Maybe Bruce Wayne really is the hero the world deserves. After all, we live in the age of the “famous billionaire”. The likes of Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos have become household names; those who wickedly hoard the world’s wealth and resources are seen as objects of illusory fascination. It’s only fitting that Batman, one of the most beloved characters in pop culture history, is also one. He’s a billionaire with baggage – with guilt, purpose, and a thirst for justice. But first of all, he’s a billionaire.
ruce Wayne has never been the most progressive character. He’s a rich guy who goes around defeating low-level crooks and making enemies of people with serious mental health issues. But in the character’s early days, the premise became more palatable. In the 1966 Batman TV show, Bruce Wayne is just a modest millionaire whose fortune has never come under scrutiny. As inflation is, Tim Burton’s 1989 and 1992 Batman films elevated Bruce Wayne’s status to billionaire status and supplemented his backstory, pushing Batman closer to the famous player. where Christian Bale would be in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, from 2005 to 2012.
Of course, it’s not just Bruce Wayne that’s changed, but the entire Batman universe. Each new installment has managed to outdo the last when it comes to pure rudeness – culminating in The Batman, widely regarded as the darkest and best Batman movie to date. As the character becomes more and more concerned with the hard realities of the world, Batman’s role as the deified billionaire savior becomes a rather choppy pill to swallow.
However, in the larger scheme of Hollywood riches, is Batman really that bad? Mainstream cinema, in general, is completely uninterested in portraying financial hardship. There are practical, non-ideological reasons for this. From a storytelling perspective, it’s often necessary to give characters a certain amount of implied assets to internally justify expensive location, high-tech gadgets – things that look good on screen. Squalor rarely screams “cinematic”.
But ideology is also a factor. Marvel’s vast cinematic universe is a particularly obnoxious evangelist for rich fantasies. Its talisman, Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, is a billionaire playboy in the mold of Bruce Wayne, an arms dealer whose heart Ebenezer Scroogian had a change of heart about when he saw him dump his vast fortune. themselves to become a force for good. Other Marvel characters are cut from the same canvas – some are royals, others are simply beneficiaries of third-party flamboyant wealth.
Perhaps the most egregious example is Spider-Man, who has always been portrayed as a particularly working-class superhero. Sam Raimi’s trilogy sees the character living in a shabby New York apartment and struggling to make ends meet. In the recent Marvel trilogy, Peter Parker has access to an arsenal of technology that could make Bill Gates wince. When he found himself in the Netherlands in Spider-Man: Far From Home, it wasn’t a big deal – his bodyguard Jon Favreau simply picked him up in a private jet. Forget Doctor Octopus or Green Goblin, Spider-Man’s biggest enemy now seems to be witches.
Of course, Marvel Studios is not the only offender. Flip through the top sections of the box office charts and you’ll see a host of films that at best care little about the logistics of riches, and at worst shamelessly worship at their feet. breast. From the splendor of the jet-set James Bond to the Fast & Furious luxury car idols, cinema is dominated by unscientific depictions of the wealthy. In this light, there’s something honest, maybe even commendable, in Batman that puts Bruce Wayne’s billionaire status front and center, out in the open. Is it related? Obviously not. But for all that realism and grit, this is a story about a man fighting crime while dressed as a bat. Relativity doesn’t go into it.
Of course, we should be wary of propaganda, and Batman can’t deny this: an illusion of power and redemption for all the guilty billionaires out there in real life. But it’s at least willing to acknowledge the protagonist’s privilege and grapple with it to a small extent. Even this small gesture is more than most movies of its kind are willing to do. If Batman’s murky view of extreme wealth doesn’t suit you, check out something else. You can’t find a much better getaway than the dysfunctional Roy family on Succession. However, if you want action, car chases, and brutal kills, stick with The Batman. Just hold your nose for the smell of money.
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‘The Batman’ is now in theaters
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/movies/how-batman-is-noxious-billionaire-propaganda-but-well-still-lap-it-up-41419101.html How Batman Is A Billionaire Of Malicious Propaganda – But We Will Keep It Up