This review has been a long time coming. However, despite its lengthy runtime, I was obligated to finally review it here with am article. Also after not only seeing it once more but after watching a deleted scene online, I thought a videomight be too long.. You can check that out here:
Now if you haven’t seen The Batman, please note that this review contains some spoilers.
The Batman takes place sometime in Gotham with Bruce already donning his cape. While the city is still riddled with crime and even moreso since becoming Batman, his presence still breeds fear in would-be wrongdoers with his vengeance. Now in my trailer reaction sometime 2 years ago, I pointed out that Bruce wasn’t portrayed in the best light. Suffice to say, he isn’t this rich playboy type who runs a company on the outside. In fact, I noted that previous renditions of his live action charter were played by more handsome fellows. It’s not to say that Robert Pattison is bad looking but he’s no George Clooney or Ben Affleck. But then I went to watch the film and this version of Bruce is more heavily focused on fighting crime that he makes very little time for Wayne Industries or sleep for that matter.
Despite the pleas from Alfred, his attention is on cleaning up Gotham and its biggest new menace, The Riddler.
This actually worked for this film especially during the funeral scene where everyone was shocked to see Bruce Wayne as he’s been reclusive for quite some time now. The typical billionaire persona probably wouldn’t have worked in this film and I was actually ok with them not doing that all over again. With this film focusing on solving crime and Batman being this enforcer against wrongdoers as opposed to the savior of Gotham.
Speaking of Alfred, I wanted to see more of him.
He played more to the background in this movie. I mean he’s in the movie but it felt like he was there obky because we expected him to be. He’s not as useful as he could’ve been. Like Alfred to me, felt like Wayne’s butler more than anything. It wasn’t until we see him nearly killed that we see Batman actually feel like he gave a shit about him.
The Riddler is also portrayed differently.
He is a darker version of the character we’ve seen in prior renditions who not only is terrifying but doesn’t sport his signature green suit and hat. He does wear glasses and of course leaves clues in the form of riddles as we are used to but this is not Jim Carrey at all.
I would say he is a bit like the character from the Fox series, Gotham.
…but still more menacing and yes…darker.
I enjoyed that we didn’t get another Joker focused as a villain especially since we had in the Dark Knight’s Heath Ledger. I got vibes from that flick Se7en, from a few years ago. In fact, the entire movie sheds all forms of goofiness and campiness for a more serious drama. I mean we know Batsy is a dark character but this film is DARK!
We get The Riddler’s first scene with his first victim in a mansion, which I originally thought it was the Wayne residence but we see very quickly this maniac targets politicians and whatnot. I like that this film isn’t taking us to that beginning with the Waynes being murdered and Bruce becoming Batman. It has the realism from the Nolan films, but with a different cinematography.
I thoroughly enjoyed its grittiness and the dark tone didn’t annoy me. Batman has his trademark look, and some other similarities like the Bat Signal but Batman himself felt like more of a reimagining as opposed to what we’ve seen in both animated and live action films. His look is more tactical and basic. His gadgets cool but not as fantastical. We see him hurt and bruised as he gains his footing and still learning. He even suffers from insomnia. In fact, he doesn’t even have Lucious Fox helping with his tech, which in this film is limited.
He does, however, have Gordon who in this timeline has yet to become commissioner.
Gordon as played awesomely by Jeffrey Wright is the only one protecting him and righteous police officer. The other cops hate Batman for being a vigilante, whilst other officers are simply crooked and all under the thumbs of organized crime bosses or dirty politicians. It shows how much attention to detail Matt Reeves gave to this film especially with all of the issues they had filming with Covid lockdowns.
Zoe Kravitz as Selina Kyle/Catwoman is perfectly cast.
Her look is still sexy. She gave me a mix of Halle Berry, Anne Hathaway and Michelle Pfifer altogether but with more realism and none of the silliness that terrible Catwoman film. She loves her cats and moves like a “cat burglar” but she’s not going around acting like the human version of one. Her chemistry with Batman is just as awesome and if there is a sequel, I would love to see more of her. Now they did give her origin a spin with her being the illegitimate daughter of Falcone as played by impeccably by John Tuturro.
His is another character I loved here. Tuturro pulled off the stereotypical mafia boss without being too cliché.
He had this calm voice with the Italiano accent and for a moment you forget how much of the strings he was pulling here until the 3rd act. Think Don Corleone but much slimmer. His connections to Thomas Wayne was a superb twist and it was definitely awesome to see that the Waynes were still amazing philanthropist but deeply flawed.
Colin Farrell as the Penguin was probably my fav character of all.
I mean if I hadn’t known it at first, I would have never guessed it was Farrell at all. From the makeup and accent, I was amazed. If it wasn’t for those handsome piercing eyes, i would never have kniwn it was him. I even enjoyed his hints of comedic timing. In fact the entire film had humor done well for this kind of film. It wasn’t over the top and ill-placed like the MCU movies or other comic book films *cough* Josstice League*.
Overall this film was well done. It knows what it’s trying to be and what it’s not. It doesn’t aim to play it safe like most comic book film adaptations and the edits don’t lose us like they did with Batman vs. Superman or the first Justice League. You can tell Matt Reeves didn’t allow WB execs to water down his vision or make too many cuts. I will say that the added Joker scene at the end felt unnecessary and I would have been happier without it. It just felt like the studio wanted to bait us with a sequel despite not knowing how this film would be received.
Now I wished badly that WB/DC would pull other characters out of the crate because like seriously we have dozens of Batman flicks already. I mean that Cyborg flick would be pretty cool right about now.
But that’s my opinion.
What did you think of The Batman?
Awesome but too damn long.
Until Next Time Kiddies,
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