After twenty years of people mocking and trashing Joel Schumacher's Batman films, popular YouTube critic Patrick H. Willems (you've likely seen his videos on plot holes, The Last Jedi, or some of the filmmaking shortcomings of the Marvel Cinematic Universe) headed to Comic Con International in San Diego last weekend to check out the Batman exhibit at the Comic Con museum, and to record a video in which he defends Schumacher's approach to the character as being as valid as any other. Using comic book writer Grant Morrison as his justification, Willems says that every verison of Batman is as valid as the next.
Willems says that he rewatched the Schumacher Batman movies for the first time in years recently and found them to have aged better than a lot of comic book movies that came after them. He was especially interested in something that DC has been chasing ever since: the idea of a director with a vision, trying his hand at making "his version" of a movie featuring one of the company's big intellectual properties. Batman has, perhaps, had more of that than any other character, from Tim Burton and Schumacher to Christopher Nolan and Zack Snyder. To the last point, Willems took plenty of shots at the Snyder films, particularly Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but conceded that even a movie he did not especially like was a valid take, and that it didn't "matter" as much he didn't like it since the success of Batman and the MCU means that there will be another one along soon enough.
"There's no superhero as malleable as Batman," Willems says. "While Superman and Spider-Man tend to return to a specific, definitive interpretation, with Batman, versions as wildly different as Adam West and Christian Bale sit comfortably alongside each other."
He also noted that the costumes, props, and vehicles from the Schumacher films were on display at the Batman exhibit proudly, front and center next to the Burton material and material from Gotham, the recently-concluded series on FOX.
What do you think? Sign off in the comments below if you have strong feelings about Schumacher's films, or hit up @russburlingame on Twitter for more discussion.
...And if you're reading this, Mr. Willems: Gotham is a smart and stylish series that successfully blends various takes ranging from the West and Burton stuff to the Snyder and Nolan worlds. It is absolutely worth a watch.4comments