Hollie praises Matt Reeves’ impressive, gritty reimagination of the ubiquitous DC comic.
The Bat is back. After the success of Marvel’s styles of superhero movies, including the incredible success of recent Spiderman: No Way Home, Matt Reeves’ darker and grittier take of The Batman is refreshing to see, the style of which fits perfectly with the titular character of Batman. The film is a crime thriller superhero movie, it is somewhat reminiscent of David Fincher’s Se7en (1995), with the twists and turns in the plot and the overall atmosphere and tone. The music and cinematography enhance this tone; Nirvana’s Something in The Way and the main Batman theme by Michael Giacchino along with the various shots of rain and grubby streets of Gotham, all work cleverly together as reflections of the tormented and complicated character of the Caped Crusader. Audiences need to prepare themselves for a long movie, so you might want to reconsider that large combo meal. With a running time of almost three hours, the length of the film could be deemed unnecessary, but after watching it, it feels completely justified. No scene feels like filler, with each seamlessly leading into the next twist in the story; that is to say, the pacing is brilliant. The movie gives the audience time to breathe with scenes of Bruce Wayne and Alfred interacting, but also delivers many thrilling sequences such as the impeccable car chase and any moment featuring the Riddler.
Robert Pattinson’s performance is stellar, he throws away the idea of playboy Bruce Wayne, and instead replaces it with a recluse and grieving version of the character, which at times can come across as emotionless or one-note, but overall works well in enhancing the complex and reckless attitude of the Batman. It was a clever choice by Reeves to skip the Marsha Wayne’s pearls on the pavement, and workout regime starter pack of previous Batman movies as it allows the audience to get more time with Pattinson’s take on the new Batman in action, with less time wasting on an otherwise very well-known origin story that has been told multiple times already.
Equally, Zoë Kravitz excels as Catwoman, her portrayal of Selina Kyle ticks all the boxes: strong, sexy, and complex. She is a match for Pattinson’s Batman as she steals the show each time and can hold her own with any of the other characters, and the Bat and the Cat’s chemistry in their shared scenes are off the charts. Paul Dano may be the standout performance among them all – the character Riddler is a profoundly terrifying presence, perhaps because he can be convincingly grounded within both this fictional world and our reality. He can switch between terrified teenager and psychotic mastermind with the snap of a finger, and he provides some of the most tense, and nuanced moments of the movie.
In conclusion,to comic book fans and non-comic book fans alike, I would highly recommend seeing it for the acting prowess and the director’s distinct cinematic style – just be prepared for the long watch time!