I am a long-standing Batman fan, and I have to admit that I was a little apprehensive over Robert Pattinson playing the titular hero that I grew up admiring and honestly wanting to be. My apprehension was misplaced, clearly, as this is by far my favourite iteration of Batman to date.
I took my 8 year old son to the theatre to see The Batman, on the last day in theatre before it became available for digital download. We were in a theatre all to ourselves. This was a genuinely fearful moment for me as I felt that this was a bad sign of things to come in the theatre. I thought since it was just my son and I that the movie had flopped. I was wrong.
This 3 hour movie was truly a bliss for myself and my son. The character development and pacing were all on point. Now I know some people would argue against the pacing of this movie, but it was done to the film noir style. Something that is sorely missing in todays theatre if you ask me.
I don’t normally do this, I don’t normally tell plot/story/etc as I want people to enjoy it and experience it for themselves. Yet today I’m breaking that cardinal rule. This movie starts off with an outward look from the Riddler, as placed by Paul Dano. Watching over the Mayor of Gotham City, and what will soon be a scene of murder. To not go too far in depth, this movie steps off on this dark path, slow, dark, and gritty.
The movie moves forward from this scene with a monologue from The Batman. He introduces himself, Gotham City, and the thugs that wander its streets and dark places. It sets a truly gritty tone. The phrase “I am Vengeance” comes to mind here. Robert Pattinson truly embodies the role of a younger Batman, still new to the role of a vigilante hero. Mistakes happen, but you can see as the movie progresses, The Batman is learning and is not perfect. He is not the Batman you expect. Pattinson portrays Batman as a hero that is still coming into his own and does not have everything down just yet.
This does not hold back the story whatsoever. This is part of its charm, you can see he has thrown money into being Batman, but he has also has done a lot of the work himself as things don’t go always as he planned. An example is later on in the movie with the Batmobile, it stalls out just before a car chase with the Penguin.
The Penguin’s role in this movie is that of a low level thug on his way up. Hiding behind the Falcone crime syndicate as a minor thug has its perks. This is a big part of the movie plot. Colin Farrell wore a lot of make-up to make this role happen and it paid off. So much so that he is starring in a new HBO Max TV series about the character. A spin-off of the movie. I honestly couldn’t tell it was Colin at all. Furthermore, that is why I felt like this was such a huge success for him. This role was made for him.
Selena Kyle, makes a beautiful moment in this movie, in fact, she makes a few beautiful moments. Ms. Kyle, is played by Zoe Kravitz, daughter of the musician Lenny Kravitz. She makes a very perfect counter part to Batman. As a introductory love interest for a young Batman she portrays this role perfectly.
Honestly Selena Kyle gets a lot of screen time and is a very important tale to tell. She is one of the cardinal reasons why Batman is so very interesting. This modern take on a young and far more provocative Selena Kyle (Cat Woman) becoming the love interest for Batman is more than you would think. This whole movie is a backstory of things yet to come and I am here for it!
I would be a failed writer if I didn’t write about the inclusion of the Joker in this movie. While brief, there is an additional 5 minute cut scene of the Joker played by Barry Keoghan. I know what you are thinking, who the hell is Barry Keoghan, recently you may of seen him in Marvel’s The Eternals as Druig. Other than that I have no clue where he is from. However if you watch this cut scene and don’t get the chills I got watching it, than you are either not a fan or a better person than I. Truthfully, I felt that this version of the Joker is the most insane to date, and dare I say it, better than Heath Ledger’s. Of course, Barry didn’t get a whole movie to showcase the role, but what I have seen. Damn, its crazy good.
This movie is a pure fan thriller and it brings a lot of stories together. It takes 3 hours to get it all in. So you need to have the popcorn ready, drink at the ready, and a large bladder. But this movie is very much worth the time. I feel we can all agree on this as it made over 750 million dollars in theatre, and was recently announced to be gearing up for a second movie. With the cast coming back to reprise their roles I am feeling like this will be a great step forward for the franchise.
The Batman is simply put a beautiful movie, dark, gritty, brooding foray into the world of Batman. It introduces a lot of characters, and while they all get a small role in the story, it paints a bigger picture. Moreover it provides a glimpse at things to come. Which there will be. I give this movie a genuine 10 out of 10. Because this movie sets up everything nicely, it opens some doors into another movies yet to come. It also closes off its own story at the same time, take it or leave it, this movie is worth your time especially if you are a superhero movie person like I am.
This movie deserves a sequel and luckily it is getting one. I genuinely hope for two sequels. While I loved the Joker in the movie as well as the cut scene, I hope that the sequel does not focus on the Joker and that he remains in Arkham. I want a new villain for now, to set up a third movie. This is where the Joker can come in for some true mayhem and give it a send off it deserves. While I believe the Joker should be in the next Batman movie, I feel as if it should still be limited. He can be used to setup a grand finale third movie. Only time will tell.
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