A movie review of “Batkid Begins: The Wish Heard Around the World,” a hopeful documentary about a leukemia-stricken child who fought back by turning his future into a Batman fantasy. Rating: 3 stars out of 4.
San Francisco semiofficially becomes Gotham City in “Batkid Begins: The Wish Heard Around the World,” a hopeful documentary about a Make-A-Wish event that went viral.
The subject was Miles Scott, a 5-year-old child who was diagnosed with leukemia at 18 months but chose to fight back by turning his future into a Batman fantasy. In November 2013, he was helped along by San Francisco’s police chief, mayor and thousands of other Bay Area citizens (and visitors) who participated in one glorious day of good wiping out evil.
The streets were packed with well-wishers and even a few minor celebrities. Hans Zimmer, the composer who worked on the recent “Dark Knight” trilogy, wrote a song for the event, and an experienced stuntman did some of the more daring stunts.
Movie Review ★★★
‘Batkid Begins: The Wish Heard Around the World,’ a documentary directed by Dana Nachman, from a screenplay by Nachman and Kurt Kuenne. 87 minutes. Rated PG for some mild thematic material. Sundance Cinemas (21+).
As Dana Nachman’s lively film illustrates by showing a backlog of previous attempts, Miles was hardly the first imitation superhero to earn a place in the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s well-coordinated attempts to match stricken children with their comic-strip fantasies. (After months of chemotherapy, Miles is in remission.)
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But nothing before had been done on this scale. The seams occasionally show, especially whenever the shy, overwhelmed Miles grows tired or reluctant — or whenever the easily defeated villains start to look like so many overstuffed dolls — but it’s impossible to say “no” to this project.