This article by Duncan Glew is published by Harvard Political Review. Here is an excerpt:
On March 4, a new Batman movie swooped into theaters. “The Batman” is the latest in a long line of feature films centered around the Dark Knight, stretching from Adam West’s campy 1966 outing to Ben Affleck’s battle with Superman in 2016. This time, it is Robert Pattinson, previously known for the Twilight movies, behind the mask and Matt Reeves, who directed two recent “Planet of the Apes” films, behind the camera.
These movies have varied wildly in style and tone. Compared to these earlier films, the most distinctive aspect of “The Batman” is its protagonist’s violent streak. Pattinson is considerably less restrained than prior versions of the character. In one shot, Zoë Kravitz’s Catwoman watches, disturbed, as an enraged Batman beats a helpless criminal to a pulp. In another, he easily dispatches a charging gang member, then proceeds to repeatedly punch the incapacitated attacker into the ground.
When I first saw that scene, I thought “That’s awesome!” I was excited to see a new, more visceral take on one of my favorite protagonists. In time, though, I reconsidered my initial reaction, as well as my adoration for the Batman character more broadly. I started to wonder why I so enjoy stories about a violent, masked vigilante and what it says about America that countless others love him too.
Read the full article here.