Batkid Begins is going to make you cry, folks. Men, women, kids and even a few pets. You’ve been warned.
The story of Miles Scott, a five year old boy with leukemia who gets to dream big when the Make A Wish foundation grants his request to be Batman for a day. This wasn’t just a group of people making a costume, clearing a room out and having some cake. This was the entire city of San Francisco being swapped for a mythical Gotham city that captivated the entire world. People from countries around the world, including political leaders, wanted to be a part of Miles’ story. Everybody wanted in on this action because it was genuine goodness. President Obama, Ben Affleck, Adam West, and Michael Keaton all pledging a love for the little kid who wanted to forget about the disease that had wrecked him for so long and just be a kid again. Watching this movie, I kept thinking of David Bowie’s classic song, “Heroes”.
“We can be heroes. Just for one day.” Miles’ story reminded the world that goodness isn’t that far away if the right navigator is at the front of the line.
Director Dana Nachman takes you through the entire process, livening up Miles’ comic book like tale and geeking out with the visuals. This is a story that takes certain aim for your heart no matter what because of how improbable it was from the start and the spectacle that it became. It was impossible to not hear about Batkid back in November, 2013 when it all took place. Without being superficial, Batkid Begins just takes you along for the ride of how a simple family from a small farming town found their way into the center of global attention.
It doesn’t happen without a marvel like Make a Wish maestro Patricia Wilson coordinating with the police, local theaters, various organizations and event planners from across the city and country. In order to get this moving, Wilson couldn’t take no for an answer. Mike Jutan and Eric Johnson teaming up to play Penguin and Batman. You will tear up watching Johnson connect with Miles at a gymnastics center as they train for their stunts. When Johnson lets Miles fly on a trapeze across the gym, it’s a comfy cool great moment that will fill you with the feels usually reserved for war films with men and sad romantic dramas for women. Batkid Begins will touch you all in a different way.
I wanted to be a superhero when I was a kid. Whether it was Superman or The Punisher, I wanted to roam the streets and save people and wear the costume. At some point in our lives, we all want to be the hero. Seeing Miles live out his dream, against all odds, made a part of me feel complete. That day, he saved a lot of people, not including the actors and staged action adventures that were placed all over the city. People held up signs throughout the day that simply said, “Save us Batkid”. In the hard knock of life, strangers felt their own tragic lives being steered towards a better safer place by watching a true fighter in Miles live out a dream. Sometimes, the world works in crazy ways and it connects people in the most unlikely of ways.
Batkid Begins is the story of a miracle. Something seemingly impossible that happened because of the work of several dedicated people. Miles Scott went into remission right around the event and is healthy now. As he gets older, my guess is he will never forget the day the world was his. Neither will we.
Batkid Begins is available on Redbox and On Demand.