Credit: Paul Sakuma

From Ant-Man to Avengers: Age of Ultron, there are plenty of superhero movies to choose from this summer, but none is as heartwarming as Batkid Begins, the new documentary starring a pint-sized cancer patient. Back in 2013, after years of leukemia treatment, 5-year-old Miles Scott asked the Make-A-Wish Foundation to help him don a cape and become Batman for a day. What started out as a simple effort from some Make-A-Wish employees and a few volunteers ballooned into a worldwide phenomenon, with more than 25,000 people showing up in San Francisco to cheer on the miniature caped crusader. As Batkid zipped around San Francisco-turned-Gotham in the Batmobile (with a car seat, of course), he rescued damsels in distress and foiled villains like the Penguin and the Riddler, all while an estimated 2 billion tuned in on social media. (Some of the well-wishers who reached out online included President Barack Obama and former Batmen like Adam West and Michael Keaton.)

Because Miles’ story was so thoroughly chronicled on social media, Dana Nachman’s documentary isn’t particularly revelatory, and if you followed the original story at all, Batkid Begins doesn’t add much new information. The documentary focuses more on recapturing those initial feelings of goodwill and positivity, instead of dissecting why Miles’ story struck a chord with so many around the globe. Still, it emphasizes just how much effort went into pulling the day together, and it’s a fitting tribute to the volunteers who went above and beyond to bring a little boy’s dream to life. (Stuntman/inventor/acrobat Eric “EJ” Johnston, who accompanied Batkid as the fully-grown Batman, is especially charming, and his instant bond with Miles is one of the sweetest parts of the documentary.) Most importantly, Batkid Begins leaves you with the same uplifting feeling as the original event: It’s a reminder that that sometimes the good guys do win. B

Batkid Begins
2015 movie
  • Movie
  • 89 minutes