Does THE BATMAN Really Need To Be Three Hours Long? Evidently, Yes
We recently got confirmation that The Batman will clock-in at just under 3 hours, and the think pieces are in full flow. Does this movie really warrant such a hefty run-time? Matt Reeves seems to think so!
Are movies too long now? It's the same pointless, inane question that's raised every time an upcoming blockbuster's run-time is announced, and we find ourselves here yet again with the recent reveal that The Batman will clock-in at just under three hours (2 hrs, 56 mins with credits).
Since the news was confirmed, we've already had a few "think-pieces" on the matter, with one even concluding that "yes, The Batman is too long" without having seen the movie. Others bemoan the length of films today, in general (lest we forget the prominent writer who proposed that no movie should ever run past 90-minutes).
Look, nobody is going to deny that some movies do outstay their welcome, and yes, quite a few major studio tent-poles - particularly of the comic book variety - could do with trimming a few minutes (at least) off their run-times. But the notion that no "popcorn movie" should ever dare cross the 2-hour mark is simply preposterous.
"No good movie is too long, and no bad movie is short enough" is an oft repeated quote from the late Roger Ebert, and with good reason. Denis Villeanueve's Dune, for example, ran just shy of 2 hrs 45 mins, and I could have sat there and watched Part II immediately after. Red Notice mercifully wrapped up its tedium in under 2 hrs, and I felt like I'd been staring blankly at the screen for 4.
This is completely subjective, of course, but the point remains: Movies should be given the requisite amount of time needed to tell their story, and it's up to each of us to decide if that story justified the length on an individual basis.
Which brings us back to The Batman - a film hardly anyone has seen. Does this latest big-screen outing for The Dark Knight really need to be 3-hours long? The director, Matt Reeves, clearly thinks so. How about we give him the benefit of the doubt until we've actually sat down to watch his film, and then we can tell him if we think he should have been more accommodating to the weak-bladdered and short attention-spanned among us?