The Batman (2022)


Director Matt Reeves
Written by Matt Reeves, Peter Craig.

Robert Pattinson, Zoe Kravitz, Jeffrey Wright, Colin Farrell, John Turturro, Paul Dano, Andy Serkis, Peter Sarsgaard.

In one of the most nihilistic versions of Gotham City on film, vigilante Batman (Pattinson) teams with Detective Gordon (Wright) as a serial killer known as The Riddler (Dano) begins to murder high power individuals.

I have mixed feelings in my review of this movie, and it has taken me quite a few days to write as I really struggled with my feelings towards it. Like most people, I highly enjoyed Christopher Nolan’s trilogy, but since that finished A DECADE ago, the question was asked ‘was it time for a franchise reboot’?

In the past few years we also have had Snyder/Whedon’s version, which I will admit I haven’t seen all of these, but I didn’t mind Affleck’s Batman. We also had Phoenix’ Joker universe too, so it does feel a bit congested. My answer is No, we didn’t, but this is what we got. I will try to be as subjective as I can.

At a stunning runtime of three hours, it does feel as though it is a little long at times, and it could have been edited down about half an hour to avoid some pacing issues.

Pattinson is fine as the ‘young’ Bruce Wayne, but I did not accept the choice to make Bruce so withdrawn, and almost adolescent. He plays him as a grunge type with Nirvana as the band of choice to play in some of his scenes to accentuate his mood. The mood of Bruce/Batman is an overarching theme within the whole film. The big problem with this is Pattinson was too old at 35 when he filmed this.

It also feels like it borrows too much from other films especially such as Zodiac and Se7en (ironically both David Fincher films) in the antagonist. Even the forever presence of darkness and rain feels lifted from the latter, and then when the killer is revealed in the start of the third act, before his ultimate scheme is unleashed, it almost feels like it was the complete mirror of the plan of John Doe, with the notebooks in the apartment to top it off.

There are some incredible action sequences (the Penguin car chase scene in particular), and the score by Michael Giacchino is memorable and unnerving. Some of the action is somewhat unbelievable, especially in what Batman is able to withstand – considering this seems to be the most ‘human’ we have seen him.

Despite the three hour run time there are several characters who are very underused. I would have liked to have delved deeper into this version of Alfred here played by the great Andy Serkis. Hopefully if any sequels eventuate, we can delve deeper into this relationship between the Bruce and Alfred.

The real problem is, it tries too hard to be a great film, where it is ends up being a good film.

3/5


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