Courtesy of Warner Brothers Pictures
The Batman was one of the most anticipated films of 2022. Fans have been waiting for Robert Pattinson (AKA Battinson) and how he would portray Bruce Wayne/Batman. This is a different Batman film than I have ever seen before. In other Batman films, Bruce Wayne seems to have his life together after the tragic events of his parents death. He dresses like a billionaire and acts like a billionaire. In The Batman, Bruce Wayne doesn't have his life together. It looks like he hasn't slept in a week and I love that. It really adds to the aesthetic of the film.
Let's start with what everyone wants to know. Is Robert Pattinson a good Bruce Wayne/Batman? The answer to that question is absolutely. Some fans were indifferent about the choice because of Pattinson's reputation. Pattinson is seen by the majority of the public as the guy from Twilight. The public remembers the Twilight movies being terrible and it places a stigma on him. Movie fans know Pattinson as an amazing actor. His performances in Good Time and The Lighthouse show how great of an actor he is. Pattinson plays a different Bruce Wayne/Batman than we have ever seen before. In previous Batman films, Bruce Wayne seems to have his life together. He dresses and looks like a billionaire. In The Batman, Bruce Wayne looks like he hasn't slept in a week. It makes sense for him to look like this because he fights crime and barely gets any sleep. His look adds to the aesthetic of the film. Bruce even calls himself a "nocturnal animal" in the film.
Even with this new look, Robert Pattinson still feels like Bruce Wayne and especially Batman. The moments in the film where he walks from the shadows into frame is badass. That's how Batman should be. Batman is not a colorful superhero that tries to be the funny guy. Batman is the hero that every person fears. This film does a good job of portraying Batman like this. It's clear that Bruce Wayne has only been Batman for a couple of years and the public still doesn't know what to think about him. The police don't even know if they can trust him yet. The person that has his full trust is Lt. Gordon. Gordon is the only person trusts him and even helps Batman escape the police station in one scene. Another trusted person in Bruce Wayne/Batman's life is his butler Alfred. Alfred doesn't have much to do in this film unlike previous versions of the character. This was disappointing because I love the relationship between Bruce and Alfred. Their relationship could have been expanded more but they do have one key scene where Alfred tells the truth about the murder of Bruce's parents.
The Batman is a dark, gritty, and grounded film. Gotham City looks the worst it has ever looked in any Batman film. It is a dirty, crime ridden city with criminals praying on its citizens. The new big criminal on the scene is The Riddler. The Riddler has his sights set on the people in charge and wants them to stop telling lies. The Riddler is a mastermind and he has to be to outsmart Batman. This film shows The Riddler in a different way than when we last saw him in Batman Forever. In Batman Forever, The Riddler is an over the top goofy villain that wears a green suit. In this film, The Riddler hides his identity and is creepy and more viscous. Paul Dano did a great job as The Riddler. As a viewer, he makes you feel uneasy and you never know what he is going to do next.
Catwoman plays a huge role in this film and her scenes are fantastic. Zoe Kravitz was chosen to play Catwoman and she is a standout in the film. Her chemistry with Robert Pattinson was noticeable in their first scene and only ramped up as the film progressed. Fans have always had high expectations for the character ever since Michelle Pfeiffer's performance in Batman Returns. Michelle Pfeiffer is seen as the benchmark for all future Catwoman but Zoe Kravitz may have just passed her. The Batman shows Catwoman as a master thief without having to go through the awkward origin story. They even give an explanation as to why Selina dresses up like that and hangs out with cats. Kravitz's performance is more grounded than Pfeifer's and it makes sense with how the film is.
Colin Farrell is The Penguin in The Batman and the first thing we have to talks about is his transformation. I give major props to the makeup team for making him look the way he did. The Penguin is the stooge for Carmine Falcone played by John Turturro. The Penguin is involved with one of the most satisfying scenes as a Batman fan. Farrell and Turturro's role in the film is good but is overshadowed by Paul Dano and Zoe Kravitz. Their characters are more interesting and further the story better.
The Batman is a film that doesn't feel like a comic book. It's dark, gritty, grounded, and it feel real. It feels like a thriller combined with film noir. The film took a lot of inspiration from Seven, especially with The Riddler's character. This create an exciting film and one that is unpredictable. It feels like any of these events that transpire in the film can happen in real life. It is refreshing to see a comic book film like this. The DC stand alone movies prove that you don't need an extended universe to create good comic book content. Everything doesn't have to relate to each other. The Batman sets up for a sequel with a certain "clown" making an appearance at the end in Arkham Asylum. We'll see if he will be the main villain for the next film. Despite it's long runtime, The Batman is a delightful film to watch with great performances from its cast and great direction from director Matt Reeves.
What did you think of The Batman? Leave it in the comments below.