6.27.2005

How to disappear completely

I saw the new Batman flick over the weekend, and while I don't have anything approaching a real review -- as we've established already, I'm not much of a comic book reader and am probably not the movie's target audience -- I do have one small beef. Not even with Batman, in particular, but with the superhero genre in general. And here it is: How come no one can ever guess the superhero's identity?

Batman actually treated this subject a little more delicately than most, I thought. Morgan Freeman's character, to his credit, figures out what's what pretty early on, as does Michael Caine's Alfred. Katie Holmes' character also figures it out, though somewhat oddly, I thought. Christian Bale (in the Batman suit) makes a comment harking back to a conversation he (as Bruce Wayne) had with Holmes a few days before. And that -- rather than the fact half his face is sticking out of the mask -- is what cues the "Aha!" moment for her.

I realize the dual identity thing is important to these stories. Everyone needs to assume that Superman is Superman and not wuss boy Clark Kent. Likewise Spiderman. But are we really to believe that, in the first Spiderman movie, Kirsten Dunst can pull off half of Spiderman's mask, make out with him, and still not realize it's her next-door neighbor? I've always found that one a little hard to swallow.

The best real-world comparison I can think of is Halloween. Let's say you're going out to the local bar to meet some friends, and you're dressed up as the Lone Ranger. When you see said friends, do you think you'll have to take off the eye-mask before they recognize you? Are they going to stand there staring at you and whispering amongst themselves: I don't know, Cathy, I mean it looks sorta like Stan -- same bone structure, the voice, that stupid soul patch he thinks is cool. But I can't really be sure unless I see the eyes. Yep, definitely gonna need to see the eyes.

4 comments:

TMC said...

I don't know... I don't recognize Michael Chiklis dressed up as Thing in the Fantastic Four movie.

And I was a huge fan of The Commish.

Mike said...

I'm not saying there isn't SOME costume you could put on where I wouldn't recognize you. But the Batman costume is definitely not the one.

Man, just arguing about this makes me feel like Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons.

TMC said...

Well, I was just kidding about the Michael Chiklis thing. besides, I hate that Patriots fan SOB.

Easiest superhero costume to decipher: has to be Superman. He doesn't even cover his face.

Hardest: I don't know... maybe Spiderman (unless you're making out with him in a rainy alley).

joe said...

One thing you have to consider is how often would people who roll with Bruce Wayne actually run into Batman and vice versa? I mean it isn't like the Joker's going to run into Wayne at a fundraiser for the Gotham Orchestra, right? Supervillans aren't especially alturisitc. Also, one of Wayne's ultra rich buddies or business associates probably won't be robbing some gal's purse on a dark night, right? This greatly reduces the amount of people who would see both Batman and Bruce, thus reducing the amount of people who might figure out they're the same person.

Fuck, this defense was far too long.

Worst. Post. Ever.