Kareem's Weekend Boost (March 11-13)
What to Watch, Read, or Listen to This Weekend
Welcome to the Weekend Boost. Because of Daylight Savings Time we’re springing forward this weekend, so here are some offerings to put more spring in your step.
This reincarnation of Batman is the closest movie yet to the sinister spirit of Frank Miller’s Dark Knight comics. It takes the idea of Batman seriously and as a result is much more realistic in plot and characterization.
Here Batman is more detective than just violent vigilante, trying to solve the mystery of why The Riddler is killing prominent Gotham citizens. He’s also only been the Batman for two years, so he’s still trying to figure out who he is and how to be more effective. That inexperience actually adds more depth to his character because he hasn’t yet figured out how to use his Bruce Wayne identity to his advantage in gathering information, hiding his Batman persona, and in using his billions to help Gotham. He’s all anger and vengeance. His evolution to becoming something more than a brutal punisher is the core theme of the movie. And it works.
The action scenes are the best yet, mainly because the intensity with which Batman fights. His romance with biracial Catwoman is pleasant and addresses the underlying theme of class warfare, but it seemed a bit clumsy. Still, it’s a powerful and entertaining work.
SPOILER ALERT. THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS PLOT POINTS THAT YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE MOVIE. I know he’s new at being Batman, but for all his detective work, he never solves anything fast enough to prevent the murders or mass destruction. Some reviewers have complained that he’s too dour, but that’s the point: he hasn’t yet achieved the balance of what it takes to be Batman, or even who he wants Batman to be. Yes, at the end, he’s helping people the way any firefighter would, but that’s also the point. He’s put his gadgets and personal crusade aside to embrace being a public servant—focused on helping others over the satisfaction of prideful vengeance. In a city rotten with corruption, that’s a major leap of faith.