The Batman; Welcome to the Robert Pattinson Era of Batman B A B Y. Grade: B+
The Batman tells a story about a billionaire Bruce Wayne (Robert Pattinson), whom is starting off his new gig as a cape crusader as he’s known as Batman. He goes around the crime filled city of Gotham, as he does his best to secure safety and justice where his services is needed, as since Gotham City is filled with so much crime… It’s a challenge for Batman to get to everywhere, so every decision to where he should go out and help has to count. Gotham City isn’t totally sold on Batman just yet, some think he’s contributing the crime and mayhem as well as there more time needed to trust Batman. Gotham City will endure a new wave of havoc, from a lone psychotic sadistic serial killer by which he goes by The Riddler (Paul Dano). The Riddler is going around town murdering key political figures, as each kill he leaves riddles for Batman in order to solve the mystery of what is the moral purpose behind these killings? Batman will do his best detective work in order to prevent The Riddler from committing any more harm to the city of Gotham.
Man it’s been a week since I’ve seen this film, been caught up with work and also preparing for my vacation. Anyhow: The Batman is a film in which was highly anticipated by not only comic book lovers, but surprisingly enough film goers in general. From the trailers: This new Batman film looks to be more authentic to the character, while also producing a much more realistic darker tone. From the moment of the quick little teaser from middle of 2020: Everyone had this film placed on their calendars, just waiting to go out to the theater and see the film.
I believe that there is reasonable doubt on The Batman, considering the last portrayal of Batman wasn’t much of success more so critically speaking. Ben Affleck’s Batman may not be the worst portrayal of this character, however the films Batman V Superman and Justice League… TRASH. So here we are with another new Batman, as there is questions will this be the same ordeal with Ben Affleck’s, or will it actually deliver this time around?!
I feel the only reason those whom doubted this film, were those whom have never seen Robert Pattinson in films other than Twilight. I mean if you have never seen Good Time, The Lighthouse, Damsel, and more recently The Devil All the Time… You would damn well know he has the capability of being a terrific actor. Plus with director Matt Reaves, coming off from directing one of the greatest films of all time War for the Planet of the Apes… I’m not too sure if there is much consideration from doubt, since we have so much talent behind this film. The Batman… Exceeded expectations for me, this continues the streak of great films from Matt Reaves.
The Cinematography was top notch in this film, there are so many terrific shots show casing this dirty crime filled city of Gotham that does feel accurate to the cartoons. Especially the film making surrounding the action sequences whether it be from the jump or the one where the light flashes caused by gun shots… It’s terrifically well made. A lot of it has to be thanked by the production design as well, especially Wayne’s crib as it felt like a whacky castle of some sort. The Score was pretty solid, the whole theme song which was helmed by Nirvana’s Something in the Way… Compliments the tone of this film perfectly. The composed score was pretty solid as well, definitely helped many sequences to make the film more exciting than it already is.
Cast all around was terrific as a whole, maybe of one the best assembled cast we’ve seen in a long time in a super hero film. Robert Pattinson shuts down all doubts, as he delivered a great performance as the cape crusader. If you’re a fan of Batman in general: This maybe one of your favorite portrayals Batman yet. Just the way Pattinson gets thoroughly into the character of being a disturbed kick ass, while also being a crafty yet witty detective was extremely enjoyable to watch. Paul Dano may not display the usual colorful jokey Riddler we’ve seen in the past, however this version of The Riddler helmed by Dano was outstanding. I truly enjoy how realistic this character and performance is, as I can totally see one like this Riddler coming out about as it can be a terrifying experience to endure.
There are some really good supporting performances. Catwoman played by Zoe Kravitz was pretty good, she was thoroughly entertaining as she displayed terrific chemistry with Pattinson as well. Collin Farrell almost steals the show as Penguin as he wasn’t even recognizable in this role, not only by a hair and makeup work but performance let alone. It’s no wonder why there is going to be a spinoff show of this character coming on HBO Max: He almost steals the show in every scene. What’s crazy is while Farrell stealing the show he doesn’t even do anything wild in terms of being a villain except that one lone car cash scene, it’s simply sequences of just dialogue that he just blows us way. John Tururro as Carmine was pretty good too in his performance, really liked how diabolical this character becomes down the road as he was an intriguing character as well.
The story of The Batman was well written, as the way the film is written almost as it felt like we were on the journey with Batman. What I think most people loved about this film in general is how primary focused it’s on Batman, like other than a brief quick little detours, we’re really on this ride with him throughout the entire film. What’s also refreshing about The Batman it doesn’t feel like a typical superhero film, it’s more like a crime detective drama that is comparable to Se7en even. That was the intentions of Matt Reaves in the beginning when making this film, that he wanted to make a Batman film that is heavily inspired by classic film noir as I believe he achieved it in the best possible way. You can even say the crime detective story of this film, over shines the super hero aspect as it sometimes becomes completely irrelevant at moments. The film makes you go completely lost in this crime detective story, as while displaying a much more realistic elements as the characters at hand can be everyday regular folks… Sometimes you rarely notice a caped crusader with a batmobile and crafty gadgets, which is awesome!
The Batman delivers in majority of the action sequences, as majority of them are definitely popcorn entertainment. It never becomes too big to where you can suddenly not take it seriously, they’re all well executed as it’s a whole lot of fun. The whole Riddle aspect of the film was dope, I also enjoyed the quick little twists and turns this film had to offer which even Batman can grow in frustration, as how The Riddler can often play Batman to where he can’t figure out what’s going on. What’s also great about The Batman is how well paced this film is. For almost a three hour run time: It never felt like sitting in a three hour sitting, as it moves like a two hour film. Sure there is a couple scenes that run a bit too long, however I was thoroughly surprised how extremely well paced this film was.
My biggest flaw with this film is unfortunately is one that made those on social media angered… White Privilege. For those of you that are worried this is going to be become a lecture: Oh no worries, we’re going to be focused on why it’s a flaw in this film. Catwoman brings the term about in the third act, as when everything is unfolding right before our eyes as she’s obviously angered about this situation. First off: This term being thrown in this film out of nowhere, feels completely forced. Second off: Looking at Gotham City as a whole, as a crime filled corrupted waste dump city that is modern day New York City (Everyone knows it’s true), where it’s extremely unsafe for anyone to run a business let alone step outside… Where do you see a lone race of people actually living well in this circumstance?! Every single race of people is suffering in this shit hole city, doesn’t matter what race you are, you have a fair chance of being robbed or murdered when you step out that door. But even so: There is no development of why this term is even being placed in the first place. What bothers me is considering Batman has more experience with encountering the city of Gotham, knowing damn well EVERYONE is affected by what’s going on… Why doesn’t he explain to Catwoman why she sounds ignorant here?! The only privileged people in this story are those with wealth, with wealth you can get away with a lot of shit, I mean have you seen today’s politicians lately?!
The Batman to me is going to be considered a timeless classic. I think this film will be revisited often by not only superhero geeks, but more so film buffs especially. It’s a film in which is not only great as a standalone super hero film, a first film from a new superhero series of films, but more so a great crime drama film.
Overall, The Batman is a great film. I highly recommend this film for everyone to be honest, I think everyone is going to love this one, it has certainly aged well in my mind over the past week. The only sad thing about The Batman: If James Gandolfini were still alive, I guarantee you he would’ve been casted as Penguin, as we then would’ve had a Batman and The Sopranos crossover… Life is not fair sometimes. -Mitch Smietana