You Can Now Watch The First 10 Minutes Of The Batman Online

"The Batman" could have easily been a derivative take on the Caped Crusader, another Nolan-like gritty movie that tries so hard to ground its story in reality that it ends up being ashamed to be based on a story where a man dresses up as a bat.

Thankfully, that's not what this movie is. Matt Reeves' new take is grounded and gritty, sure, but it feels incredibly comic book-like, as "The Batman" wholly embraces the weirder aspects of comics: The over-the-top characters that inhabit its world, the emotionally scarred and at times almost ridiculous sad boy protagonist that would dress up as a bat at night, and more. This is the darkest Batman movie to date, but it may also be the funniest.

The film's opening scene guides audiences into this new characterization, perfectly setting up the story and Reeves' take on Gotham and Batman. Anything you'd want to know about the tone of "The Batman" is answered within the first 10 minutes, which you can now watch for free below.

A dark and stormy night

The scene begins with the gruesome stalking and murder of Gotham City mayor Don Mitchell Jr. by the very "Zodiac"-inspired Riddler, who has one of the scariest villain introductions in years. Then, it's time for emo boy Bruce Wayne to narrate his latest journal entry, as he talks about his "Gotham Project" of dressing up as a bat and beating up criminals. The scene is reminiscent of David Fincher's "Se7en" and goes a long way toward making this Gotham City feel completely different than any we've seen before: It's a filthy, dark place filled with crime and sin, where evildoers do as they please, and where even the Halloween costumes are extra scary.

But this is also a Gotham City that is truly terrified of the Batman, where the mere sight of the Bat-signal sends shivers down the spine of the superstitious and cowardly criminal lot who cower and hide in fear when in proximity to a dark alley.

And then there's the Bat himself, a more violent, scarred Batman than we've ever seen on screen before. In his first on-screen scene, we see him beat the living crap out of some criminals, not holding back at all, making it quite clear that this is not normal behavior, that he is compensating for deep emotional scars. 

Really, if this scene isn't enough to convince you to stop what you're doing and watch "The Batman," I don't know what is.

"The Batman" is now streaming on HBO Max.