I get it. Things are scary right now. The environment is collapsing, democracy is eroding, and the worst pandemic in a century shows no signs of ending. It makes sense that you want a couple hours of escapism with the latest Batman movie—a brief respite when you can catch up with the caped crusader in a dark, gritty film that caters to your adult tastes while rekindling your memories of childhood.
But guess what? I am a child, and I would like a fucking Batman movie aimed at me, please.
Yeah, I said “fuck” just then, and I will receive a time-out for it. That’s how it works when you’re eight years old, but I don’t care. I’m just that mad. Did you know I’m not even allowed to see the new Batman? Mom happened to catch the trailer—with the Riddler suffocating people with duct tape or whatever—and said no way.
You’re adults! Who pay taxes! Go watch Phantom Thread or something.
Not that I want to see any of these new Batman movies, mind you. You ruined them! Take The Dark Knight—which came out before I was even born, by the way. We watched it at Caleb’s sleepover last weekend, and the Joker, I kid you not, hangs a guy by the neck from a skyscraper.
I’m in elementary school, for God’s sake!
(Oh, then they hang some more people in the sequel. Way to keep things fresh, Nolan.)
Here’s a bit of trivia you might not know: Batman was originally a character from comic books, and comic books have traditionally been aimed at—you might want to sit down for this—children. You know, those little people you’d have three of by now if you were born in any era besides this one? They’d read them after school while their parents were busy doing grown-up stuff, like listening to jazz or drinking that brown juice that makes Dad happy and then sleepy.
And don’t give me any of this nonsense about how the latest Batman movies are better than the ’90s ones. Sure, Arnold Schwarzenegger made a ton of silly ice puns in Batman & Robin. Know who found them delightful? Me! Because I’m a human being who has yet to learn long division and still kind of believes in Santa Claus.
But, hey, if those old Batman movies don’t do it for you, try drowning your sorrows in the Capri Sun that comes with the Lunchables snack kit that I assume you eat each day after soccer, you 401(k)-having fuckwit.
Yeah, yeah, that’s time-out number two. Whatever.
Hey, grown-ups, let’s do an experiment! Two-Face will next be played by Chris Pine.
(I don’t know if that’s true, but if you had any emotional reaction to it whatsoever, you’re part of the problem.)
And it’s not just Batman. There isn’t a beloved childhood property that you people won’t destroy by rebooting. One of my favorite Disney classics is 101 Dalmatians. A beautiful, funny, dramatic story about family and perseverance. And then what do you do? Make a whole new movie about the character who murders dogs!
What the fuck is wrong with you?
Sure, I’ll be grounded for saying that, but so what? It’s nothing compared to your problems. Maybe it’s something psychological. You’re always making silly jokes about “adulting” whenever you manage to do your laundry or send an email. It’s sad. Are the realities of aging so bleak that you still need Batman to be a character that’s aimed at you? It’s like you’re hopelessly trapped in the mindset of a kid, and you can’t even consider growing up and putting the obsessions of your childhood to rest, no matter how formative or scarring they were—
Oh, wait, I understand. Maybe you need Batman more than I do.