THE BATMAN MOVIE
By Luis Sanchez
Gotham City’s vigilante tries to solve a new riddle in this new feature film – a new take on Batman which hit the screens this spring. I saw the movie one Friday night: my spoiler-free review will go over the good, the bad, and the dark of the movie for you!
The Batman is a superhero film based on the DC Comics character of the same name. The movie was produced by DC Films, 6th and Idaho, and Dylan Clark Productions, and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. This reboot was directed by Matt Reeves and stars Robert Pattison as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman, Paul Dano as the Riddler, and Jeffrey Wright as James Gordon. The Batman takes on a different approach to the masked vigilante, and seeks to explore the detective side of Batman. With a runtime of 2 hours and 56 minutes, the viewer is witness to an investigation with Batman and his efforts to uncover the truth behind a series of murders committed by the Riddler.
This movie contained a lot of dark themes, as well as dark scenes. About three total scenes took place in daylight, and the rest of the movie was within the light of the moon, adding to the overall dark sensation of the movie. The Batman provides the viewer with a new and mysterious universe through its themes, characters, and realism.
The Batman makes sure to nail down the theme of Gotham being the worst possible place on Earth. We are shown how corrupt, dirty and scary it would be to truly live in Gotham City, and it makes us question why Batman is even trying to help this city if it is beyond saving. With the setting in place, Gotham City births heroes and antagonists who ultimately fight for the same cause, which is what I enjoyed deeply about this movie. We do not get any origin stories from any of the characters, and that is something to appreciate because it makes the world seem more established and stable in terms of its characters.
From the early production of the film we were told that The Batman would not be connected to the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). This allowed for plenty of creative license to the director Matt Reeves, in which he used it to his advantage. It felt truly like a Batman movie in Batman’s world with no ties to the exterior heroes, which placed an emphasis on Batman and his vigilantism.
Zoe Kravitz’s Catwoman is exceptional in this film. Her character has intentions that she keeps to the heart and helps drive her story within this universe. I haven’t mentioned much about Robert Pattison as Bruce Wayne and that is because simply put, there isn’t much about Bruce Wayne in this movie. Pattison excels in his Batman persona and excels in drawing out his dark side, but Pattison keeps his Batman face even when he needs to act as Bruce Wayne. This means that in The Batman we see a brooding and dejected Bruce Wayne which is disappointing, but compared to the amount of screentime Batman had, Bruce Wayne’s persona is pushed aside. This helped Pattison focus more on being THE Batman, as the movie is titled.
I cannot talk much about the Riddler because he is not shown much in the trailer, but I can say that his character is a very realistic version of the Riddler. Paul Dano puts an emphasis on his character’s menacing side which makes the hairs on your arm stand up. His riddles are somber and violent. In fact, every character in The Batman is realistic, which makes the movie believable.
Typically we are used to a Batman that seems mythical, is able to fly using only his cape, and with a well-built Batmobile, but this Batman is quite the opposite. Robert Pattison’s Batman has real weaknesses, has to attach a wingsuit in order to fly, and has a muscle car with a rocket attached to the back (which sounds, looks, and feels absolutely amazing!). When you hear the rocket thrust, it just radiates power – which then leads to an amazing car chase!
Overall, this movie exasperates darkness. Its cinematography and direction help emphasize the gloominess of Gotham City, while its actors provide characters who have grown up in Gotham and seek change. Both protagonists and antagonists have a valuable reason to act the way they do, which makes you feel sympathy for both and places you in a struggle to choose whom to support.
The Batman reimagines its setting and characters in a darker tone, ultimately reimagining these characters into a new and intriguing universe – and film. I would rate this movie an 8/10 and would definitely recommend watching it in theaters!