Film Review – The Batman

The Batman (M)

Directed by: Matt Reeves

Starring: Robert Pattinson, Zoe Kravitz

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Review by: Julian Wright

The perfect antidote to Marvel’s bright, shiny, one-liner filled franchise, Christopher Nolan took DC’s Batman into gloomier territory with his Dark Knight trilogy, opting for pathos over punchlines.

Just when you thought Batman couldn’t get more serious, Matt Reeves has taken it a step further and given it a twist.

It has been two years since reclusive billionaire Bruce Wayne (Robert Pattinson) began donning the batsuit to haunt Gotham City’s unsavory sort from the shadows while simultaneously working with Lieutenant James Gordon (Jeffrey Wright).

Batman is drawn into the investigation of the Mayor’s murder, committed by the Riddler (Paul Dano), when a riddle addressed to him is left at the crime scene.

Following the clues leads Batman to a nightclub owned by Oswald Cobblepot, AKA The Penguin (Colin Farrell) and one of his employees Selina Kyle (Zoe Kravitz), who also enjoys dressing up as an animal to seek vengeance and justice.

The characters are familiar and have been explored in various other iterations of the franchise, but director Matt Reeves chooses a new tack – this is Batman as a deliberately slower paced, moody, detective/film noir as we follow the clues in series of murders that uncover Gotham’s deep seeded corruption.

With its grimy production design, gloomy atmosphere and series of grisly murders, this is the closest we are likely to ever get to a David Fincher Batman film.

And Reeves allows Pattinson to lay the brooding on thick, with the goth-boy hair cut, minimal dialogue and extensive eye acting. And Pattinson nails it.

He is also surrounded by a delectable cast with the slinky but tough Kravitz, terrifying Dano and Farrrell who brings the much needed camp value – as the mobster, he actually pronounces murder as “moider”.

Clocking in at almost three hours, The Batman is incredibly ballsy as it sits and soaks in its own atmosphere, allowing the story to unfold at a controlled pace and offering only short bursts of action.

It is refreshing to finally see such a strong vision and film making conviction in a blockbuster movie.

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