Review by Silas Lindenstein
The Batman (2022)
PG-13 ‧ Action/Adventure ‧ 2h 56m
Written by Matt Reeves, Peter Craig
Directed by Matt Reeves
Robert Pattinson as Batman
Zoe Kravitz as Selina Kyle (Catwoman)
Paul Dano as Riddler
Colin Farrell as Penguin
Jeffrey Wright as James Gordeon
Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennywise
(In their own words) When the Riddler, a sadistic serial killer, begins murdering key political figures in Gotham, Batman is forced to investigate the city’s hidden corruption and question his family’s involvement.
Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of Batman films and a lot of portrayal of Batman in live action films. I really didn’t think there was any new way I could see Batman presented. I am so excited that I was wrong.
The newest incarnation brings us Robert Pattinson donning the role of Gotham’s caped crusader in the Matt Reeve’s directed film The Batman. The film doesn’t take much time in introducing what this film is about and how the tone will be set. There has been a murder and the police are at a loss. So Detective Gordon (Jeffery Wright) brings in the vigilante Batman to take a look, because he seems to spot things others don’t. This is the first Batman film to acknowledge Batman as a great detective, the comics always referred to him as the world’s greatest detective but it has always been lost on the screen adaptations. This was wonderful to see him working the clues of the case.
The setting is year two of Batman. So it’s a young Batman, one gaining experience and learning his place in Gotham. Initial reaction of Pattinson being cast in the role was generally mixed. Pattinson’s performance will definitely create some great discussion as he completely owns the characters and breathes fresh life into the character. This may well be the greatest Batman we’ve seen yet. He is steady, nuanced, and is able to deliver the most emotion we’ve seen from a Batman while wearing a mask.
In this version, we see Bruce Wayne as Batman for most of the film. The few times he isn’t in costume, he does a fine job showing us how lonely Bruce Wayne is. Most films discuss how Batman is a loner, but then he’s constantly surrounded by people, this is a lonely Bruce and lonely Batman.
The other stand out element of the film was how genuinely thrilling the story is. I literally found myself moving forward during the movie because I was enthralled trying to figure out the mystery they presented with the murders. I felt thrilled the entire story. Not because of surprises or twists, but because the story was engaging. That has never happened to me during a Batman film before.
Let’s also not forget the rest of the cast. It is a stellar performance from top to bottom. Paul Dano’s Riddler is possibly the creepiest Batman foe we have seen yet. The makeup artistry to change Colin Farrell into The Penguin must be remembered for award season next year.
The tone, the style, the story, Matt Reeves gets it all right for this film. I feel confident that critics and audiences alike will be raving about this film. It’s the perfect blend of artistry and entertainment.
BEST things about the film
- Batman was finally treated as an incredible detective for the first time in cinema.
- The story is actually thrilling.
- The Riddler is a wonderfully menacing villain.
- Batman’s tone was hit perfectly. He’s always talked about being a loner but never is. This Batman is lonely.
WORST things about the Film
- It does start feeling a little long near the end.
- Not my favorite Bruce Wayne.
Vengeance is two sided.
THE FINAL WORD
This is the Batman I didn’t know I needed to see. A gritty Batman that all fans must see.
My 3L system gives me the choice to Love It, Like It, or Lose It.
The Batman gets a Love It.
When he’s not reviewing films or interviewing people for the Black & A Half podcast, Silas Lindenstein can be found in the greater metro Seattle, WA working as a real estate agent helping people buy and sell homes, or performing stand up comedy to fellow nerds. He has a wife and three children and desperately wants to learn to make the perfect homemade pizza.