2022 ‧ Action/Adventure
Director: Matt Reeves
Cast: Robert Pattinson, Zoë Kravitz, Paul Dano, Colin Farrell, Jeffrey Wright, Barry Keoghan, Andy Serkis, Peter Sarsgaard
IMDb Ratings: 8.4/10
‘The Batman’ is a film that has a lot to offer for fans of the superhero, and also for audience members who aren’t familiar with the caped crusader. It’s hard to pinpoint with precision and accuracy, just how vivid and memorable this film was. The opening scene lasted only for a few minutes on screen, but was executed so perfectly that anyone watching the film knows exactly what they’re in for. The beautiful voiceover work provided by Robert Pattinson is pivotal in driving home the fact that being the Batman, is no fun at all. Glimpses of the city that seemingly function smoothly, while grime and crime persist above and underneath every citizen there, is understood.
The film has a very atmospheric Gotham City, which sets the mood without being overly in-your-face about it throughout its runtime. Though this looks to be a Herculean task, director Matt Reeves manages to accomplish this with almost no errors; allowing this film to be itself, which is NOT a superhero flick. Yes, more than a superhero film, this was a detective film that soared above expectations. Being set in Year 2 of Bruce Wayne’s journey, the stakes here felt very real and prominent. Though geared up to the chin, his fragility is quite apparent. It’s a side to Bruce Wayne that I’ve desperately wanted to see for many years now. Robert Pattinson is dangerously sharp as the Batman, with his presence being felt more as Bruce Wayne than as the Batman himself. Pattinson’s performance exceeded my expectations as I didn’t expect much from this role of his. His portrayal of the Batman felt so much more resentful and confused than the other previous iterations of the character. Not to say that it’s a bad thing, as I felt that this was Bruce Wayne working out and solving his biggest puzzle yet, himself. Who he is, and what he wants to be for the people of Gotham City.
I loved the fact that you could feel every emotion radiating from Pattinson under his suit, which made for a very terrifying watch. Zoe Kravitz is beautifully elegant and possesses a showmanship that I loved to see in this. Often times mindlessly selfless, the Catwoman pursues a goal that threatens to unravel everything. I loved how she wasn’t simply used as an obtusely aggressive tool to move the narrative forward, but was an integral part of how the story played out. Kravitz embraced every aspect of the Catwoman and delivered an important performance in terms of what it meant for the film. Her relationship with Bruce Wayne is developed on the foundations of trust and support, which although is the usual, is still riveting to watch on screen.
Paul Dano’s Riddler is covered in mystery and intellect. To have the Batman as an adversary must feel like touching burning liquid gold. It hurts, but it’s still valuable gold that you have. Gold that needs to be made use of. The themes and methods used by the Riddler here are both daunting and indestructible. I love how objective the Riddler is and Paul Dano made the most of his acting prowess. It’s genuinely terrifying to see his plans run circles around the Batman and the rest of the Gotham PD, as he remains anonymously tantalizing. The highlight performance for me, would be Colin Farrell’s Penguin. Literally unrecognizable, the Penguin’s interactions with the Batman always kept me on edge. The underlying animosity between the two is always there, but never spoken on. A free spirit at heart and in business, the Penguin felt a lot like what I envisioned him to be. There was no real sense of security around him and you could always tell when you’re on his turf.
‘The Batman’ always had something to keep me engaged, whether it was chemistry, pursuit or revelation. The entire film feels like you’re looking at a million-year-old amber stone, with a preserved cicada inside. It’s stuck inside, but the cracks are showing. If I had to sum up the entire film in one phrase, it would be ‘a journey of discovery’. Profoundly ambient soundtracks by Michael Giacchino elevated my experience to another level entirely. Instigation, interference and inspiration are all themes that you can expect in this film and it’s a shame for anyone to miss out on this.