, always easy on the eyes, was Batman this time, so I was ready too.

We settled into our reclining lounge chairs, and I totally annoyed my daughter when I gave her the pre-movie kiss that took place before every movie theater experience. That ritual began when I smuggled her into the R-rated movie Chicago when she was seven years old. She and I had belted out every song on that soundtrack for months and knew all the words. We had to see it. I was hoping that most of the language – much like the soundtrack from Grease – would go over her head. I was hoping that the sexual innuendos would too. Regardless, my tiny girl squeezed into an excited ball in her seat, leaned over and gave me an angel kiss on the lips once the lights went down, and whispered, “That’s how all movies should start.”

So at the beginning of The Batman, that’s how my happiness meter ran. After at least twenty minutes of previews and already a bit nauseous from too many Milk Dud/Popcorn mouthfuls, it began. Three hours later, I literally stumbled out, one leg asleep, bleary-eyed, bladder full, and honestly surprised that I was in a theater with lights, soft carpets, and cheerful people. The volume of the voices were soft, changing the sensory level of my world from a ten down to normal. There was sunshine when we got outside, too. What the heck?

The movie is soo dark. In every way. I’d avoided the previous Batman movies because I’m not a fan of terror, horror, or too much shrieking noise and deadly action. There are exceptions, but I’m not going there now. The atmosphere of the infamous Gotham City in this installment reminded me of Blade Runner. It’s a town gone mad with a circus-like cast of scary villains. At one point before a mass shooting began on an unsuspecting crowd of people crammed into an arena trying to save their lives from the entire city being flooded, I turned to George and said, “I want to leave.” I didn’t want to watch it. The evil was too much. For no reason other than evil is unleashed, encouraged, and alive in Gotham City. Not a place you want to live.

Robert Pattinson does a great job, and even though I’m supposed to believe that Batman is a human with some pretty cool toys and bullet-proof vests and all, I’m thinking he might not be. There was just never any downtime for the boy and so neither was there for me. The Batman should not be alive. But there you go.

The sets are done beautifully and there were visually stunning moments that took my breath away. Zoe Kravitz was one of those – just by being her. It made me feel guilty for ordering all those pretzel bites. She was like a single living beautiful flower standing out in a bleak apocalyptic-type world. The movie was so intense and so fast that I didn’t have time to appreciate a lot of what I’d seen.

We left the theater and staggered to our cars, hardly speaking. Overwhelmed, coming down from some mind-numbing trip, I decided to drive and found myself feeling hunched over at the wheel as if on Dodge Tomahawk, black helmet strapped on, weaving in and out of on-coming traffic at 250 mph. I was still in Gotham City as I whipped around cars and down the road – my son in the back yelling at me and George beside me shaking his head, still eating from the bucket of popcorn. “I can’t stop!” I yelled, veering around some slow-moving vehicle. Yes, I was speeding, but not overly so. Kind of in the illegal-but-not-really-dangerous zone. After getting home, I put on my pajamas, crawled in bed, and crashed for a hard nap.

I think I’m just too old for the Batman. Factor that in. My son said, “Yeah, I didn’t think you’d be able to handle it.” He was right.

So there you have it. I don’t know if the following sentence is a helpful tip, but it reflects my experience: I will never see another Batman movie as long as I live.

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