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The Batman 2022 by Matt Reeves

Embrace the Shadow

From all the Batmen that we had, I feel like this one is the one most in touch with his Shadow. By shadow I mean the Jungian definition. Batman has embraced the destructive potential of his being and has become a wide used and understood instrument of fear throughout the population. Every single criminal, big or small, shivers and changes the second they see the signal. They get nervous when they watching him slowly walk towards them. Bruce Wayne as Batman is vengeance itself, at least in his eyes. He wants to make Batman into this immovable, omnipresent force, an indestructible entity that eliminates crime through violent means. He falsely believes that under the forceful and potentially tyrannical instalment of fear throughout the city, he will save it. His violent outbursts won’t spread like a gospel of fear throughout the city and its crime ridden underbelly. It has had the opposite effect, it is a violent action that has leads to an equally violent reaction.

The city is worse now than how it was when he started. Everyone knows it and admits it. Even Batman himself is fully aware that his pursuit seems futile. But he has to try, he doesn’t see any other way to fulfill his legacy, both as Bruce Wayne and as Batman. People disagree, with both Alfred and the young mayoral candidate Bella Real urging him to step up and do more as Bruce Wayne. Money is power, something we all know and have to admit, and something that the high ups in Gotham have learned throughout the last 20 or so years, ever since Thomas Wayne passed away tragically.

With all of Batman’s attempts to improve the city, there is in fact a status quo. And then chaos gets introduced in the form of the Riddler and his violent murders. Riddler knows the history of the city, especially the history of his most influential citizens, including the late Thomas Wayne. They all have to pay for their sins, they all have to be shown as exactly as they are or in the case of Thomas Wayne, were. While I disagree with the methods, it is true that there needs to be a way to hold people in the highest positions accountable. I wonder if in the earlier cuts of the movie, this idea of a violent outsider who shakes up the foundations of the city and who is embraced by a certain internet population is further explored. But, this idea of the sins of the father moved down, and that their children are to pay the brunt of them is without any moral or justice. While some of his motives are right, the Riddler is a as tyrannical as are the powers that he fights, a violent, cruel fanatic who won’t stop before anything to get to the point where his ideals are actualized in reality. A very Cromwell figure, if nothing else.

Batman has to transform. From an instrument of fear and vengeance itself into a shining beacon of hope, a light that leads into a better, brighter future. Gotham and Batman are mirror images, the state of the one will forever be the state of the other.

Zoe Kravitz is the best actor in this movie by far. There are some people who just got “it”, and she is definitely one of those people. Every scene is her scene, quite the magnetic presence. The movie has plenty of incredibly well choregraphed and filmed fight scenes. I like how they capture and portray this inevitable aspect of Batman. He might not be superhuman, but to those he faces, he seems like much more than just a guy in a suit. Finally, the movie has one of the best, exciting and explosive car chase scenes, a scene Michael Bay wishes he filmed, and will probably borrow in one of his next films.

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