THE BATMAN

Batman has to delve into Gotham City’s underworld after a sadistic killer leaves behind a trail of cryptic clues.

When the evidence leads closer to home and the scale of the killer’s plans understood, Batman realises he needs to make new friends in order to restore his beloved city to some semblance of order.
 
The Batman double’s down on the DC Extended Universe’s (DCEU) darkness.  An intimate exploration of a sick city, where it’s perfectly realistic for a man dressed as a bat to stand in the shadows, watching reprobates do the most deplorable acts until they are deserving of having their jaws spun the wrong way.  Director & co-writer Matt Reeves has dropped a dope one, The Batman gives us intimacy on an almost uncomfortable level.  Incredibly tight shots and unhinged brutality will have you leaning back in your chair in places but also indulging in the titillation that comes with voyeurism. 
 
The voyeurism is unique and refreshing. As the audience, you are there to pick up every sound and devour every sight.  You will not have to hunt for what needs to be seen, as the cinematography, pace, and lighting gives you everything you need in one shot.  If a scene is darkly lit and nondescript, have patience, like a horror film this is very deliberate and pays off.

Zoe Kravitz & Robert Pattinson – The Batman (2022) Photo Credit: JONATHAN OLLEY/WARNER BROS

The action is big, the fight scenes are visceral and easy to follow with a deliberate weight to them.  Ironically, the staples of comic book flamboyancy are absent. There are no three-point posed stances.  The Batman is a sensory heavy film where you are made to wait and absorb the moment of arrivals or the scale of what is happening in each scene.  The production design, script, and acting earn the indulgence to present itself slowly before hitting into high gear, both action and dialogue scenes build and build in this inner-city detective film with comic book characters.
 
Robert Pattinson is owed an apology by the doubters and naysayers of him taking on this role.  His Batman is the personification of unbridled rage barely kept at bay by remarkable detective skills.  Pattinson leans hard into the role, there is no pretence or playfulness here. He comfortably delivers a weighted, snarling Batman that is possibly the most character-driven depiction we have seen. Athletic, atmospheric, and slightly unhinged, he gives us more than what we need for an “early” Batman. Handling the action and the character like a man who could develop this role for a very long time and only get better.
 
Paul Dano is one of the runaway stars, with his unnerving, deeply psychotic, and yet magnetic performance as The Riddler.  He is the car crash that you know you should drive past and not make eye contact with, but soak in every descriptive detail. 


Zoe Kravitz’s Selina Kyle gets my special mention.  The duality of her performance was less polarising; she was neither villain nor innocent, her Catwoman is vulnerable and powerful, sexy and scarred. Her pain is felt on screen as opposed to delivered through inference so the audience is invested and feels she is due her retributions and rewards.
 
Michael Giacchino, gives us a score and a signature feel for The Batman that competes with, yet complements previous iconic Batman scores.  Giacchino’s Batman signature is ever-present, rhythmically feeding us the feel of this broken and corrupt Gotham, constantly manifesting the heartbeat of vengeance that is a central theme and driver for the character.
 
Pattison and Kravitz smolder incredibly. Jeffrey Wright (James Gordon), John Turturro (Carmine Falcone), Andy Serkis (Alfred Pennyworth), and Colin Farrell (Oswald Cobblepot) give this world incredible weight and authenticity meanwhile as mentioned Dano’s Riddler is a Tour De Force that gives Reeves a platform to continue delivering us the best Rogues Gallery ever seen in a live-action Batman.  The bar has been set.


The Batman comes to UK cinemas Friday, 4th March 2022

SUMMARY

Pound for Pound the best Batman film we have had to date. Matt Reeves gives us an enthralling, sexy, brutal, and adrenaline-fuelled feature where you will delight in … and fear … The Batman

OUT OF 100

Script
50 %
Story
70 %
Acting
70 %
Characters
70 %
Directing
90 %
Costume
70 %
Soundtrack
80 %
Production Design
90 %
Cinematography
80 %
For the Culture
50 %
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