Review: The Batman
By Peehu Rana, Contributor
“Fear is a tool.” Bruce Wayne says in his opening monologue in Warner Bros’ newest The Batman, and immediately this version of Batman feels moodier and more serious than the previous iterations. Matt Reeves brings a darker tone to Batman that feels more comic accurate to Detective Comics’ (DC) famous superhero. The film is much different compared to other superhero movies and is more of a psychological thriller and noir film – which is very befitting for “The World’s Greatest Detective.”
The film has a talented cast lineup — with Robert Pattinson playing the caped crusader and Zoë Kravitz as the infamous cat-burglar Selina Kyle. Along with amazing performances from Jeffrey Wright as James Gordon, an ally of Batman, and Andy Serkis as Batman’s butler and mentor, Alfred Pennyworth. Pattinson’s version of Batman is some what new to the vigilante business but remains to be the most serious and brutal iteration, yet also showing a more broken and human side to the Dark Knight. Kravitz’s performance as Catwoman shows a more vulnerable side to Selina Kyle, while still exuding confidence and a mysterious nature. The two actors depict the evident chemistry of their characters in the film.
Stepping up to take the challenge of portraying the titular role – Pattinson makes the character his own, depicting the unresolved trauma and brooding nature of Batman. Reeves does an excellent job of showcasing not only the character’s combat strength but also fully displaying his deductive skills and intelligence.
But what is Batman without his enemies? In this movie, the caped crusader goes up against the Riddler and Oswald Cobblepot, best known as the Penguin, played by Paul Dano and Colin Farrell, respectively. Dano’s portrayal as the Riddler is easily one of the more captivating performances in the film. He brings a chilling interpretation of the wordsmith as he displays a genius and dangerously unhinged version of the comic villain.
Scenes with Pattinson and Dano were always filled with tension and curiosity as the Riddler puts Batman to the test in the film. Farrell’s performance as Penguin showed just how much fun he was having while playing the role. Both Farrell and Dano’s portrayals are one of the best iterations of Batman villains in a live-action film as they set the tone for the film and are characters who are larger than life. Their performances sell the dark and lawless city of Gotham.
The Gotham City in this movie feels and looks very similar to the city in Rocksteady studio’s video game trilogy, Arkham — a very popular Batman franchise, and the same can also be said with the look and feel of the characters. Gotham City in the comics is a bleak and dangerous city full of corruption and ruled by crime, and so far Reeves’ interpretation of Gotham has been the best live-action depiction yet. For fans who enjoyed the Arkham games, this Gotham would feel the closest to home as it shows the terror and chaos that plagues the city.
The Batman depicts a Batman that is more comic accurate than any iterations of the iconic character so far. The film truly feels and looks like a Batman movie and goes back to the characters’ noir comic origin. He is shown to be more human and the film emphasizes that idea as it shows how he is different as a superheroes without superpowers. The hero is designed to create fear in criminals while he attempts to be a symbol of hope for the city of Gotham and its residents.
Composer Michael Giacchino puts out a brooding and mysterious soundtrack that befits the film, as music played an important role in the film to set up Batman and Catwoman’s characters in each scene. Reeve’s film keeps the audience glued to the screen and makes them feel as if they are a part of the Batman universe as each character feels like they are from the same world while utilizing them to their fullest potential.