Director: Matt Reeves
Cinematography: Greig Fraser
Production: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date: 15/04/2022
Reviewed By: Keith Lavelle
Review Rush was kindly supplied with a review code.
Going into this new re-re-re-re-re-re-reboot The Batman. Yeah he has been around a while. Firstly we had Robert Patterson as Batman, with the Riddler in the bad guy seat. Not to mention its 3 hour run time. But I went in with little expectations, but how did it fair?
The Batman sets up for far more gritters and more grounded in realism, than any other iteration before. This being a Batman movie, there are still some outstanding fights and brooding. Plenty of brooding. Matt Reeves has took this iconic action superhero, The Batman, and stripped him down to the bare bones in a neo-noir styled thriller.
One where The Batman must match wits with the Riddler and stop the wave of murder and destruction. All the while being twenty steps behind.
Robert Patterson’s Bruce Wayne is only in his infancy as the Dark Knight. As Patterson narratives how his first two years have changed him and the self doubt he still has, with crime on the rise. Here Wayne can be seen walking through the busy streets of Gotham with his hood up and black greasepaint on his face as he is ready for action.
With fires raging and crime everywhere, Patterson also notes that he cannot be everywhere. Batman does not take on some big robbery or super powered criminals. Instead, he stops a mugging by joker painted thugs. Only to have the victim beg not to get beaten up. Showing that Batman is still a figure that scares everyone, not just the thugs.
For how Bruce Wayne himself is portrayed, he does not have the cocky, suave and sophisticated grip on his life that he will develop over time. He is a young man. That’s only goal in life is anger and vengeance, nothing else matters. He is full of turmoil and self doubt. He is lost trying to keep his sanity by scribbling down his nights in mounds of books.
As The Batman, Patterson takes vengeance and takes it to eleven. He is like a rabbit dog with a bone. He is all power and hurt, fueled by his anger and hatred he has for humanity. Silence and solemn spoken words are used to adding tension, almost like he is ready to explode at any moment. However, he still cannot totally remove the self doubt from his alter ego as there are plenty of moments where the world’s emerging Greatest Detective is stumped and is way behind what’s really happening.
It’s a great new take on an iconic character with not a glimpse of an origin story. Thankfully
Here we have our third movie outing of this iconic character brought to life by Paul Dano. This vision of the Riddler is a far cry from Jim Carrey and Frank Gorshin (who was outstanding) more flamboyant in your face, villain.
This version wants to stay in the shadows and taunt both The Batman and the GCPD with how much smarter he is. I can’t help but feel Dano has mixed Joe Doe from Seven and Ledger’s Joker from the Dark Knight. This make a disturbed, evil and twisted villain. From John Doe, we get the sick twisted ways he punishes people and the Joker with his unhinged phone videos and talking patterns. Showing he does not care about people and one has one target.
There is even a bit of insight in to his own growth as he perfects his torture tools to send his message. Along a with a keen mind for both information and meticulous planning, even to the point of being captured, everything was planned out perfectly.
This is going to get me some hate, but Zoë Kravitz and Catwoman, were in my own opinion the worst character in the film. I found it hard to stomach her over the top strut. She looked like she was a runway model with a brush up her arse.
Yes, she gave Bruce some focus and clues to what’s happening next and highlight the difference in the poor and the rich. And how corrupt the city is. I felt there could have been a better way to use the character.
The biggest plot device and some of the biggest story telling elements come from Gotham City it’s self. The cinematography used to capture the overall tone of the film through some beautifully shot images of the city with the use of light and the building themselves.
Every time Gotham was on screen, be that a wide-angle shot for an overview or be it showing the grimy under belly. It conveyed the socio-economic plight of most of the Gotham-mites and how crime has decimated the lower sections. This has to be the best depiction of the city it’s self on screen.
There is so much to cover in this film I could be here for hours. The Batman is a must watch for both the hardcore fans and the casual fans. There is something about Patterson’s performance the brutish vengeance with an uncertain, lost child like innocence still.
Go out and watch it.