The Batman Movie Review
The new Batman movie is the envisioning of its director Matt Reeves in the well-known Batman franchise. The movie is a new and different take on the superhero who, at this point, has starred in several movies, tv shows, and comics. And even though this story, with these characters, has been told several times throughout history, ‘The Batman’ shows a new and, to an extent, more comic-accurate side of the character. Instead of focusing the narrative on the origin story of the hero, which is a common approach that many movies take when creating a new well-known superhero franchise, this movie does not waste any time walking the audience through the origins of batman; instead, they give off several hints and subtle exposition, just to remind the audience of the things that made Bruce Wayne become cities most feared Vigilante.
The photography and worldbuilding of the picture are outstanding. From the very beginning, Gotham is shown to be a broken and crime-driven city that needs any type of hope. Batman, as he entitles himself at the beginning of the movie, acts as the face of vengeance that will end the city's crime through fear and intimidation. And photography plays a huge role in portraying all of that. The whole movie has a somber and desaturated image, fitting the whole tone of the movie and helping build Gotham city as a dirty, wasted, and dangerous setting. Furthermore, this image remains consistent throughout the whole movie except for a few scenes where the set is lighted to bring a brighter and more impacting tone, using colors like red and orange; which brighten the scene without distorting the overall tone of the movie. These specific moments become the most memorable scenes, as they always occur at key points of the narrative where it is clear that this moment is going to have a lasting impact on the characters and, consequently, on the whole movie.
The film also takes on a different perspective on the character Batman. It does not only focus on portraying him as a powerful hero that is not afraid to take all his anger on the bad guys, but it also shows his reasoning and incredible detective skills. It is these skills that build a major part of the narrative, being not only a superhero movie but also a mystery-solving thriller. It is refreshing to see a different side of this character that has been used so many times already, because in this movie we’re watching a Bruce Wayne, learning and discovering his role as Gotham’s vigilante, all the while having to deal with the trauma and depression that the experience of witnessing his parents death left on him. Also, bringing to this movie an exciting mystery, which takes direct inspiration from the noir style (“a cinematic term used primarily to describe stylish Hollywood crime dramas, particularly those that emphasize cynical attitudes and motivations”). All the while maintaining itself faithful to its source, the Batman comics, often portray the hero not only as a strong vigilante but also as a smart and skilled detective.
The casting is also very well done, each character is portrayed by a skilled actor that does a good job of interpreting their roles. However, the highlight of this movie is the main character Batman, who is here being portrayed by Robert Pattison. The actor does a great job at showcasing the conflicting nature of the character, and who he is when he’s the vigilante and when he’s Bruce Wayne. In reality, it is possible to see through Robert’s performance that Bruce is a man who had a troubled past, which left him with several problems and traumas, but who, despite all this, found himself with a sense of purpose after he started saving others in his work as Batman. Also shoutout to Zoë Kravitz (Selina Kyle/Cat Women), who does an excellent job in portraying the complex character of Selina Kyle, and Paul Dano (The Riddler), creating a great and threatening villain that poses a real challenge to the heroes. Furthermore, Andy Serkis (Alfred) does an amazing job of captivating the audience’s empathy and care by characterizing the fan-favorite butler in such a heartwarming way, and, through his performance, the audience can see all the love and care that Alfred has towards Bruce.
With that being said, this movie couldn’t be farther from perfect, with the main issue being its pacing, which is often extremely long and slow. The director made some strange choices of making certain sequences have overly long shots that have no reason for being that long, and that usually have little to no payoff. All of this culminates in the movie being almost three hours long, and in several instances feeling way longer. In this situation, the only redeemable fact that makes these issues not so highlighted is the fact that the narrative is always reinventing itself. Therefore, It is possible to see the growth and progression of the story as the narrative progresses and as the mystery is being solved. The new twists and plot points help bring a sense of progression to the story. And at the end, the movie gives itself enough time to wrap up any loose ends, all the while managing to leave enough threads for the next movie to pick up from.
Overall, the movie is a well-developed origin story for Robert Pattison’s Batman, that focuses on expanding on how the character deals with their problems all the while solving major political issues that surround the city.