There were several trailers released prior to the film’s release, with the first debuting in August 2020 at the inaugural DC Fandome, a virtual convention packed with reveals. Upon seeing the final product, though, too much of The Batman was predictable, and not necessarily because of the way in which the film was written. Rather, the trailers simply revealed too much, showing almost every major action scene, the intense confrontation between Batman and the Riddler, as well as the villain’s third act arrest and more.
There were several trailers released for The Batman, including one just a few weeks prior to its March 4 release. Many of the crucial scenes were shown relatively consistently throughout the trailers, particularly the final action sequence. For example, the epic moment in which Batman lights a flare to guide Gotham’s civilians to safety was a scene that occurred within the final few minutes of the movie was seen by fans long before the film’s release. Not only does this make this scene predictable as fans know it’s coming, but the emotion is taken out of it as well.
More broadly, much of the final action sequence was shown as well, with Batman fighting thugs and Riddler’s followers in the Gotham stadium. Action scenes are often shown in the trailers as to excite audiences and entice them to watch the film, but there was too much here, and not just of this ending conflict. Batman’s epic entrance into the film was also shown, where he saves a man from being attacked by a group of criminals with face paint on. While this is more understandable, particularly as it reveals Batman’s “vengeance” nickname that is heard throughout the film, it still adds to the notion that there aren’t enough surprises in the film.
Another amazing scene that was shown throughout the trailers was the Batmobile action sequence, where Batman chased Penguin through the streets of Gotham in the pouring rain, eventually driving through flames to catch up to the mobster and flip his car over, where the hero then goes and walks ominously towards the vehicle. Everything about this sequence, from the visuals to the score and more, is an incredible achievement from Matt Reeves and the rest of the members of the cast and crew involved, but the intensity is taken out of it by knowing how the scene ends. Fans who remembered the trailers knew that it would conclude with Penguin’s car flipped over and Batman approaching him, and this takes out the suspense considerably.
Ultimately, it seems that the only surprise was Joker’s cameo, but even that was rumored beforehand. Besides that, everything is a little too straightforward, even with the conclusion of the mystery. It doesn’t help that the mystery, while captivating and interesting, had an oversimplified conclusion in which Paul Dano was revealed to be the killer (something already known) with a motive that was revealed in the trailers (that he was wronged as a child and wants revenge on the corrupt city officials). An added twist could have been used here, especially as it would have offset the amount of scenes shown in the trailers. At one point in the film, the Riddler was teased to have a Hush connection of some sorts, a comic book villain that fans will be well aware of despite not appearing in any live action films to date. Even the trailers teased that the Riddler knew Batman’s identity, which was ultimately not the case, meaning that fans were teased a bigger reveal to the mystery than what was actually the case.
Interestingly enough, there were a few twists not revealed, like Catwoman being the daughter of Carmine Falcone. However, these ultimately weren’t huge shocking reveals, and instead were tinier interspersed twists and turns. That’s not to say that The Batman inherently needed any significant surprises, although it should have had a better conclusion to the mystery, but the fact remains that too much was shown in the trailers and that put an unrealistic expectation on the film to make up for that. Ultimately, The Batman could have been a more enjoyable and unpredictable watch if DC and Warner Bros. had kept their cards closer to the vest, withholding not only the pivotal plot moments they revealed beforehand but also some of the cooler moments as well.
The Batman is in theaters now.