Batman Tech 2008
I’ve been trying to go through everything in the DC Universe streaming app and while I’ve already seen all of the traditional movies, there’s another category called “Specials” that include the TV specials like the Aquaman Pilot and the Legends of the Superheroes minseries that I’ve already covered here, but there’s also a handful of what appear to be documentaries. And the first one I decided to check out was this one called Batman Tech. While I initially thought it seemed to be more like a DVD special feature for The Dark Knight, it was actually a promotional doc that aired on the History Channel during the Dark Knight’s opening weekend. But all in all, there was just enough there to review it as a short-but-still-feature-length documentary. And while we didn’t get much cinematic Batman, there’s a lot of info from the comics alongside some geeky real world tech stuff.
The film is still more or less a promotional piece for the Dark Knight though the majority of the film clips come from Batman Begins as well as what would have been in the trailers for the Dark Knight. There’s almost nothing with the Joker, but there’s plenty with Christian Bale and Morgan Freeman as they go through the majority of Batman’s utility belt along with the notable gadgets that they specifically use in Batman Begins most notably the Tumbler and a little bit with the Batpod. The Tumbler section really is one of the most fascinating parts of this doc as the Tumbler is one of the most fascinating parts of the Dark Knight Trilogy’s pre-production. It’s still pretty insane to think about how the film team basically redesigned the Batmobile from the ground up, but not only that, they created a fully functional vehicle that pretty much does exactly what they say it can do within the movie but also in real life.
The doc does a good job of pacing where it gets a little bit into the history of the comics, throws in a clip or two from Nolan’s first two Batman films, then it goes into some real world gadgets that can mimic what Batman’s tech supposedly does. It’s quite fascinating to see a toaster sized gadget that more or less works almost exactly like Batman’s grappling gun. It doesn’t quite shoot a projectile that can cling to a high platform, but it can carry a fully loaded soldier at a brisk pace. Batman’s armored suit is also something that could be entirely practical and made with the high tech bulletproof ceramic armor.
It’s difficult to really go too deep into this doc as it really is somewhere between a History Channel tech show and an extended commercial for the Dark Knight. These were always the types of shows that I enjoyed watching and it ties everything back into the comics. It really does give nearly equal amounts of screen time to various comics artwork with some animated tidbits here and there alongside the Nolan movie clips. They take a good look at both the fantasy within the comics and movies as well as the conceptual reality of how these gadgets could potentially work. The film goes over the Batarangs, Batman’s cape, specifically how he uses it as a glider, Batman’s armor, his grappling gun, the Batmobile and specifically the Tumbler, the Batpod, a mini camera, and a little bit of the Batcomputer.
The most interesting parts of the film really are a combination of the comic book’s history. It’s nice to be reminded that Batman was initially much more of a common detective where he would generally just use lockpicks and glass cutters rather than more fancy gadgets. The examination of real world tech was also quite fun, but the least interesting was the vast amounts of Batman Begins and Dark Knight clips. They were fairly well used, but a few of them got repetitive, like seeing the batsuit painted black about three different times. It would have been much nicer if the clips would have been spread out through more of Batman’s history especially if we got a quick moment of Adam West’s Bat-shark repellent. But it was still generally entertaining and interesting. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.