Every day we turn on the news or pick up the paper and read about all the bad stuff that is going on around the world. Very little information is offered up on the good things — they just don’t sell. Well, if you looking for a little picker-upper today, instead of a good dose of road rage, get on down to Redbox and pick up director Dana Nachman’s “Batkid Begins”: It just might make your day.
In 2013, the city of San Francisco and the Make-a-Wish-Foundation, joined forces to grant 5-year-old Miles Scott a “wish of all wishes.” After Miles was diagnosed with Leukemia, his devastated parents contacted Make-a-Wish-Foundation’s CEO Patricia Wilson to see if they could come up with something for their child. After Wilson discovered Miles desire to be Batman, she initiated a program where Miles would become “Batman for a day.”
With the help of Eric Johnson, an acrobat and inventor, and Mike Jutan, a software designer for Industrial Light and Magic, Make-a-Wish devised a Batman itinerary which would include: Saving a damsel in distress, foiling the Riddler, and jailing the Penguin. An event which originally called for approximately 200 volunteers, suddenly mushroomed, when Facebook became involved with a plea for help. Out of nowhere came costumes by the San Francisco Opera, cars from Lamborghini, music from Hans Zimmer (The Dark Knight Trilogy), and a cast of thousands.
On the day of the event, Miles dressed as Batkid, and Mr. Johnson, dressed as Batman, stormed the city in a black Lamborghini Batmobile, in front of thousands of people who lined the streets. (The documentary states that more came out for Batkid, than showed for the Giants World Series parade). A plea for help from San Francisco mayor Ed Lee set the ball in motion, and the game was afoot.
The obvious question when viewing the documentary is “what was this kid thinking of when all of these people showed up?” Miles appears to take on the role as if he is playing a game on Halloween, and performs admirably. After lunch, Miles appears to be tired and expresses a desire to go home, but he is inspired to continue after finding out that the Penguin has kidnapped Lou Seal (the Giants mascot). There are many people that are going to watch this and say, the event was a self-aggrandizing affair for all involved. So what? If everybody feels good for one day, where is the crime?
(Rated PG-13/ 87 mins/ documentary)
Reviewer’s Notes: “Batkid Begins” will soon be a full length movie produced by, and featuring, Julia Roberts.
Reviewer’s Rating: 5 of 5 Feel Good Flicks.