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Harry Fried III
Everyone thinks Batman has died in a nuclear explosion while saving Gotham City. He has actually retired with Catwoman, living in a modest apartment and unemployed. No longer able to do 'good', he becomes a bored drunk, with no purpose.
The first line of dialogue in this indie short is Batman saying "Not a good idea" and that accurately sums up the whole project. The original concept, writing and approach to the character in 'The Death of Batman' are not good ideas and, in fact, the entire short is a extremely bad idea. This short has nothing to do with the other fan-based indie shorts, 'Batman: Dead End,' 'World's Finest,' and 'Grayson,' which are essentially mock-up trailers for films that fans would like to see developed and are intended for presentation at comic conventions. Whereas those three shorts are created out of a spirit of fanboy reverence and earnest enthusiasm for superhero movies, 'The Death of Batman' feels like it was made by a person expressing severe angst toward the concept of the superhero. I hesitate to use the word disturbing to describe this short because that word suggests an emotional impact that a skilled filmmaker could achieve, in the way a horror movie or an art film can be both disturbing and rewarding. 'The Death of Batman' is disturbing without being rewarding in the slightest. I think I understand what the director had intended; Batman as a Christ-figure (the short's last image is a stained-glass image of Jesus). So the less-than brilliant rationale for this indie short appears to be that for the Dark Knight to work, cinematically, as a Christ-figure he must be brutally tortured and die. The director seems focused on every type of taboo that could never make it into a studio superhero movie, such as having the hero tortured, sexually assaulted and then pointlessly killed with a heroin overdose. Personally I like a darker Gotham than most and I have imagined what an R-rated Batman movie might be like, however 'The Death of Batman' is unrewarding even in simply seeing it as a for-adults superhero story because all of its extremeness and shock value is all it has to offer. This short is nothing more than somebody's perverse imagining of Batman's death with no redeeming character insight and a failed Christ comparison. This is not a funny short, as others on this sit have suggested - it is not amusing or entertaining or even thought-provoking.
If you are someone who cares about the character of Batman, this short is only an upsetting and angering experience Do yourself a favor, DO NOT WATCH THIS SHORT. I don't mean that as in a trekkie telling you not to watch 'Star Trek: The Motion Picture' because it fails to meet certain expectations or do not watch 'Batman & Robin' because it's a waste of time, I mean that if you watch this short could ruin Batman for you. I wish I had never seen it.
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