The Batman Review
Here’s my The Batman review directed by Matt Reeves and stars Robert Pattinson, Zoe Kravitz, Paul Dano, Jeffrey Wright, Andy Serkis and John Turturro! Now showing from Warner Bros Pictures!
A new decade means a new Batman and Robert Pattinson’s take on the Dark Knight is finally here. Let me tell you I didn’t know what to expect about this film partly because my head was still anticipating a Batfleck movie where he’s fighting Deathstroke the Terminator under the DCEU but alas, we did not get that. We have a brand new adventure instead, solely working on its own little world
Right off the bat (get it?), I have high hopes for Robert Pattinson as Batman and he crushed it. His take on the caped crusader is once again different from the others before him and its definitely his time to shine. As a sophomore Batman, the Battinson sure can act and its made even harder because he’s in the batsuit like all of the time. So showing his emotions can be a challenge and he’s quite well in doing that through body language and his voice.
I also liked how the costume worked for the actor making it form fighting with all these little armor/ plates. It made it such a believable thing to see the guy dressed as a bat walking towards you and you have to stop what your doing and run away. It makes a lot of sense.
Proto Bruce Wayne
This may not be everybody’s cup of tea but keep an open mind about this detail.
Bruce Wayne as a public figure is only around in the movie for 10 to 15%. It’s Reeves and the team reminding us that even to this day, Batman is the real persona and Bruce Wayne is just a mask. And since he just returned to Gotham, a year or so he’s not yet established his “playboy billionaire” appeal instead acting like a recluse who barely talks to people. But then again when he’s Batman, he’s as chatty as can be.
The Bat and The Cat
I like this new take on Catwoman. The sultry sexy Selina Kyle has taken a back seat and we’re getting a grittier, meaner version. The femme fatale charms are still there thanks to the beauty of Aquaman’s stepdaughter, Zoe Kravitz. But what stands out to this version is her fighting skills, like it was shown over and over again that she’s a competent fighter and it sets the tone that Batman knows she can take care of herself. This also sets up the tone that they are working together as equals and not as a partnership made out of convenience. And their blossoming romance is also put here on the table with viewers seeing how tender Batman becomes when he’s speaking to and dealing with Selina. I liked this a lot.
Unlike the past Batman films (with the exception of the Nolan trilogies) Commissioner Gordon was just a liaison. The Batman took the good stuff from Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises and make it more grounded. Jeffrey Wright’s version of Jim Gordon has his moments in the film and you can see that he puts his trust in Batman and vice versa and it makes for a good mechanic in the film briefly turning it into a buddy cop movie with a masked vigilante and a straight cop.
Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth is a bit lacking in the screen time department but when he is around he’s a good father figure to Batman.
John Turturro as Carmine Falcone wasn’t believable but you got to see him play the most powerful mobster in Gotham City to believe it. Not super good but good enough to share moments with the caped crusader and even nearly killing an important character. Sucks too that he and Oswald Cobblepot aka The Penguin (Colin Farrell) don’t get much screentime together because it would have built more depth to their roles especially Farrell who is set to return in a spinoff show on HBO Max.
Riddle me this
I liked Matt Reeves’ nuanced take on the Riddler. Paul Dano isn’t physically intimidating at all but he sure does know how to act crazy. And that’s what he is in the film. A villain that lost everything and lost hope because of the Waynes and now he wants to get even with the people who inadvertently made him suffer through his youth. It’s also a good mirroring of how things are in real life with the attack in Washington being organized by like minded people. Felt like he phoned in his scenes the moment he removed the mask and had a nice talk with the Batman. Not a memorable villain but a practical one, aimed at improving our hero and pushing him beyond his limits.
At least its not what they did with the animated version of Batman: Hush.
Oh and good job in doing POVs with the Riddler, making for an uncomfortable watch bordering on being creepy; because that’s what the guy is.
Comic book and game roots
Zero Year is a good example of comic book lore that The Batman borrowed from.
Won’t spoil the full detail but this is an extra nudge to long-time Batman fans and readers of the DC Comics book. There’s also a lot of elements borrowed from the classic Batman: The Long Halloween…
Also remember that time somebody edited that warehouse scene with Batfleck from BVS and turned it into the quick time event in Batman: Arkham Asylum?
Well that’s pretty much the tone of the fights here in The Batman.
Speaking of Arkham Asylum, we get something that’s inspired from that game and that would be Detective Vision…
In essence game DV does a lot of things. Movie DV or Detective Vision is mainly used to record everything that Batman sees and hear making it easy for him to review evidence and details he may have missed. It also beats lugging a camera. And in the film, we see that. It’s like one big chekov’s gun. Everything that we see or hear eventually gets talked about or discussed.
An actual detective Batman
One of the bigger hurdles I had watching the film as well as writing this The Batman review is the fact that we all came a Justice League Batman. A Batman that’s larger than life and fights parademons and is involved in reviving a dead alien from the doomed planet Krypton. The Batman takes a different course and offers us a crime fighting, grounded and very detective-y Batman. But once you get over that, you’re in for a good ride.
I also like the noir elements here and they actually pay homage to the genre with Batman mostly speaking and acting as the narrator and sharing with us his thoughts and feelings. They take that down a notch so don’t worry, it’s not its going to be live-action LEGO Batman movie.
I was very satisfied with the action sequences here. Whether its long takes or the now popular hallway fights there’s a lot of sequences for every Bat-fan. Just don’t look for aliens and monsters because that belongs (with respect) the Zack Snyder’s Justice League.
Batman Na Na Na Na Na
Give a listen to Michael Giacchino’s take on the Batman theme music…
Its eerie, haunting a little disturbing and totally iconic. That’s not all, keep your ears peeled towards the third act and you’ll hear a familiar Batman theme integrated into the film’s score. I was totally surprised and fanboy’ed a little about that. Plus they also did good with Nirvan and turned “Something in the Way” into a needledrop…
Special thanks to Warner Bros Pictures for the special advance screening! The Batman opens March 2 in theaters!
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