Wednesday, August 29, 2012

When will we see an actual Batman movie?

The 60's Batman TV series was basically a farce. It was basically a time when, for some inexplicable reason I cannot comprehend, TV and film producers thought that a superhero series/movie should be a wacky comedy and be really over-the-top. (I really can't understand where the connection between "superheros" and "comedy" comes from. In my mind there's a disconnect of the size of the Pacific ocean between them.) In fact, that mentality persisted for a surprisingly long time (even in the 90's and 2000's we were still getting superhero movies that were more comedy than anything else.)

Tim Burton's 1989 Batman and its sequel are an attempt to make an actual Batman movie (which sadly sunk once again into a comedy in the hands of Joel Schumacher, a turn of events that's best left forgotten in the annals of history.) It was ok'ish... kind of. Yes, it was something resembling Batman, but... not really. Batman's suit is not like that, he is not really like that as a persona, the Joker is definitely not like that, the universe is not really like that... It's just not Batman. It's something that resembles it, but isn't really.

Christopher Nolan made his own version of Batman as a trilogy between 2005 and 2012. While this trilogy is highly praised and some of the most profitable and most well-received movies of all time... I'm sorry to say, but it's once again not Batman. It's something that resembles Batman, but just isn't. It's gritty, it's badass, it's kind of realistic... but it's just not Batman. It's like a parallel universe Batman that closely resembles the actual one, but just isn't the actual one. And once again the Joker is good on its own right... but it's not the actual Joker. It's something that may resemble the original, but just isn't.

(And again, aaargh, the costume. Why do these people insist in putting Batman into a bulky full body armor that makes him like the Michelin man who can't even turn his head? How exactly is he supposed to fight anybody inside that? It's not possible. The Batman in the comics does not use a rigid full body armor because he doesn't need it. He's that badass. He dispatches enemies using stealth and psychology, not by standing in front of them waiting for them to shoot. He's a ninja, not a human tank.)

Another thing that all these movies completely forget is that Batman is a detective. (After all, he's supposed to be the greatest detective in the world.) This aspect is completely lacking in all the movies. There's just no trace of it.

The closest thing we have got to an actual Batman "movie" is the Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City video games. Now that's what I'm talking about. Here's a gritty(ish) Batman and cast of allies and enemies that looks, feels and acts like the real Batman, while still maintaining the kind of "innocence" that's part of the fantasy world of the Batman universe in the comics. Here Batman is Batman, the Joker is the Joker, Catwoman is Catwoman, and basically every single character is the character from the comics, and the entire setting is that of the comics. There are no stupid changes to make it "more realistic" or "more plausible" or anything like that. This is the comics Batman, pure and simple. No compromises, no bullshit. Just pure unadulterated Batman, no more, no less.

That's what I want from a Batman movie.

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