• Jake Wright

The Batman: Non-Spoiler Review

(via: Warner Bros Pictures.)

“Fear is a tool” our new Batman tells us in a gloomy voiceover at the beginning of the movie, and he’s certainly not wrong as The Batman is the darkest and most detailed look into the mind of the Caped Crusader yet.

The Batman stands on its own, and as anticipated, director Matt Reeves has succeeded in crafting a gritty and gripping take on the Dark Knight and his mythos. Separating this movie universe from the ongoing DCEU was the perfect decision that enabled every single cast member to deliver their best and most faithful adaptations of the featured DC Comics characters. Opening up with a dark and terrifying scene, the tone is set for this blockbuster movie with Paul Dano’s Riddler showing the audience that chaos is coming with a brutal yet captivating introduction for what is to come throughout this detective-style noir movie.

Not your average superhero movie (in a good way), The Batman takes a deeper dive into the detective side of the character which is refreshing to see due to many of the previous solo Batman movies showing little interest in this crucial aspect of Batman’s character.

The plot is a murder-mystery that revolves around the psychotic serial killer, the Riddler (Paul Dano), attempting to rid Gotham of the corruption that plagues the city by brutally and creatively murdering the very top of Gotham’s elite. Leaving clues and riddles at the crime scenes for the Caped Crusader, Batman (Robert Pattinson) teams up with lieutenant James Gordon (Jeffrey Wright) to help stop this masked murderer that begins with the murder of a major city leader on Halloween night

(via: Warner Bros. Pictures)

Soon after, our Dark Knight and his most loyal accomplice Alfred Pennyworth (Andy Serkis) realize these ongoing murders have ties to a vast conspiracy aimed at Gotham’s leaders, whether that is mayoral candidates or crime bosses like Carmine Falcone (John Turturro) and his right-hand man Oz “the Penguin” Cobblepot (Colin Farrel). Also thrown into the mix is a mysterious young woman named Selina Kyle (Zoë Kravitz) who Batman is captivated by from the moment he meets her as they form a fascinating partnership fuelled with untapped chemistry between the two. With the help of his allies both new and old, Batman is determined as ever to get to the bottom of this eerie murder’s rampage.

A clever, intertwining plot causes for a lengthier run time for the movie, but not once do you feel as though this movie has overstaying its welcome. The end of the movie leaves you craving even more as the plot is so well-crafted by director Matt Reeves and his team, that your eyes are glued to the screen for the duration of the movie. This superhero movie’s deliberate pace keeps tension high and mystery embezzled as every single character gets fantastic character development, but the main focus of the journey is of course, the Batman.

The most faithful adaptation of the character in live action yet, Pattinson brings his all as the Dark Knight Detective who appears in almost every scene and spends the majority of the movie as Batman. Not to disregard his enthralling performance as billionaire Bruce Wayne, Pattinson’s portrayal is the perfect blend of grounded yet entertaining. His narration at the start of the movie questioning if he’s really made a difference within his two years as the Batman is fascinating as it journey’s straight into the mind of our new Batman to see where his psyche is at during this part in his crusade.

(via: Warner Bros. Pictures)

Reclusive as Bruce Wayne, this Batman is consumed and almost addicted to being vengeance for his city which paves the way for fantastic character development as the movie progresses. He starts out describing himself as a “nocturnal animal” and states his nights go by “as a blur” as the Batman, bringing in a sort of sad reality to his career as the vigilante crimefighter. This is perfectly contrasted by the use of characters such as Jim Gordon and Alfred who are used to make headway in breaking through this dark storm cloud that surrounds this Batman when we first meet him. But no-one does this better than Kravitz’s Selina Kyle.

The best onscreen portrayal of the character so far, this Selina is articulated as enigmatic from the moment we see her and Kravitz’s brings her A-game in showing the audience how much of a multifaceted character Selina Kyle actually is. Batman and Selina perfectly bounce off of each other in both a romantic and playful way as the aspect of the “Cat and mouse chase” from the comics is on full display here.

(via: Warner Bros. Pictures)

The rest of the cast all had their own part to play and every single one of the supporting character’s was in an interesting position at the end of the movie that shows their journey is only just beginning. Falcone (John Turturro) and the Penguin (Colin Farrell) both brought a menacing performance that displayed how grim and terrifying the underworld of Gotham City really is. Alfred (Andy Serkis) gave a heartfelt performance as Bruce Wayne’s now-legal protector unlike we’d ever seen before. Cleary taking heavy inspiration from the Batman: Earth One line of comics, Alfred has a history in the military and security services and was in fact the Wayne’s bodyguard during Thomas Wayne’s campaign run for mayor.

Paul Dano’s Riddler is a terrifying menace whose presence onscreen is met with unnerving tension as his heavy breathing, zodiac-inspired look and gruesome murders all combine to make him of the strongest portrayals of a villain in comic book movie history. On the levels of Heath Ledger’s Joker, the Riddler provides Pattinson’s Batman with his toughest challenge yet with the inevitable confrontation between the two everything you could dream of and more. The perfect villain to kickstart this universe, Riddler mixes his comic counterpart with notorious fictional serial killers like Jigsaw from Saw and John Doe from Seven to deliver this spooky antagonist for our menacing Batman.

Overall, it is safe to say that The Batman is one of the greatest comic book movies of all time and is a magnificent celebration of the character and his mythos. After a superhero film like this has delivered such immense depth and action-adventure fun, the anticipation for what is to come from this universe later down the line is immeasurable.

Have you seen The Batman yet? If so, what are your thoughts on the movie? Is it your favourite Batman movie?

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