THE BATMAN: With A Dark Setting To Compliment Its Even Darker Vibe. A Good First Entry for Battinson
Warner Brothers Pictures
Directed by Matt Reeves
Stars: Robert Pattinson, Zoë Kravitz, Paul Dano, Jeffrey Wright, John Turturro, Andy Serkis, and Colin Farrell
Matt Reeves dives deep into telling the world an even darker noir version of The Batman. This rendition of the character is introduced to us as an adult, skipping over the death of the Wayne family because everyone knows that introduction. Skipping over this, Reeves is still able to craft arguably the strongest backstory for a Batman character yet. This rendition puts him in the spotlight, and fully embraces the bat as the strongest character- one who the audience should fully be invested in over the other massive personalities in Gotham.
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 detective style story of Bruce Wayne trying to uncover who the Riddler is, makes for such a fascinating watch. I was glued to the screen, watching with eager joy, as Wayne in costume worked alongside Jim Gordon to answer Riddlers clues. With every clue answered, Wayne unravels just how truly dark and wide the underbelly of Gothams goes. With each character that supposedly stands for justice being revealed as corrupt, and Wayne’s own father being brought more and more into question as Riddler’s clues advanced more- one could physically feel the weight of the city and his families legacy weighing on Bruce. No Batman film has ever had so much growth for the character in a single film, and that’s fully done because of the decision to start this ones story arch with Riddler as the main bad guy. We get all the internal struggles of trying to save his city, while he realizes just how corrupt and nearly hopeless Gotham is in one film- so that as the character ages with future films, that internal conflict will have been established successfully in this, the first of the new series.
On a technical basis, this film is so strong as well. We get the strongest score of the year to date as one of my favourite composers of all time- Michael Giacchino blares a score so memorable and strong that it will be etched into my memory for days to come. Greig Fraser‘s cinematography is absolutely beautiful as well, and both men deserve their flowers for establishing the mood and the feel of this new universe within their respected crafts. Fraser’s use of the dark to build up some of the coolest looking fight scenes is something I truly hope does not get forgotten by the end of the year.
Cast wise, this could not have been cast any more perfect. Robert Pattinson has been strong for so long, and he’s the perfect level of edge to a Batman still perfecting his craft and learning what It means to be a protector of the city. While Jeffrey Wright brings a whole new level of hope for a better future in his version of a younger Jim Gordon, the chemistry between both men being so strong that one can just imagine the way their relationship will move forward as the series progresses. Kravitz is also one that absolutely shines, and commands the screen whenever she pops up- something that makes her by large the best Selina Kyle we’ve ever had on the big screen. Turturro and Farrell make the most of their times on screen as the crime bosses Falcone and The Penguin. While Dano’s descent into madness as Riddler was brilliant and horrifying at the same time, whenever he was off the screen the film was stagnant- something that speaks loudly towards the strength of Dano as the character.
The Batman is a strong introduction into a brand new version of the character, a version that’s bound to be darker and grittier than prior versions of the character. If the film didn‘t hit certain ruts without Riddler on the screen, it would’ve been a bit better- but overall a good beginning for the Battinson.