Jaden Smith has released the music video to accompany his song Batman. The video follows Smith, who plays Batman, as he passes out in a field after having been given acid by the Joker, and then runs, dances, and dabs around LA.
In this modern reimagining, the Batmobile becomes a Tesla with gull doors, Bruce Wayne becomes Bruce E. Bat, and the Batsuit is white. This isn’t the white Batsuit’s first outing; it was made famous after Smith wore it to Kimye’s wedding, feeling “as though I needed to protect everyone there and needed to have the proper gear to do so.” In this video he is protecting LA not from the Joker, but from other superheroes.
Bruce E. Bat is less suave and diplomatic than Wayne; he hangs up on a reporter who calls to enquire whether he is Batman faster than Jeremy Corbyn faced with allegations that he supported the IRA. As Batman, he gets into a street brawl with Superman and a black-suited Batman; there is even a cameo from Spiderman.
However, as Smith’s Batman walks forlornly away from the brawl, we are left with the possibility that the video is a comment on the toxic version of masculinity that superhero movies encourage young boys to look up to. Smith, after all, is known for wearing skirts in order to challenge gender stereotypes; and Frank Ocean’s Boys Don’t Cry zine takes pride of place on his desk in this music video.
The music video contrasts humour and decadence with peaceful shots of Smith on a hill overlooking LA, green grass contrasting with the white Batsuit and pink sky. Director Moises Arias has definitely upped his game since playing Rico in the somewhat less cool Hannah Montana. The result is a slick video that could almost be a trailer for a new, more exciting iteration of Batman. Warner Brothers, take note.