In a very insightful analysis of the movie, Sandra wrote:
"One can question the superhero classification for Batman itself,
because Batman is not a superhero. He has no magical powers. He has
trained and equipped himself with what he needs to do what he does, but
he can't fly like Superman, or send laser beams out of his eyes or shoot
webs. However, he does exist in a superhero setting, so it's an argument
that can play out from both sides."
This is my one slight quibble. Is it really a superhero setting? There
are no real superheroes, no mentions of, say, Superman in Metropolis.
I also found it telling that they never explained Joker's face. In the
original comic origin, the Joker's face was not makeup, but due to a
freak accident during a robbery. In this movie, the scars are real (but
which of the Joker's explanations, if any, is true?), but the coloring
is probably makeup, as it is not consistent, runs due to sweat and/or
tears, for instance. The movie steadfastly anchors itself in reality,
providing explanations and real world corrolaries to all of its
gimmicks, further reinforcing that, even as highly stylized as Gotham's
graphic design may be, there is nothing in this movie that is not within
the theory, if not practice, of current technology.
And when it comes down to it, is Batman really anything but a more
trained version of his vigilante followers, one with very deep pockets?
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