If you haven’t seen The Batman yet, put this article down and go do that. It’s worth it, I promise. Find the biggest screen and most importantly the best speakers that you can — you won’t regret it. The movie has its strong points (many) and its weak ones (fewer), but most importantly it gets one thing very right: The Batmobile.
The rest of this blog is for the Batmobile’s eyes only. If you aren’t the specific variation of the Batmobile that appeared in the 2022 Matt Reeves-directed film The Batman (or if you’re concerned about possible spoilers), please stop reading here. This is private correspondence.
When first I laid eyes upon you, I knew you were something special. You weren’t a tank like so many modern interpretations of Batman’s vehicle, nor were you so impossibly sleek that Bruce Wayne could have never built you on his own. You seemed new, more in line with the Viper-esque Batmobile from the Cowardly Lot comics arc than anything from films past.
Or were you old? You’re based on a production car, like Batmobiles used to be. Jason Todd’s first (post-crisis) run-in with the Bat had him stealing the tires from that late-eighties Batmobile — easy enough when the car in question is just a DeTomaso Pantera.
You’re both, I decided then. Production-based, but hand-modified by Bruce — not unlike Zero Year’s dirt bike. Perfect for a Batman in year two of his Gotham Project, and perfect for a more vulnerable take on the World’s Greatest Detective.
But time sowed doubts. I had built you up in my head, but could you measure up to that impossible standard on screen? Your rear engine didn’t even appear to be a real engine, and the concept of a ‘68 Charger with an engine between its rear wheels has already been done in Hollywood. What if you just felt derivative?
But the feeling was truly key. Seeing you, covered in cloth in the Batcave as I dropped cheese from an Alamo Drafthouse pizza onto my jacket, already had me on edge. You were disassembled, a work in progress, not yet ready for the role the trailers had told me you would be asked to serve. The anticipation mounted.
And then I heard you.
My god, your sound. My coworkers are tired of hearing me attempt to describe it, but I keep trying because I can’t find the right words. “Spine-tingling” doesn’t do you justice. You’re ASMR, those spine-chilling wire head things, and the feeling of listening to 100 Gecs at full volume all rolled into one. You were incredible.
And then you were gone.
The sound mixing on the trailers isn’t right, the score and the Nirvana are too loud. You aren’t anywhere on the soundtrack as it appears on Tidal. You were there, you were perfect, and then you disappeared as quickly as you arrived. I left the theater already missing you.
I think I need another ticket. I’ll try IMAX this time. The movie was good, but know this: I’m coming back for you, Batmobile.