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.
THE GOOD STUFF
ROBERT MOTHERF****** PATTINSON- One thing is for certain…Pattinson is The best Batman ever put to screen. Period.
I don’t know how good of a Bruce Wayne he is, given that we do not spend a lot of time with Wayne, and when we do, it’s a very lackluster time on screen if I’m going to be honest with you. However, when he’s in the suit, he both looks and feels far more indomitable than Ben Affleck (a man who is 4 inches taller and about 50 lbs heavier at the time he rocked the suit) ever, ever, did.
If you ask me, it is pretty redundant to mention Robert Pattinson’s name alongside the Twilight Saga these days. Before this, he was in THE ROVER, he was in GOOD TIME, he was in WATER FOR ELEPHANTS, THE LIGHTHOUSE, and TENET for the love of God. At this point, after seeing this movie, if the word Twilight comes out of your lips when referencing this man, you simply will never get over it, and you should be ashamed of yourself.
THIS THEME SONG- Simply put, this is one of the best “THIS S*** JUST GOT REAL” theme songs that you can find. Just as a guide, whenever you hear this song in the film, just know that awesome s*** is about to happen, and The Batman is about to hurt someone’s feelings. It varies in speed throughout the film. When it’s slow, something important is happening. When it’s at normal speed…brace yourself.
MATT REEVES- The real breakout star of this film is the director Matt Reeves. The man who directed the criminally underrated PLANET OF THE APES trilogy. I won’t overplay this hand and say that he’s an elite director, but he’s pretty damn close. Contrary to what the film snobs will have you believe, 200 million dollar movies such as this one are not exactly easy to pull off. There is an inordinate amount of pressure no matter how many other Batman films have been released, good or bad… It takes a lot of moxie to make something this regurgitated this great. Many directors have gotten much more credit than they’re worth by making movies that are not this good.
THE PENGUIN/BATMAN CAR CHASE- Sometimes, you know you’re watching an iconic moment on screen as soon as it happens. Now, it just so happens that this movie gave away the Iconic moment (of The Batman walking upside down in the rain with the fire in the background) in the trailer. However, it’s twice as exhilarating to see it punctuate an ASTONISHING car chase sequence that rivals the truck flip scene in THE DARK KNIGHT. It really does.
PAUL DANO- Dano’s just one of them dudes where you see him in something like this, and he’s really great, and in your mind, you remember “that one time, where he was in that one movie,” and you have to pull out your phone and hit IMDb to check other stuff he’s in, and it turns out he was in fact, BETTER than this in like four OTHER really, really, big things next to some of the most beloved actors in the business.
In the dictionary, next to the word “underrated,” there should be a picture of Paul Dano’s face.
Next to the word underappreciated, there should ALSO be a picture of Dano’s face…just with a different expression.
THE BAD STUFF
CATWOMAN- Not a complaint about Zoe Kravitz’s performance. I repeat, Zoe Kravitz is not the problem here. The problem is that Catwoman hasn’t necessarily had a lot of depth throughout her cinematic history. Kravitz, Anne Hathaway, and Michelle Pfeiffer have all played the exact same beats as far as Catwoman is concerned. A thief who teams up with Batman because she needs revenge on somebody, only to fall in some way or another for Batman, but it’s something neither of them can really explore because they’re on opposite sides of the law…
And yeah. I don’t even feel like I’m spoiling anything by saying that, because for some reason, I guess you can’t sell a Batman movie with Catwoman in it without showing them kiss at least once or twice. Anybody who’s familiar with Zoe Kravitz as far as her acting is concerned understands that BIG LITTLE LIES and HIGH FIDELITY show much more of what she can do than this role does. She’s good here, but Catwoman portrayals are as about as routine as any fictional character can be.
THE BATMAN ROGUES GALLERY- I’ll keep it very straightforward. Batman is a character that goes all the way back to 1939. Needless to say, there are a f***load of villains that he has come across in all of that time. And yet, when it comes to cinematic portrayals, we’ve been given the following:
Three Harvey Dents
And hell, we’re even on our second Carmine Falcone at this point.
….and that’s NOT COUNTING the TV series GOTHAM.
One of the things that makes the MCU special is the fact that they can acknowledge that the audience is here for the superhero, and the villain will grow on you if the villain is portrayed well. I am under the impression that Batman does not need a marquee villain to go next to his name. It can be of Victor Zsasz, it can be a Mad Hatter, it can be a Hugo Strange, or even Calendar Man if it’s portrayed well enough.
The consistent regurgitation of the same villains tends to make future iterations of Batman movies seem a little less exciting than the MCU movies.
THE UGLY STUFF
Nothing. Everything that this movie is selling you in the trailers, in the commercials, and the advertising is exactly what you’re getting and a lot more.
Let me close by saying two things:
1. This is a great film, but it is in no way better than the groundbreaking, genre-defining masterpiece that was THE DARK KNIGHT.
2. Though it is still very early in 2022, I feel that it’s safe to say that there won’t be too many films that surpass the quality of THE BATMAN. It’s actually kind of relieving that it is as good as it was advertising itself to be. There are so many different ways this could have been a disaster, and thank goodness it was not that.