Star Cast: Robert Pattinson, Zoë Kravitz, Paul Dano, Jeffrey Wright, John Turturro, Andy Serkis, Colin Farrell
Director: Matt Reeves
What’s Good: If a 3-hour film makes you forget to check your watch even once, you know you’re at the right place!
What’s Bad: This is announced as a standalone film, because we won’t be able to stand alone in the DC universe with someone else as the Batman from now
Loo Break: Even if you had to pee in the first 10 minutes of the film, just do it in your pants!
Watch or Not?: If you’re a Batman fan & you won’t, I’m sending a Bat-Signal right away! If you’re not a Batman fan, you’ll be after watching this
Available On: Theatrical Release
Runtime: 176 Minutes
For a new Batman to arrive, we know we’ll have to go through the dark sh*t Gotham is facing to create a perfect base for the ‘the caped crusader’ to arrive in style. The Batman (Robert Pattinson) teams up with James Gordon (Jeffrey Wright) to solve back-to-back murders of some pretty corrupt people. Every murder comes up with a secret cypher for the Batman when he then solves his during his evening tea with his beloved butler Alfred (Andy Serkis).
Now, Batman has to fight a villain whose identity lies in the clues he leaves for the dark knight to reach him. He’s the Riddler (Paul Dano) bringing out probably the most underused shade of Batman’s character i.e. being the world’s greatest detective. As he figures out a way to reach the Riddler, he soft-lands on Selina aka Catwoman aka Bat’s Cat (Zoë Kravitz). Aiming towards achieving a mutual goal, they get together to reach the end of all the mishaps happening in the city. Do they succeed? Yes & No! Why? Watch the film.
The Batman Movie Review: Script Analysis
When Matt Reeves denied using the script already sculpted by Ben Affleck, he told he didn’t want his version of the defender of Gotham to come with the burden of a shared universe. This decision has made Batman, what it is today. Reeves, Peter Craig’s story stretches to almost touching the 3-hour mark, but boy is this the first time I’ve sat through a 3-hour film without keeping a track of the time even once? Because Reeves shared the universe, he optimistically presents a more authentic touch to a story that’s partially known to everyone.
If you think Christopher Nolan had the most realistic approach at presenting Gotham’s prince, you’ll be extremely scared to even step in Reeves’ bleak universe where everything is exactly the shade of dark, DC has been looking for years now. Reeves’ Batman isn’t your next door billionaire, he’s internally broken showing more of what he’s within rather than the blingy stuff outside. Because the outside world, as captured by Greig Fraser’s camera, is so ill-lighted. Fraser masters his focus point only at the things he wants you to see, almost defocusing everything else.
William Hoy & Tyler Nelson are the magicians who keep the film just under the 3-hour-mark with their editing prowess. They retain the slow-burning essence (pun intended!) of the script by keeping you intrigued despite spending 176 minutes on your a** (that’s if you’re lucky enough to not get an abrupt break as we do here in India).
The Batman Movie Review: Star Performance
For those, who trolled Robert Pattinson as The Batman due to their hatred towards Twilight, this is a huge ‘f*ck you’ from him with both hands in the air. I believe Twilight has only helped him to master the ability to be straight-faced, s*xy and scary at the same time. More than anyone playing this superhero before, Robert Pattinson is the one who looks the most like Batman from the comics or at least the kid in me has always imagined someone like him to be the Dark Knight; Reeves’ bleakly vision adds to the melancholy.
Zoë Kravitz in a scene buries her claws into a bad man’s face and that’s where you see the most amount of Catwoman in her. She once joked she used to drink milk from a bowl to understand the psyche of a cat, and with those smoky, cat eyes of her, Zoë manages to embody the feline flexibility so well with her actions.
Paul Dano as Riddler plays as much behind the mask as he does after stripping it off. Matt Reeves has always mentioned how he wanted to explore the ‘detective’ side of the superhero, he couldn’t have asked for a better antagonist than Riddler to test the caped crusader. The ambiguity built around Dano’s aura gives him another layer to add the surprising factor in his performance. The whole ‘he can do anything at any given time’ works majorly towards making him terrorising. Though it’s a tough sell to match what Jim Carrey has done with this character back in 1995 (Batman Forever), Dano still manages to present a much saner-yet-sociopath version of Riddler.
Jeffrey Wright as Commissioner Gordon does not add much to the narrative, as in his shared scenes with Batman he doesn’t get a single chance to add something on his own. Colin Farrell takes the cake of supporting characters by overdoing Penguin so much that you’ll love it. He doesn’t go all ballistic as Penguins of the past, but his accent adds to the peculiarity he brings in. Andy Serkis as Alfred gets to get closest to the Batman than ever before. Serkis maintains the subtlety of Alfred along with the emotions that come with him after being together with someone for years. John Turturro as Falcone has a short yet pretty sweet role anchoring the dim nature of the script.
The Batman Movie Review: Direction, Music
When Matt Reeves chose Pattinson to be his Batman, that was the first step in the right direction to design a different take on an already discussed story. He unburdens himself from the already cluttered universe to pen a world that comic-book fans would not just adore, but worship. Though the riddles throughout the film could’ve been more interesting, it’s the process that shines bright amid the darkness. Reeves keeps everything extremely gothic yet stylish using various camera tricks of defocusing things. Dominating the entire screenplay with two major colours of Red & Black, he doesn’t make you crave for colours as he traps you in his otherworldly world. He focuses more on his Bat being ‘the greatest detective’ and less of the usual American playboy, philanthropist, and industrialist he has been before.
Michael Giacchino takes the baton from the likes of Hans Zimmer, Danny Elfman, Elliot Goldenthal resulting in one hell of a haunting soundtrack. While peeing in the washroom during the interval, I could still listen to the background score but then I realised it was coming from the speakers (but, you do get my point here?). Nirvana’s ‘Something In The Way’ plays an important role as Giacchino smartly weaves some of the song’s notes into Batman’s theme. So, the song is present throughout the film, at times with lyrics and other times just the notes. A line such as “Underneath the bridge, the tarp has sprung a leak, and the animals I’ve trapped, have all become my pets,” just describes the soul of Batman.
The Batman Movie Review: The Last Word
All said & done, you just can’t dislike the film if you like Batman as a superhero. After Joaquin Phoenix memorialising Joker for years to come, Robert Pattinson would make it difficult to see anyone else a Batman from hereon. All hail the Reeves!
The Batman Trailer
The Batman releases on 04 March, 2022.
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Fan of action thrillers? Read our Red Notice Movie Review here.