The Batman (2022) directed by Matt Reeves has finally hit theaters! This highly anticipated DC movie includes all the action, mystery, and super hero sensationalism that fans expected. It’s got all the dark and gritty Batman content, plus the feel of a true crime detective story. It keeps you on the edge of your seat for almost three hours — and that kind of immersion is difficult to achieve given that extended run time. So what makes The Batman able to succeed?
You’ve got a 21st-century Gotham and stunning set design. You have an incredible musical score and soundtrack, plus diegetic sound to bring the audience straight into the city. Add a cast bursting with chemistry and their expert delivery of each line and it’s no wonder you get such a solid story.
In fact, the script might be one of the most important aspects of a new movie. The exposition and plot have to be pushed through dialogue, and we learn so much about characters from how they speak and what they say. The Batman’s script has the added task of introducing us to the newest iterations of all the heroes and villains in Gotham City — so it has to be memorable. And memorable it was. Below, let’s break down some of the best quotes from The Batman.
*What’s black and white and riddled with Batman spoilers all over? This blog! Proceed with caution.
“Two years of nights have turned me into a nocturnal animal.” – Batman
Batman has always existed in Gotham City as an almost mythical figure. He shrouds himself in darkness, even referring to himself as the shadows. Other versions of the Dark Knight have seen him give in to the poison of his inner turmoil, resulting in a figure who is more nightmare than guardian.
There has always been a supernatural element to Bruce Wayne’s alter ego. And as seen in The Batman, Bruce will always be a creature of the night. In the harsh morning light, he even needs to wear sunglasses. Batman is truly in his element when the shadows grow long and the sky darkens.
“What I’m doing is my family’s legacy.” – Batman
At various points in The Batman, Alfred and Bella Reál question Bruce about his family’s legacy. Alfred wishes that Bruce would take his responsibilities to Wayne Industries more seriously. Bella Reál, on the other hand, pushes Bruce to use his immense wealth and influence as a force of good within Gotham’s downward spiral.
Since he is still relatively young, especially compared to previous on-screen versions, this Bruce Wayne is not concerned with his family’s fortune. He even goes so far as to tell Alfred it can disappear for all he cares. In Bruce’s eyes, his family’s true legacy, the lasting mark he can leave upon Gotham is protection — no matter the cost.
“I just ordered a slice of pumpkin pie.” – The Riddler
Members of Batman’s Rogues Gallery are infamous for their manic personalities and outlandish gimmicks. Bright colors and memorable catchphrases abound within this villainous pantheon. However, Edward Nashton, The Riddler from The Batman, is unsettling for completely different reasons than any other Riddler incarnation.
This Riddler delights in confusion and disturbance, and he is happiest when others are suffering just as he has suffered. Yet all of his grisly puzzles and deadly ciphers are concealed beneath a quiet, unassuming everyman demeanor. Torture and public execution are all in a day’s work. Physically, there’s nothing remarkable about Nashton. Without his mask and voice modifiers, he’s simply a man sitting at the counter patiently waiting for his dessert. And the fact that such despicable villainy hides within a man so commonplace makes him all the more terrifying.
“That’s the problem with this city. Everyone’s afraid to stand up and do the right thing. But I’m not.” – Bella Reál
Corruption is basically a given in Gotham City — the city seems to always be at the mercy of criminal networks and two-faced politicians. But occasionally, a figure without superpowers or a masked identity rises up to stand against Gotham’s inherent evil. The Batman introduces Bella Reál, a mayoral candidate who seeks to be a voice of the people.
Even in the face destruction and assassination, Bella steps forward for her city. She is unafraid to risk her own life if it means bringing Gotham one step closer to the dawn. While high-flying super heroes like Batman are necessary, there also has to be those on the ground, like Bella, who can uphold justice in the light of day.
“Just look at you! World’s Greatest Detectives!” – The Penguin
Trapped in the Riddler’s game, Batman and Jim Gordon capture The Penguin. They think Oswald Cobblepot is the “rat with wings,” the confidential informant on the Salvatore Maroni drug-bust case. Penguin listens to their detective duet with increasing hysterics and hostility. Feet and hands bound, Oz shouts at his crimefighting captors with a jeer that harkens back to one of Batman’s oldest nicknames: the World’s Greatest Detective.
This scene stands out because Batman and Gordon really are fumbling. They can’t see the bigger picture, and they’re rounding up the usual suspects instead of digging deeper into Gotham City’s history. Even though Penguin is the hostage here, he gets to ridicule our heroes because he’s right — they’ve got it all wrong.
“My mask allowed me to be myself completely, no shame.” – The Riddler
Masks are a major motif in The Batman. This makes sense, as Batman famously hides his civilian identity from even the people closest to him for as long as he can manage. Similarly, so does Bruce Wayne. Thus The Batman explores the most important truth about Bruce Wayne — that in his mind, the Batman is who he really is, and Bruce Wayne is the persona.
This film doesn’t go for the clunky “we’re the same” line from the Riddler. Instead, it gives him a chilling monologue about the freedom afforded to him under a mask. Like Batman, Riddler considers the mask his “normal” face, and the mask becomes his real identity.
“I never thought I’d feel fear like that. I thought I’d mastered all that.” – Batman
Shadows don’t have feelings. Vigilantes don’t have attachments. At least, that’s what Batman tells himself. Not only has Bruce Wayne trained his body to surpass most physical limitations, but he’s trained his heart to be extremely limited. He doesn’t care about anyone or anything; he’s simply an instrument of vengeance.
When Alfred is almost killed by the Riddler, Bruce realizes he isn’t the apathetic man he claims to be. Before he believed he could control, temper, and erase his emotions. Now he must accept that his love for Alfred and his city can help, not hinder, Batman’s purpose.
“Don’t worry, honey. I got nine of ’em.” – Catwoman
We know what you’re thinking. Cat puns for Catwoman? Groundbreaking. But this one really works. Since Selina Kyle is never called Catwoman in the film, this quote gives her agency over her origin and vigilante name. She’s already a cat burglar who feels like she’s fighting for every breath she takes and has clearly had a lot of close calls in her lifetime. Why not insist she has nine different chances to essentially start over, then?
Selina says this when she wants to shoot a crooked cop. Batman stops her, begging her not to throw her life away. Placing her leather boots on the cop’s chest, Selina kicks him off the roof and escapes off the side of the building to take out her next target.
“Open your eyes!” – Jim Gordon
The Batman functions around the theme of corruption. Nowhere is that more rampant than in the GCPD. The mob, the police force, and the political leaders in Gotham use their dirty hands to exchange dirty money, and it seems only Jim Gordon and a few other officers are exempt from this Renewal scam.
So when Jim Gordon screams at Penguin to open his eyes and look at the disfigured corpse of the police commissioner, the line is filled with such pain and aggression because it means more to Gordon than making Oz see the Riddler’s evil deeds. Everyone in Gotham, including Gordon, needs to open their eyes to the truth of this injustice.
“They can give us the power to endure and the strength to fight.” – Batman
Scars are often viewed as ugly and undesirable. They can be reminders of failure, or a source of shame. They connect us to a past we might prefer to forget rather than remember. But Batman, having endured Riddler’s destruction and painful revelations about his family, suddenly sees scars in a new light.
As the sun rises on a recovering Gotham, Batman realizes that scars are pain but they’re also strength. It’s not easy to live with scars, with all their imperfections, but a scar is also evidence of survival. A scar can be a symbol of hope — just like a bat.
What was your favorite quote from the new DC film, The Batman? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to Let Your Geek Sideshow!