By: Sam Peterson, Columnist
Views expressed in the column are the author’s own.
Vengeance. That’s what Robert Pattinson’s new Batman is known as in the streets of Gotham in the amazing new film, “The Batman.” Director Matt Reeves brings to life a new adaptation of the Caped Crusader and shows a new, dark version of the city of Gotham that is filled with crime, murder and corruption and I absolutely loved it.
The Batman that is introduced to us is the most, in my opinion, comic book accurate that has been seen on the big screen. He is portrayed as a detective who uses his years of knowledge and intelligence to piece together clues that the antagonist, The Riddler, has been leaving at murder scenes. However, this batman is still young and trying to figure out who he is not only as Batman, but as Bruce Wayne.
Now, with this movie having a total run time of two hours and fifty-six minutes, it may at first glance appear difficult to sit through. This is nowhere near the case. From the first scene with the Riddler stalking the mayor and eventually murdering him, I was absorbed. Every scene in the movie kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what the Riddler was going to do next and if the Batman was going to be able to figure it out and catch up to him.
Reeves did an excellent job with the pacing of this movie, mixing in the suspense-filled action scenes of the Batman fighting crime with the slower scenes of his intense dialogue with characters like Commissioner Gordon and his love interest, Catwoman. I never felt myself losing interest in the movie because I never knew what was going to happen next and where the movie was going to take me.
Most superhero movies nowadays are a bit more fun and family friendly, especially with the tear the Marvel Cinematic Universe went on, with movies like “Spiderman” and “Shang Chi.” The Batman is nothing like those and I believe that is what makes it great. Its dark and gritty tone throughout the movie gave it a more ‘real’ feeling of what a crime ridden city would be like, especially with Paul Dano’s Riddler being no more than just a psychopathic killer with an elaborate plan to tear down the city.
Pattinson’s Batman in the movie also provides a different feel as a hero compared to most. In the film, he is a detached and moody Bruce Wayne who is trying hard to figure out what exactly he is to the city and what his true purpose is. Throughout the film, you see his thoughts of himself change. He first thinks of himself as vengeance who comes to punish those who commit crime but by the end of the movie after saving the people of the city, he realizes he needs to be a symbol of hope, not a symbol of fear. The arc he goes through shows his progression as not only Batman but as Bruce Wayne as well.
The movie would also not have been as great as it is without the stunning performances of other cast members. Zoë Kravitz delivered an exciting performance as Batman’s love interest and partner, the mysterious Selina Kyle aka Catwoman. Fans fell in love with Kravitz after the movie as she went viral on social media for her acting performance and her looks. Colin Farrell and Paul Dano created worthy adversaries in the movie in their roles as the Penguin and the Riddler. Reeves put together a cast full of talented actors that made this movie exceed all expectations.
Overall, this film ranks first for me in all the Batman movies I have seen. The movie showed what Batman and the city of Gotham are truly like and the struggles that Bruce Wayne faces as he takes on the role of protector of the city. The dark twist the movie has leaves us unsettled because of how realistic the film can feel, but that’s what makes the movie stick out to me. Reeves sets up the perfect start to the trilogy and has made it so the future films can go in multiple directions that all fans will love, and I am ecstatic to see what happens next.
Movie rating: 4.7/5