There’s no beating around the bush here, friends, The Batman is probably my favorite movie so far in 2022. Not simply because it’s a Batman movie and I am a confirmed Bat-a-holic; although it is for me the very best Batman movie ever made. It’s a tremendous detective story with strong horror elements that just sing to me. Matt Reeves has made a movie that earns its three hour run time. Right from the jump, it’s wonderful. The movie is now streaming on HBO Max, but if you don’t have that service, you can watch the first 10 minutes right here, right now.
It’s a great first 10 minutes, let me tell ya. This first reel encapsulates so much of what I love about the movie as a whole. We open with the strains of “Ave Maria” while someone (it’s the Riddler) watches an affluent family through a pair of binoculars as the family plays in their penthouse apartment. Soon we learn the flat belongs to the mayor who paces back and forth while watching himself during a debate against his opponent. What he doesn’t know is that the Riddler has gotten into his house and stands right behind him. Gulp. It doesn’t end very well for Mr. Mayor.
That’s the horror bit; next comes the detective bit. As Batman narrates his journal entry about that night, Halloween, he talks about how his two year crusade against crime hasn’t done much for the city. Some criminals are afraid of him, others think he’s a joke. But when the Bat-Signal hits the sky, “it’s not just a call. It’s a warning.” This sequence, with the wonderful main score from Michael Giacchino, leads to the first big fight in the movie. Who is he? “I’m vengeance.”
And boy, after that moment, you wish you could just keep watching. Which, guess what—you can! It’s on HBO Max and available for rent and purchase now. The Batman rules, and I’m probably gonna go watch it again.