Maybe it’s the cavalcade of superhero movies rushing through theaters faster and harder than anyone needs. Maybe I’m just a stick in the mud. Whatever the case, Chelsea Javier, Cameron Parker, and Paul Sprangers’s Lonely Batman spoke to the piece of my soul that wants — even just for a moment — a reprieve from the fanfare surrounding any character who dons a mask and/or cape. By exploring a world in which Batman (played by Parker in vintage garb) is, well, a huge sad-sack, the trio grounds him in a way DC wouldn’t dare, and the results are just great.
Whether we see our Dork Knight riding paddle boats in Echo Park Lake, eavesdropping on picnic-table conversations, or singing solo karaoke in a private room, Lonely Batman is so fun to watch because of its simplicity and its willingness to invert everything about what makes superheroes compelling by undercutting their mysteriousness.
Kind of makes you think: If there were superheroes, we’d probably become fairly desensitized to them after the first few city-saving missions. After a while, we might treat them like ordinary celebrities, approaching them for pictures and autographs and, eventually, mocking them for a drunken nightclub parking lot altercation caught by TMZ. One day, they might even become outcasts. Lonely Batman feels like the fruition of that hypothetical.
Every frame is a joy. Frankly, you could watch this whole piece with the sound off and still laugh pretty hard. I mean, the friggin’ guy’s wearing a bat costume in the real world!
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