Batman Beyond: Beyond the Movie is a 2019 American superhero film based on the television series of the same name. It is the sequel to Batman (2005) and Batman Begins (2012) and the twentieth installment overall in the Batman film series. The film stars Robert Pattinson in the titular role as billionaire Bruce Wayne, a retired billionaire, who uses his resources and status as a symbol of strength and resilience to fight crime and corruption in Gotham City. He is now aided by his butler Alfred (Michael Caine), who along with Commissioner James Gordon (Gary Oldman) tracks down those who would threaten public safety. Besides Pattinson, the cast includes Zoë Kravitz, Paul Bethany, Scott Eastwood, and Andy Serkis. The film is directed by Seth Gordon and written by Justin Springer and Akiva Goldsman. To avoid copyright infringements, the film is dedicated to the memory of director Tim Burton. The film was theatrically released in the United States on March 20, 2019, by Warner Bros. Pictures. It received mixed reviews from critics, who praised some aspects of the film but criticized its dialogue and lack of innovation when compared to its predecessors.
A Different Kind of Villain
Set eight years after Batman Begins, the film opens with billionaire Bruce Wayne (Robert Pattinson) meeting with his former chief of security Alfred (Michael Caine) to discuss Wayne’s future in crime fighting. Alfred offers some insights into Wayne’s character, suggesting he is not only a physically strong individual but also a brilliant and kind-hearted philanthropist. Despite his affluence and the respect of the public, Wayne is actually feeling vulnerable and isolated following the death of his longtime girlfriend, Rachel (Kravitz), and the injury of his ward, Dick Grayson (Bethany). To reconnect with the life he once led, Wayne enlists the help of his butler Alfred and adopts a new persona: the billionaire playboy philanthropist, Batman.
While Gordon was originally just one of many corrupt and belligerent cops that Batman fought alongside, he has now replaced Lieutenant Foley (Jackie Gleason) as his sidekick and partner. This new dynamic between Alfred and James provides a rare opportunity for the two to develop a close relationship, especially as Alfred serves as a father figure to the youthful vigilante. Over the course of the film, the two slowly grow closer as Alfred serves as Wayne’s moral compass, providing sound advice on how to deal with the corrupt Mayor (Francis Kenny) as well as his vigilante alter ego, the Bat.
In a departure from the earlier films, Batman Beyond: Beyond the Movie does not feature any scenes of the Dark Knight in combat. Its first half primarily centers around Wayne establishing himself as a force to be reckoned with during his retirement, training with Alfred and spending time with Dick Grayson. The film’s second half returns to the structure of earlier films, featuring more action scenes with the Joker (Jerome Robinson) and Penguin (Richard Egan) as the primary villains. The film ends with Alfred offering a monologue about how far Wayne has come, and what he has learned from his experiences. He also reveals that Dick Grayson will assume the role of Batman on a permanent basis, cementing their friendship and establishing a new dynamic between the former partners.
Some reviewers have compared Batman Beyond: Beyond the Movie to recent blockbusters such as Black Panther (2018) and Captain Marvel (2019) due to its emphasis on character development and the infusion of humor into the proceedings. Others have noted the film’s similarity to the 1966 Batman TV series, which featured the debut of a young Michael J. Fox as a potential successor to the title character. The cinematic version will be distinguished from the satirical television series by the inclusion of comedy legend Gary Oldman as the voice of Commissioner Gordon, and by the decision of the creators to kill off one of their major characters, Rachel.
The most positive reviews hailed the film’s character development and praise for director Seth Gordon. Those who disliked the film claimed that it was uninspired and lacked originality, despite its emphasis on creating a darker and more serious tone than its predecessors. Some reviewers felt constrained by the need to keep the story linear and to maintain consistency with the source material, resulting in a somewhat uneventful narrative. The most vocal detractors complained about the film’s lack of innovation and humor, particularly when compared to its predecessors.
What Is The Difference Between The Movies And TV Show?
The cinematic and TV versions of Batman have always been somewhat incompatible, with the former featuring a darker, more serious tone and the latter being a bit more comedic in nature. While the TV series still features a campy sense of humor, the tone of the films is often compared to that of a traditional superhero or horror movie. With Batman Beyond: Beyond the Movie, the filmmakers have gone a step further toward incorporating the darker sensibilities of the Batman comics into the mainstream sensibility of Hollywood, creating something new and exciting.
Why Are These Films Important?
While the majority of superhero films are fairly formulaic and lacking in creativity, Batman Beyond: Beyond the Movie bucks the trend, with creators Akiva Goldsman and Justin Springer doing an excellent job of integrating the best aspects of the previous two films while maintaining an innovative, fresh approach. The filmmakers had an opportunity to explore what makes Batman so fascinating in the first place, and how his unparalleled status as an icon has transcended the decades since his first appearance.
With a unique and interesting perspective on the world of superheroes, these films will hopefully pave the way for future installments in the Batman franchise, which currently has plans for multiple sequels and a possible TV series.