After the huge success of The Batman, fans have been waiting eagerly for the next direct sequel. Unfortunately, that won’t be coming quite as soon as they might have hoped. The Batman 2 has been postponed to February 2021 due to the pandemic.
Now, nearly a year later, word has spread that The Batman 2 will finally arrive in theaters on January 24, 2021. While we wait for that to happen, let’s take a look back at some of the most memorable scenes from the film.
What would any movie be without an amazing opening sequence? For The Batman, that sequence took the form of a cartoonishly gruesome origin story. In the first scene, Gotham City is plunged into darkness as ominous strings play. A bat flies through the night sky, coming in for a terrifying landing. We then cut to a grotesque tableau of the great detective’s (Robin Hood’s) bloody work. Over the course of the next five minutes, we watch as Bruce Wayne (Robert Pattinson) comes face-to-face with ten separate victims.
Batman’s violent initiation was followed by a brilliant action set piece that saw the Caped Crusader take on a squadron of soldiers. In another jaw-dropping sequence, Batman single-handedly stops a helicopter from delivering a lethal gas attack on a populated area. As terrifying as all that was, it was just a warm-up for the fantastic action climax that was to come. The final showdown between Batman and Gotham’s arch-nemesis, The Joker (Tameem Antoniades), is still one of the most exciting scenes in cinematic history. Watching the two iconic characters duke it out was thrilling, and the way director Matt Reeves choreographed the whole thing was phenomenal. The way Batman moved, and the way he countered the Joker’s every move, was incredible to behold, as was the sheer genius of the Joker’s plan; it’s amazing how much tragedy he was able to engineer with just a few props and some clever set design.
The Joke’s Harcourt Fenton Mudge (II)
While everyone may know the Joker as the clown prince of crime, it was actually Harcourt Fenton Mudge (II) who played the Trickster in Batman vs. The Joker. For decades, Mudge’s impersonations of famous people had mostly fallen on deaf ears. That is, until he decided to play the Joker. While his vocal performances were a hoot, it was his brilliant screen presence that made Mudge’s Joker stand out.
“Fenton has an energy and charisma that is infectious,” said director Matt Reeves in a press release. “He has a brilliant mind for comedy and an athletic body capable of executing physical comedy. Watching him perform as the Joker is like being given a present by Santa Claus.”
If you’ve seen Batman vs. The Joker, you know exactly what I’m talking about. For decades, Mudge impersonated famous people like Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, and even Santa Claus. He even did Christopher Robin Milne, the nephew of Sir Arthur, voicing his famous uncle in a scene that took place after the credits. In the scene, Arthur accuses Robin of being a terrible liar, to which Robin replies, “What I am is a practical joker!” Then, without missing a beat, Mudge cracks himself up by saying, “It’s a bit like déjà vu all over again!”
Mudge’s performance as the Joker was so funny, it was all the more shocking when he’d beat up on his underlings. One of the best sequences in Batman vs. The Joker sees the Joker and his men (including Poison Ivy) kidnap Barbara Kean, daughter of American diplomat Philip Kean. The Joker holds the family as hostages and demands the release of the sons of two prominent men he killed. When Batman (Robert Pattinson) later learns of this incident, he immediately suspects The Joker. After all, he was the only one who knew where Barbara was. As it turns out, the Joker tricked the Dark Knight.
While The Joker held Barbara hostage, he mentally controlled her brother, Thomas, who is an expert marksman. In a brilliant scene, Thomas gets the drop on the Joker and puts a bullet in his head. After that, the camera stays on the brother as he takes a moment to reflect on his actions. It’s a powerful scene because not only does it show the audience the true complexity of the Joker’s character, but it also humanizes Thomas, giving the scene an emotional weight that wouldn’t be there if it weren’t for Mudge’s presence. Sadly, in the comics, Thomas was never able to cope with his newfound powers and committed suicide by hanging. But in the movie, we get to see a more humanistic side to the Joker, which is a testament to the actor’s brilliant interpretation of the character.
The Tumblers From Space
You wouldn’t believe it if I told you that The Batman marked the first time that we’ve ever seen tumblers from space, but it’s true. In the film, Gotham City is plagued by an outbreak of poison ivy. To save the day, the Caped Crusader teams up with Dick Grayson, whose days as Batman are now over. In another brilliant bit of comic book iconography, the two old enemies team up to take down a common threat.
“Dick brings a vulnerability to the table that is an amazing contrast to Batman’s stoicism,” said director Matt Reeves in a press release. “He sees the world with a child-like wonder, and it brings an otherworldly element to this fantastical story.”
Dick’s arrival in Gotham City is reminiscent of a scene from the 1940s, when the Joker first appeared in the same city. Back then, it was a scene of anarchy as the notorious madman held the streets hostage and set Gotham on fire. But while the anarchy was indeed terrifying to behold and led directly to Batman’s creation, it was ultimately rooted in a sense of futility, or what sociologist Daniel Bell called the “uselessness of violence.”
Dick Grayson is one of the most recognizable faces in comic books, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to learn that Batman has seen him play the villainous role multiple times. But as brilliant as Dick’s performances as the Joker and other villains have been, it’s always been his work as the Boy Wonder that has shined the brightest. Perhaps it’s because as a child he witnessed the horrors of World War II and its aftermath, or maybe it’s just because he’s got the face of a 10-year-old boy (hence the nickname “the Boy Wonder”). Whatever the reason may be, when it comes to Robin playing the role of the Joker, it seems as though Dick’s influence is all over the place. Not only do we get to see the Joker’s iconic yellow outfit, but we also get to see him speak in a British accent, adopt a French accent, and display an almost hypnotic ability to charm his victims.
Dick Grayson’s Rival
As previously mentioned, one of the things that makes The Batman so special is that it was the first time that we’ve ever seen a Batman movie. But that isn’t the only thing that makes it special. One of the more interesting stories that emerged after the film’s premiere was that of its villain, the Rival. While it was previously known that Joe Chill, Bats’ archnemesis in the comics, would make an appearance in The Batman, it wasn’t until after its premiere that we learned of Bats’ secret apprentice, whom Chill had recruited as his accomplice. This individual, who goes by the alias of the Rival, would later assume the mantle of Batman and go on to terrorize Gotham City. It’s an origin story that’s more interesting for being an alternate version of Batman’s life.
The Rival’s first encounter with Batman is an intense one. After luring the Dark Knight into a trap, the Rival reveals himself to be the vigilante, demanding that Batman tell him his secret identity. When the Dark Knight refuses, the Rival slices him with a sword, nearly taking off his head. As brilliant as the film is, it’s the Rival’s brutal introduction that gives it its edge.