In this Matt Reeves-directed thriller, the Dark Knight faces off against the Riddler (Paul Dano) and other foes as he uncovers decades old corruption that has eaten deep into his beloved city, Gotham. The incumbent mayor is murdered weeks to the election and the killer leaves a message “for The Batman”, a riddle he has to solve in time to save Gotham from ruin.
It is hard to watch this movie without comparing it to previous Batman movies. Like any Batman movie, it is dark but way darker than the rest. It feels like Matt Reeves set out to create an illusion that we are together in the dark with Bruce Wayne, prowling the dangerous and wet alleys of Gotham. The movie starts as grimly as it can, with a murder and a soulful monologue by Batman (Robert Pattinson). There is a bit of a suspenseful wait before we meet our hero as Gotham is shown in its element — dangerous, crime filled and almost lawless. The wait is worth it as Batman soon appears and calls himself “Vengeance”.
This is the first standalone Batman movie since Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises played by Christian Bale in 2012. Once again the Bat is in his own space, allowing for a deeper exploration of the character. The script does not ask too much of the character to accommodate other characters and he does not have to compete with other superheroes for relevance, in fact, we see him more grounded as a human being.
Matt Reeves does not attempt to hide the grimness of the film, the severity of situations are portrayed as they are (even the jokes are dark and grim). Batman gets into several near-death situations, there are fight scenes lit up only by the flare of firing bullets and every scene comes with a sense of foreboding. With this, Matt Reeves revives the Batman, giving the character deeper meaning and new motivations.
Robert Pattinson’s Batman is not necessarily better than previous players’, but different. We are able to see more than a man in a mask and cape fighting hoodlums on the streets of Gotham. Instead, we see a brooding young man trying to continue his father’s legacy. We see his shoulders hunched up like a beast of burden, carrying the weight of incessant trauma. Although Robert Pattinson steals the spotlight in this one, Jeffrey Wright (Lt. James Gordon), Paul Dano (The Riddler) and Zoé Kravitz (Catwoman) also give convincing performances. Jeffrey Wright and Robert Pattinson click beautifully as their characters work in tandem, while Zoe Kravitz’s and Paul Dano’s characters are not properly explored and they only shine sporadically. Other highlights include Colin Farrell (The Penguin) and John Turturro (Carmine Falcone).
The Batman might not be for everyone, especially if you prefer your Superheroes to be cheery, playful and able to make witty jokes while the world is on the brink of destruction. Matt Reeves’ The Batman is long and slow-paced but still evokes thrill and rushes of adrenaline.
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- Dark jokes.
- What’s going on with Batman and Catwoman? ? Wonder woman might be jealous.
- Is it always spring in Gotham?
The Batman is currently in cinemas.