The Batman: Savior or Capitalist?

This version of Batman is not the seasoned vet we have come to know. Yet, the story is about more than him, as it serves to have society question itself and the lengths it will go to hold onto old ideals.


The Batman movie poster. Credit DC Films.

Zach Steward, Politics/Op-ed Editor

Spoiler alerts below! Read only if you’ve seen the movie.


Robert Pattinson is a well-rounded actor that plays a broody Bruce Wayne/Batman well. Zoë Kravitz’s Selina Kyle is compelling, turning her from the underdog into a fan-favorite. Andy Serkis’ Alfred didn’t get enough screen time in my opinion, when he did he embodied Alfred’s spirit. Paul Dano’s Riddler is a sociopathic, psychopathic, vile individual, yet his reasoning was correct. Jeffrey Wright does an amazing job as James Gordon, not entirely trusting Batman but understanding that the city needs him. Matt Reeves brings together a talented group of individuals to show that there is more to a young Batman than what most people would believe. 


There should have been more action scenes, and the story could’ve been more drawn out with regard to the Wayne family story and how that played into the larger corruption. Bruce should have left with Selina, no one told this fool to dress up as a bat and take on crime singlehandedly. His mission is admirable yet misguided, seeing as how Gotham City will always have crime and there will always be people needed to be stopped. Selina offered him a way out before he got too in over his head, and he chose to let it go. Will this iteration of the Joker be explored? Will his psychopathy be brought to bear on Gotham in a similar vein to Heath Ledger? Or will he never be heard from again? These are just some of the thoughts and questions I have. Overall it was a great movie, and the focus on Batman showed the obsession that one has with carrying out an agenda, and how that has an effect on everyday life. 


I can’t take Riddler seriously because of his history, to me he’s not on the level of Joker, Bane, Ra’s Al Ghul, or others. I definitely wasn’t expecting what happened at the end to occur, although I did assume he had something up his sleeve. Flooding Gotham to get rid of corruption entirely as well as Batman shows extreme indifference to human life, even more so than at any point throughout the film. While I can understand why he felt the way he did, murder is not the way to go about it. Show the evidence of corruption to the federal authorities, make sure they’re aware. Throwing one’s life away is not the answer, though. Murdering individuals doesn’t go after the systematic issues that plague the society, it only creates power vacuums that other people will fill. To make true change, there needs to be willingness to destroy corruption, greed, and more from within and replace it with integrity, honesty, trust. Of course, this is easier said than done due to society’s rewarding of white-collar criminals, corrupt officials, and more. 

The Batman offers more than gritty action and compelling storylines. It makes comparisons and parallels to real-life situations and the lengths one would go to take a stand against what they view as wrong. As much as the story is about Batman’s crusade, it is also about how corrupt systems operate and ways to take them down to make society equitable. Again, Riddler’s methods are despicable, but his reasoning makes a twisted sort of sense. Corruption only serves the powerful, and bringing them down a peg allows for them to understand (to a certain extent) how those without immense resources live. Highly recommend seeing the movie more than once to get a feel for it. I’m excited to see where this goes in the future.

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