The Batman Is A Very Funny Movie, Actually

"The Batman" is funny! No wait, hear me out. I'm not saying I got this right away. I mean, there were funny moments, but the first time I saw it in a screening, it was a very, very small group of people and the humor didn't quite land. The second time was in a full (for Covid times) theater, and I was laughing right along with everyone else. I'm telling you, there are chuckles in here. The humor is super dry, but it's sort of perfect. 

I'm going to make my case for you, but let me be clear. There are spoilers for "The Batman" ahead, and I will not hold back. You have gotten the only warning you will get, so look away if you want to go in fresh. To make it up to you, here is a story about bat fights and chicken butts. You think I'm kidding? I would never kid about chicken butts. 

Thumb drive ... get it? Why are you groaning?

If you were hoping for Marvel-type ribaldry, you won't get it in "The Batman." This is more subtle humor, sometimes gallows humor, but it's there. Let me give you some examples.

I'm starting with the most obvious here. Do you recall when the mayor was killed (that's not the funny part) and his thumb was cut off? Once Bruce picks up on the cypher and sees the word "drive," he and Gordon go to the Mayor's car and find a USB drive that requires ... a thumb print. Thumb drive, get it? Huh? Huh? Tip your waiters. 

Gordon actually has some funny stuff as well. Batman, who famously doesn't use guns says, "No guns," and Gordon replies, "That's your thing, man." Comic book nod, yes, but it's his delivery. Also, who calls Batman, "man?" I don't know why that stood out, but it did. Can we get a Batman/Gordon road trip movie? I will give you all my dollars if you make that, Warner Bros.

I'm not going to list them all but most of the time that Penguin was on the screen, it made me giggle. Particularly when Batman and Gordon have him under the bridge and he's cuffed at the wrists and ankles. His reaction to their bad Spanish is hysterical, and then seeing him try to chase them and walk ... like a penguin ... was fantastic. Plus, the fact that they're just leaving him there is pretty funny. It's also terrible police work, but hey, that's not what I'm looking for in my Batman movies. 

Duolingo is free, Bruce

Here's another Gordon moment for you. The entire scene where Gordon is pretending to yell at Batman so he can tell him how to escape. His face, folks. He's got that cartoon, "Why I oughta..." expression. How dumb are the GCPD? It was ridiculous! I may have laugh/snorted juice up my nose. 

There is the fact that Bruce doesn't wear a shirt while laying out his murder board. I mean, it was a delight to look at and all, but when I'm trying to puzzle through a huge problem in my life, I don't think, "Hey, you know what would make this easier? Being half naked." You know, maybe I'll try that next time. 

Also, why the heck did no one but the entire audience figure out that el rata alada, the rat with wings, was a freaking bat? Come on now. That is so obvious! Their Spanish really sucks for people who live in a New York analog. Also, dude, you dress as a bat. They're very polarizing. You either think they're rats with wings or you think they're adorable and want one as a pet. (I am the later.) You got stool pigeon before bat? Yeah, the guy sending me Valentines is definitely not talking about me. It's got to be something else. 

You should probably practice with that wingsuit, Bruce

Bats does a lot of funny stuff by himself, unintentionally. The look on his face as he's running away from people at the Iceberg Lounge and realizes he has nowhere to go but off the building. He looks terrified! Then he does his batwing zip suit and flies — badly — over the city and slams into a train overpass. Was he ... looking at the pigeons (rats with wings?) that nest under there? Sorry, sorry. Honestly, this whole thing cracked me up. We don't think of Batman as being bad at things, but this is year two for him. He's not good at Batman-ing yet. 

Watching Bruce's face as Selina talks about how much she hates rich guys ... even that was great for a guffaw. Or when he dryly mentions that she has a lot of cats. You know what, Bruce? You could use a cat or two yourself. Ooh! Get a puppy! Name him Ace the Bat-Hound! It's canon! 

Look, I'm not saying this is a laugh riot, but if you like your humor dry, it's pretty funny. If it's safe for you to do so, go see this with people in a theater and laugh along with them.