MOVIE REVIEW: THE BATMAN (2022)
“Fear is a tool,” The Batman says in a voiceover, giving the listener just enough background information.
Most criminals fear Batman’s capture. I’m hiding, says Batman.
“But I am shadows.”
The Batman introduces a version of the superhero we’ve all been waiting for: harsh, vicious, cunning, horribly flawed, and with an almost incorrigible moral compass.
Oh, and when one of the goons asks who he is, our hero responds with the one-liner.
“The Batman,” co-written by Reeves and Peter Craig, is a grim noir picture. It recognizes the character’s biggest asset—his mind—and spends time exploring his investigation abilities. With Robert Pattinson owning the part, the picture easily ranks among the best superhero films of recent years.
Pattinson as Batman. (WB, 2022)
THE BAT’S SMARTS ARE CHALLENGED BY A VILLAIN. RIDDLE ME THIS:
On Halloween, Gothamists prepare for trick-or-treating. A serial murderer murders a guy alone in his residence while his family celebrates outside.
The victim, Gotham’s incumbent mayor, looks to be merely one of a string of murders planned by the serial killer. He sends recordings to TV networks and even posts on underground online sites as the Riddler. There he explains his actions to rid the city of corruption and bring about real change.
Batman, aided by Lt. Jim Gordon of the Gotham Police, races to stop the Riddler. They’d need to know his identity, why he does what he does, and who his next victims are. Even Selina Kyle puts Batman’s detective skills to the test.
Pattinson and Wright in “The Batman.” (WB, 2022)
The Batman and the OPTIMISMS TRADEMARK (MASKED BY CYNICISM)
Two years after Bruce Wayne donned the cape and cowl to become Gotham’s masked vigilante, the film begins. It’s acceptable to assume that for someone who has been struggling for that long, such a length of time is relatively short to become jaded and cynical.
It’s Gotham, and the Riddler himself refers to it as a swamp disguised as a metropolis. As a matter of fact, the relationship between Batman and Commissioner Gordon has been unorthodox to say the least. The irony is not lost on Gordon, who says, “I still don’t even know your name” after two years of working together.
In spite of his jaded outlook on the world, Batman maintains a sliver of hope for Gotham, even as the city wears him down. Alfred verifies a terrible revelation about the Wayne family, almost shattering that optimism.
However, Reeves and the producers do not make it appear like way, which is a good thing. When Pattinson storms into the club to rescue Selina from Carmine Falcone, he evokes Rogue One’s pitch-black assault. Darth Vader’s ruthless slaying of the Rebels is one of the most memorable scenes in the film. In this scene, Reeves and Pattinson portray retribution as a team. He’s a killing machine, Batman; he doesn’t hold his punches.
BATMAN AS A PERFECT NOIR CHARACTER
Greig Fraser’s work as director of photography, which emphasizes gloomy tones combining with intensely saturated colors, is one of the film’s technical highlights. This method lends the film a noir aesthetic. To that end, “The Batman” has the appearance of both a classic criminal drama and a modern superhero film.
This is especially useful when you have performances—aside from Pattinson’s—that can terrify you. The Riddler, played by Paul Dano, is menacing. Contrarily, Farrell’s portrayal of the Penguin is reminiscent of his Al Capone role in “The Untouchables” as played by Robert De Niro.
With its noir and detective aspects that equal David Fincher’s absolute finest (Zodiac Seven), the picture ceases being a superhero movie and becomes a straight-up suspense thriller. A showcase that succeeds in its endeavor to build a film about the World’s Greatest Detective, “The Batman” is the “Chinatown” of superhero movies at its best.
Finally, Michael Graciano’s music adds to Fraser’s cinematography. In this composition, Danny Eifman and Hans Zimmer combine their talents to create a sophisticated score that is reminiscent of Danny Elman’s Tim Burton and Christopher Nolan flicks.
Tom Hardy and Zoe Kravit in “The Batman.” (WB, 2022)
LEAST BATMAN FILMS BUT BEST DETECTIVE SUPERHERO FILM
From Burton’s noir aesthetics and Christopher Nolan’s grounded reality, to Snyder’s harsh and violent style, “The Batman” combines the best of the past Batman films. Of course, the outcomes aren’t perfect; for one thing, the running time may be too long for a picture that incorporates aspects from several distinct genres. Those who are already undecided may be put off by this fact alone.
As a result, “The Batman main “‘s selling point is that it is the best detective superhero film ever made. While The Dark Knight trilogy struggled in certain key areas, this film succeeds in others by concentrating on the character’s intelligence even as he battles his own scars (mentally, physically, and emotionally).
As a result, while “The Dark Knight” by Christopher Nolan remains my favorite Batman film, “The Batman” by Matt Reeves takes second place.