Batman Returns to Mediocrity


It was a decent movie, as comic book movies go. I don’t generally have high expectations for them. Daredevil was awful. The preceding Batman movie was awful. X-Men was okay (only saw the first film). And I didn’t really think any of the Superman movies were much to write home about. I like Batman, but the only time Batman has been taken off the page and worked well is in Batman: The Animated Series. So okay, I can handle some silliness and a few plot holes in my comic book movie. Which is good, because the former abounded and the latter was not in short supply.

All in all, the movie was pretty good. Batman had great toys, relied on his will, intellect, determination and a body trained to the utmost in order to defeat his enemies. He’s not some pretty-boy from another planet who was lucky enough to be indestructible and able to fly. He’s not some genetic freak-of-nature which endowed him with special powers. He’s rich, yes, but that’s as far as it goes. For an excellent summation of why Batman is the greatest superhero of all, go read what Steve wrote. The movie showed Batman having some struggles as he gets started, he makes some mistakes and he’s not as savvy and self-confident as the Batman we all know and love. But that was okay. It is called “Batman Begins” for a reason.

But the downers. Lucius Fox, Bruce Wayne’s girlfriend and Alfred all know Batman’s secret identity? That’s just stupid. Katie Holmes apparently couldn’t act her way out of a paper bag and Michael Caine’s accent is too lower class to be Alfred. Ra’s al-Ghul is in the movie: good. But he goes out like a punk: bad. (In fact, he shouldn’t go out at all. He is Batman’s nemesis, on a par with the Joker.) Jim Gordon is in the movie: good. But he’s flat and one-dimensional: bad.

And the plot hole. Remember the microwave weapon? What does it do? Turns water into water vapor, aka: steam. Okay, fine. Makes sense, microwave ovens heat things up, sure. But wait! Aren’t humans mostly water? Especially our blood? So how is it that while this thing can vaporize the water in pipes underground for miles around within seconds, humans can walk all around it without their blood boiling and exploding out of their bodies?

On the whole, the movie was mediocre. I won’t buy it, and unless it was the consensus pick when I was with friends, I wouldn’t watch it again.

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