Alright look. I meant to write a review the weekend The Batman came out. But since life is hard sometimes, I wasn’t able to sit down and write when I wanted to. But now, The Batman’s been out for a week and anyone who really cares has seen enough serious reviews. You can even watch my YouTube review with the Film Fellas of Apollo Media or listen to our episode of One Take Podcast about The Batman for more traditional reviews.
All that to say, there’s plenty of people (including me) who have already broken down the film nerd side of The Batman, the comic book nerd side of it, and the comic book film nerd side of it. Pretty much all of us agree that The Batman is somewhere between “pretty good but a little long” and “one of the best comic book movies I’ve ever seen in my life”. I give it an A+, you should go see it in theaters.
So I can do whatever I want in the rest of this review now.
Because I’m not a good person – and I was ratio’d to oblivion the other day – what I want to do is triple down on making fun of people for liking films that I don’t like in a thinly-veiled attempt to feel alive and fill a void in my heart that would be better filled by the reassuring words of a professionally licensed therapist. Wait…no. I mean…
I am Vengeance. And today I’ve won.
Let’s talk about The Batman, why I won and why the SnyderHive Lost.
An introduction to Zack Snyder Hive
You remember that movie 300? It came out in 2006. Gerard Butler was in it and he lead 300 Spartans into battle against a very queer-coded God-King named Xerxes. I thought it was pretty cool back in 2006 when I was in 6th grade, but nobody really cares anymore, right? It’s been 16 years. We’ve grown up. We can think critically about movies. We can realize when something is just mindless fun instead of being great filmmaking and leave it at that.
Well, some of us can. Zack Snyder Hive cannot. As a result, they’ve dedicated their lives and online personas to trying to convince the world that, despite what we may see with our eyes, that the man responsible for Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole (2010), Sucker Punch (2011), and Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) is actually an incredible filmmaker that we simply don’t understand.
According to Zack Snyder Hive, the Snyderverse isn’t a rushed project that desperately tried to do in 3 films what the MCU did in 20. It’s not a boring version of Superman and Batman that shows 0 understanding of the characters.
To them, the Snyderverse is actually an incredible story of hope and justice that is much more realistic and grounded than those shitty Marvel movies that y’all actually enjoy watching. By their logic, you’re wrong and dumb for enjoying popular movies that have jokes and COLORS in them. Those can’t be serious works of fiction. Oh no. You peasants who enjoy Marvel movies don’t understand REAL cinema and what Zack Snyder was trying to do! You have to watch the ULTIMATE EDITION of Batman V Superman so you can understand the full vision! And it’s actually Warner Bros. fault that Justice League was bad! Not their beloved Zack Snyder!!!
The Hive almost pulled it off too. They bullied Warner Bros. into releasing the 4-hour Justice League Snydercut (much better than the original but still just okay). Stans even got Joss Whedon out the paint and everyone hates him now. An impressive feat for a fan hive dedicated to such a mediocre filmmaker. It looked like they had won. UNTIL…
The Batman put Zack Snyder in the dirt
Look, I don’t make the rules. I’m just here to enforce them in creative ways that benefit my personal agendas.
And according to the rules, it’s over for Zack Snyder’s version of Batman. Matt Reeves’s The Batman is one of the best comic book movies in recent memory and Robert Pattinson delivers an incredible performance of the character that fans have been waiting years for. The Batman doesn’t show Bruce Wayne patrolling the streets in a tank with missile launchers and murdering random security guards. This is a grounded, tortured version of the character who refuses to kill and relies on his brain along with his fist and weapons to save the people of Gotham. Not to fight hastily introduced aliens created by Mark Zuckerberg. Instead, while Pattinson’s Batman may be too emo for some, he gives us backstory, emotion and power simply by moving his eyes for a couple seconds that Ben Affleck couldn’t give us in about 7 hours worth of Snyderverse Batman content.
The side characters in The Batman – Catwoman, Riddler, Penguin, Gordon, Falcone, various politicians, really everyone except Alfred – each have their own compelling arcs to go along with their compelling performances. There’s a long way to go to next Oscar season, but I fully expect Supporting Actor love from fans of Paul Dano’s Riddler to last until then. The score and the cinematography should receive a long look for Oscars next year as well. They’re that damn good. The most notable side character in the Snyderverse is Amy Adams’s Lois Lane, a character entirely unlikable and uninteresting that’s supposed to be central to the plot. She stinks.
The Gotham shown in The Batman feels truly lived in, not like a hollow Super Smash Bros level made for Superman and Batman to be thrown through until they can defeat the bad guy through the power of their mothers’ name. The Batman’s Gotham is a city full of real people making real decisions that feel based on something bigger than “I saw Batman on CNN, he destroyed my local Walmart”. The corruption goes deep and as the central mystery of The Batman spools out to reveal more and more evil, radical fanatics of The Riddler grow fully in our view, but outside of our focus until called upon in a dramatic and brilliant climax. Ain’t no “MARTHA!!!” or CGI alien battles to be found here.
Snyder Hive, you lost. You’re done.
The Batman from Matt Reeves is an instant classic. As such, it’s superior not only to Batman V Superman and Zack Snyder’s Justice League, but to literally every film Zack Snyder has ever made. You can deny it if you want to, but it is what it is. Despite your valiant efforts to protect Snyder and his reputation from the court of public opinion, from now until forever Zack Snyder will be remembered as the man who made the mediocre Justice League movies in the 2010s before we got the Matt Reeves/Robert Pattinson universe that was better in every way. You lost. It’s over.
“But Dex, it’s not a competition! People can enjoy both things!”
Sure, people can, but you can’t. It’ll sting your soul every time that people make a tweet hating on your fave’s shitty movies and you have to lie to yourself and others that the Snyderverse was good and worthwhile. It wasn’t. You’ve wasted a decade of your life fighting a meaningless battle online and building an identity around liking bad movies that no one else cares about and will immediately cast into the waste bin of cinematic history in favor of the MCU, the Dark Knight Trilogy and whatever Matt Reeves does next.
Follow me, Dex Hinton, on Twitter @LordDexHinton. Feel free to tweet me through tears if you’re mad about my Zack Snyder takes. You can tweet @ me about other things like good movies, the Oscar races, Baylor sports, Rockets, Texans, Astros, just whatever really. I be on there just talking.
Follow Apollo Media’s official Movies/Pop Culture podcast One Take Pod as well @1TakePod. Listen now wherever you get your podcasts. Our latest episode is about The Batman. We will be dropping an episode about the newest Pixar film Turning Red (now available to stream on Disney+ for no extra cost) very soon as well. Check it out and subscribe.
Thanks for reading and as always, #SupportFlorencePugh.