Midnight’s Edge founder Andre Einherjar asserted that Matt Reeves and Warner Bros. The Batman film completely fell apart and botched its ending by embracing an ideopolitical message.
Einherjar shared his opinion about The Batman in a video titled “Why ‘The Batman’ fell apart towards the end (Spoilers).”
In the video, Einherjar first begins by praising The Batman stating, “Up until a certain point, relatively far into the movie, this is in many ways the best Batman movie ever or at the very least it is right up there with them.”
“The tone, the cinematography, and the score are all fantastic and they work in perfect unison which each other,” he elaborates.
“What this movie gets the most right though is that Batman is the real character, Bruce Wayne is just an empty shell of a man that Batman, much to his chagrin, out of necessity sometimes has to revert back into,” Einherjar praises.
He continues, “For most of the screen time, he is Batman being a detective and selective about which of Gotham’s countless every crimes to address. And that I feel is key to what worked about this movie really clicking.”
Despite the high praises for most of the film, Einherjar notes the movie fell apart when Zoe Kravitz’s Catwoman makes a comment about white privilege.
Einherjar explains, “There is a point in the movie where it nukes the fridge, if you will, and it never recovers from it. It is heralded by one line uttered by Catwoman in which she makes a disparaging remark about privileged white men.”
“It is a line that many have reported took them out of the movie as it brought real-world contemporary American politics into it, which is absolutely did, only in more subtle and insidious ways than what is immediately obvious,” he asserts.
After a brief discussion on why the line is in the film, Einherjar rejects the prevailing theory that it was a studio mandate. He explains, “I believe Matt Reeves put it in there. Not as a virtue signal, not as a throw away line, but as an express marker of the movie’s subtext and underlying themes.”
Following a brief overview of subtext and using John Milius’ Conan the Barbarian as an example, Einherjar further explains why this line and the underlying themes and subtexts it alludes to ruins the film’s ending.
“Returning to The Batman, the point I’m making here is that the line about white privilege wasn’t any random line that the studio mandated to be in there to appease the Twitter mob,” he says. “No, it was placed there by the director and it is a marker of the movie’s subtext.”
He goes on to state, “One of the first things my associate Tom [Connors] pointed out in our very first discussion of the movie was that not only is every single mobster in the movie white, every white man in it is corrupt or otherwise a bad guy.”
“The observation is correct though and it is intentional for this another marker of the movie’s subtext. And as we shall see it goes way beyond the movie’s villains,” he declares.
Einherjar continues, “In the movie, all of Gotham is corrupt and we see this corruption expressed in the city’s establishment citizens, and as has been pointed out, there is very little diversity among these particular citizens. This is Batman’s city so it’s kind of a big deal to him, but why should anyone else care? In our world Gotham doesn’t even exist.”
“Well, that is what makes Gotham a parallel for our whole society, history, and social structure. Gotham is a stand-in for our world. Keep that in mind as the full extent of Gotham’s corruption is exposed over the course of the movie. That corruption infests every facet of Gotham’s establishment structure, citizenry, and even its history,” he states.
“As we learn of the hidden corruption of Bruce Wayne’s own family. This also includes Alfred, who aided and enabled the corruption of the Waynes, which he is held accountable for after nearly dying,” Einherjar says.
“Even Bruce Wayne, Batman himself, doesn’t escape unscathed,” he continues. “He hasn’t done anything wrong, but it doesn’t matter because as the Riddler says, ‘The sins of the father are the sins of the son.’ Bruce Wayne is, how should we put it, a beneficiary of the corrupt system of his father and the city.”
He further elaborates, “This is further emphasized by two characters who act as subtext markers. Namely Catwoman, who points out that Batman must obviously come from money, and the young, diverse prospective mayor who represents the future and a better tomorrow. She tells Bruce Wayne, in not so many words, that he owes the city. He hasn’t been doing enough and she is going to make him do better.”
“This may explain why earlier in the movie we are told that Batman doesn’t know if what he is doing is really helping,” the Midnight’s Edge founder asserts. “If anything, crime is up since he made his appearance. But in light of Catwoman’s and the prospective mayor’s comments to him, the implied reason why is that the whole corrupt system of which he is a beneficiary is still in place.”
“This system is so full of sin it can’t be reformed or rescued. It must be destroyed,” he explains. “Towards the end of the movie, the city is cleansed, if you will, by a Biblical flood. This point is so important to director Matt Reeves that in order to facilitate it on screen this Gotham City has been built below the sea level with walls keeping the water out and the city from flooding. Granted, I’m no Batman expert, but I don’t think there is any comic book precedent for that.”
“After the city has been symbolically cleansed by the flood there can be, I don’t know, a reset, if you will, after which they can build back, you know, in a better way. However, we are told things will get worse before they get better because they still need those sequels and spin-offs,” Einherjar opines.
“Still, the message appears to be that due to the power structures of a non-diverse group of men, society must be restarted,” he reiterates.
“Some of you watching right now may be saying to yourself, ‘That can’t be right,’ but go re-watch the movie with what I’ve said in mind and you’ll find it’s all there and when this all emerges is when the movie falls apart,” he advises.
Later in the video Einherjar reiterates, “The issue with the movie appears to be that rather than comment on the human condition this movie pushes an ideopolitical message. The issue with that is that this instantly makes the subtext far more complicated and difficult to integrate into the on-screen story without becoming preachy.
“In fact, it becomes so difficult that the writers may not have been fully up to the task,” he argues. “And even if they were it may become muddied during both the shooting and editing stages. Whatever the case, the end result was, in my view, a mess.”
“And despite a great first half, or even a great first two-third they didn’t stick the landing. What is more since the message is based in ideology, not any kind of objective reality, the finished movie will also, in part, be further removed from reality to anyone not on board with the ideopolitical message. Something in the movie will ring untrue,” he contends.
Einherjar begins closing out the video saying, ” In my book, this is a great shame because right up until the subtext moved from the implicit to the explicit this really was a great Batman movie and then it no longer was.”
“My skepticism leading up to the movie was always about Matt Reeves, or rather the Bad Robot school of filmmaking he comes from, which is all about subversion and deconstruction. Alas that is exactly what he brought to the table. And the moment he did, it all fell apart,” he concludes.
The Batman has currently earned $599.6 million at the global box office according to The-Numbers. It has earned $300 million at the domestic box office and $299.6 million at the international box office.
The film is currently the highest grossing film in the domestic market far outpacing Uncharted in second place which has earned $125.7 million. It is currently the second highest grossing film worldwide behind China’s Chang Jin Hu Zhi Shui Men Qiao, which has grossed $632.3 million worldwide.
What do you make of Einherjar’s criticism of The Batman? Do you agree or disagree?