Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Superhero Summer

Yeah I've seen the new Batman movie. Twice. Jealous?
After today's viewing, I have to stick by my claim that Batman is without a doubt the best superhero ever and certainly the best superhero to have a movie this summer. Superman is stupid because he can do everything ever, and only one thing kills him. There are no real conflicts that Superman has to face. This sets him apart from Spiderman, who does face a few quandaries-- fighting crime while also puberty, and denying his love for MaryJane (which, let's face it, we all have to do at some point or another). However, both Superman and Spiderman are geeks. Superman is squeaky clean; Spiderman is squeaky lame (anyone remember when he went all emo in the third movie? Embarrassing.).
But the Batman is complex. Which of his identities is his true character? Playboy billionaire? Normal nice guy who wants to get with Rachel Dawes? Or caped crusader, who must stop at nothing to vanquish his formidable rogues? Unlike Superman and Spiderman, the Batman has rules that he must obey, and not just the laws of physics (which simply don't apply to many heroes). The Batman is on another level. He never allows himself to kill his enemies, and the villains of Batman are the craziest and most deadly of all.
There is obviously the Joker, a psychotic madman who seeks nothing but chaos. There is the Riddler, a narcissistic criminal who can't help but leave clues about his real identity for the authorities (Ted Bundy anyone?). There's Two-Face, a schizo who leaves the fate of his victims up to the chance of a coin flip. And Penguin, the made man embodying bureaucratic corruption. Also Mr. Freeze, who f'ing freezes people (!). And no one forgets Catwoman, who is just plain dead-sexy (Michelle Pfieffer more so than Halle Berry, in my opinion). Everyone knows the villains define the hero, so the Batman must be the man.
At last we have a superhero movie that people outside the 7-12 age group won't be ashamed to love. It's dark, twisted, and flat-out cool. At the end of the movie (don't worry this isn't a spoiler) Lt. Gordon says Harvey Dent (the district attorney who isn't afraid to prosecute corrupt mob guys) is the hero Gotham needs but not the one they deserve, and he says Batman is the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one they need (at that given moment, you'll get it when you see it). But I beg the differ, Lt. Gordon. The Batman is the hero we deserve and need. There is now a new breed of superhero that makes Superman and Spiderman look like downright clown shoes by comparison. There is Batman-- my white (dark) knight.

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