Re: The Official Batman (1989) Thread - Part 3
Bruce's last real on screen conversation with Vicki also took on a new dimension to an older me:
Bruce: Look, sometimes I don't know what to think about this. It's just something I have to do.
Bruce: Because I'm the only one who can.
A simple statement, but filled with truth on multiple levels. Various writers have tried over the years to pass on the mantle to other characters... but it never really works. Bruce has something that makes him irreplaceable as Batman. Everyone else is viewed as an imposter by both readers and other characters when they try to do his job. Why is that? What makes him so special? That's a big question... one that can at least be partially answered by is schizophrenic nature. Also, his origin is unique among superheroes. It shaped him as much as he shaped himself through concious choice and long training.
Bruce: I tried to avoid all this but I can't. This is how it is [being Batman]. It's not a perfect world.
Vicki: It doesn't have to be a perfect world. I just gotta know if we're going to try to love each other.
Bruce: *looks sad* I'd like to. *bat-voice begins to emerge* But he's out there right now, and I gotta go to work. *turns away to the batsuit*
Something tells me that this is how Bruce's relationships with normal women will always end. They can't handle his duality because it feels like they're in an intimate relationship with two very different men. One is fairly normal...and the other ultimately frightens them. Not that they believe Batman will ever intentionally hurt them, but he is always dark presence... a void they can't fully understand. Even Doctor Chase Meridian, who helps him reconcile the two aspects of himself, leaves him in the end. Bruce finds bad girls more akin to himself, but those relationships always end with them trying to knife him in the back. They're crooks at the end of the day. He can't win. *sigh* Our boy is destined to be a lonely bachelor for the rest of his days.
And now, after looking back, I can finally pinpoint why Nolan's Batman feels false to me. Because his Batman was never really Batman at all. Just some whiny rich kid dressed in kevlar who can't decide what he really wants, and thus is unimpressive in almost every way. A weirdly dressed James Bond cut out with ninja training is how I sum up Nolan's Batman. Even Schumacher's Batman is more impressive as an individual. I mean at least Schumacher's Batman made his own Batman stuff and didn't take **** from his butler. Remove the neon, costume aesthetics, nipples, and ass-shots and Schumachers Batman suddenly looks way more like what we've come to expect from our hero. He's supposed to be an extraordinary in every sense, not some regular Joe in a weird suit he can afford just because he's rich.
Nolan and Bale utterly fail to convey that Bruce Wayne is fractured at his core... their Batman is wholly false because he is a mere construct, a 'symbol' Bruce creates to hide behind because he can't find a way to confront Gotham's problems as Bruce Wayne. Whereas the real Batman knows exactly what he's about, and uses both personalities in his struggle against injustice. He was literally born the night Thomas and Martha Wayne died and Bruce shut down to grieve. Tim Burton, Bruce Timm, and even Joel Schumacher got that critical part right. Nolan did not.