The Problem We Have With The New 'The Batman' Trailer
Warner Bros. recently dropped the trailer for Matt Reeves’ The Batman like certain versions of Batman drop petty thugs out of five-story windows. As in, yeah, it’s cool and all, but it kind of makes you wonder if the people behind it actually understand certain aspects of the character.
There are three concerning things in the trailer that raise questions about The Batman -- to be fair, two of them are jokes, so let’s quickly get them out of the way before we get to the real problem with the movie.
First of all … did Riddler draw the question mark in his coffee himself? The place where the cops arrest him didn’t exactly look like an artisanal café that does latte art. It was more of a dingy diner that probably only offers coffee in two varieties: yes and no. This Riddler is supposed to be a ruthless serial killer, but I can’t get the image out of my head of him begging the lady behind the counter for some microwaved milk in his coffee so that he could be extra and doodle on it. And for whose benefit exactly? There’s no good answer to that. It was either something he does for himself or something he wanted the cops to see, but he couldn’t have known when exactly they would come for him, so he must have planned to sit there and wait for them as his coffee grew cold. Either way: DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORK.
Second, why the hell would The Batman go to all the trouble of hiring Colin Farrell to play the Penguin, probably paying him the GDP of a small country, only to put a bunch of makeup on him that makes him look exactly like Richard Kind? He even sounds like him! Couldn’t the movie have just given the role to Kind? He seems like a nice guy. He has “kind” right there in his name.
But let’s talk about an actual issue with the movie: this new Batman is way too okay with being shot at. In the trailer, we see him get absolutely bullet-bukkake’d, which he shrugs off because his Batsuit is apparently made out of the same material they make festival wristbands from. That crap’s basically indestructible. As have been a lot of Batsuits in recent media, from Batman V Superman to Batwoman. The problem is that that is absolutely not how Batman should work. Batman is a human who, when written right, never lets himself disappear up his bathole and start smelling his own guano. He is constantly aware that he is made from regular flesh and blood, which is why, for the majority of his history, his Batsuit wasn’t bulletproof.
Originally, Batman didn’t use armor because the closest thing to Kevlar back when he first debuted were slow police rookies. Over time, though, the character deliberately kept his costume light to motivate himself to be so fast and stealthy that he would never be caught in the same zip code as a flying bullet. That’s the version we saw with the best on-screen portrayal of Batman ever, i.e., in the ‘90s animated series. That character is just a guy in tights. No armor anywhere on him. Also, no Bat Bulge, which does kind of imply that the animated Batman tucks and tapes his batpole before each mission, but we sadly don’t have time to get into that. Now, to be fair, Batman did eventually start incorporating some armor into his Batsuit, but it was initially a single, reinforced chest plate hidden underneath his bright-yellow logo.
Frank Miller explained that as Batman wanting to draw fire to the only part of his body that was armored if there was absolutely no way to avoid getting shot at. It was a last resort kind of thing, and it specifically only works with a BRIGHT, noticeable logo. Robert Pattinson’s bat logo, however, is black and blends with the rest of his suit. (Probably because it’s made from the gun that killed his parents, an idea that might have been inspired by Kevin Smith’s comic book.)
You see where I’m going with this, right? Even if the entire Batsuit is bulletproof, you still need something that would draw enemy fire to one, extra-reinforced part of it. Because without it, criminals would start aiming at the part of Batman’s costume they know is not impervious to bullets: HIS FACE, WHICH HE LEAVES UNCOVERED.
Batman is supposed to be an urban ninja. A stealthy mastermind who attacks from the shadows and allows himself to be seen so rarely that some people still doubt that he even exists. But this new Batman stands in full view of criminals and doesn’t even try to dodge their bullets. After ONE night out on the town like that, word would instantly spread about his “fighting” style. Then it would be just a matter of luring Batman into a tunnel, like the one we see near the end of the trailer, and turning it into another Bullet Car Wash. Only this time, everyone’s guns would be angled a few inches higher, making Batsy inadvertently reenact the head explosion from Scanners.
I can’t believe that I have to explain it to Batman of all people, but … people shooting at you is bad. You should try to avoid it. Also, Spider-Man: don’t kill any uncles if you don’t have to.
Follow Cezary on Twitter.
Top Image: Warner Bros. Pictures