By Hannah Smith, Mar. 15, 2022
“The Batman,” directed by Matt Reeves, premiered on March 4 and my life has not been the same since. This movie has wormed its way into my mind and has become the only thing that I could think about for the past week. “The Batman” was a perfect Batman movie, fully capturing and understanding what makes the characters of Batman and Bruce Wayne work.
The setting of this movie captured the mood for the entire film. Reeves’ Gotham was beautiful, sinister and really captured the comic book feel of the city while also having a sense of realism. From the Batmobile jumping through real flames to the use of LED screens for backgrounds instead of green screens, Reeves’ use of practical effects really helped cement the realism of the setting.
The score of this film was remarkable. The Batman and Riddler themes were so vastly different and underscored some beautiful scenes. In particular, the Batman theme paired with the bat signal instilled fear into the criminals of Gotham and got my heart pounding with excitement. The distinct musical themes for each character were beautiful and really highlighted the differences between the characters and their personalities.
The film follows Batman two years after he began his vigilante crusade in the city of Gotham. In the latest threat against Gotham, the Riddler is targeting the political elites of the city. Jim Gordon teams up with Batman to help solve the case while Batman also employs the help of Catwoman to take the Riddler down.
Out of the myriad of Batman villains, the Riddler was the perfect choice for this film. The Riddler has always been one of the more ridiculous Gotham villains, but in this film, we get to see a darker and sinister version of the Riddler which I enjoyed as the Riddler is one of my favorite Batman villains.
Because the Riddler was the main antagonist of the film, this movie was heavily inspired by detective and murder mystery films. The audience got to solve the mystery along with Batman which made the film engaging and caused the nearly three-hour runtime to just fly by. While the movie seemed like more of a detective story, audiences still got plenty of action sequences as well as some moments of humor to round out the story.
“The Batman” also focused on the character development of Batman. Despite having been Batman for two years already, we can tell that Wayne hasn’t quite figured out what it truly means to be Batman. Wayne understands his motivation for seeking justice, but throughout the film, he begins to learn what Gotham needs from both him and Batman. This movie is extremely character driven with amazing standout performances.
Robert Pattinson’s performance as Batman was absolutely breathtaking. His physicality portraying Batman was impressive, as he manages to be both an imposing figure while still being able to blend into the shadows and disappear silently. The suit itself was spectacular and blurred the lines between bulky and sleek, allowing for some impressive movement from Batman. The structure of the suit also made sense for the character, with all parts of the suit having a function and making the classic Batman tools, like the Bat-a-rang and grappling hook, easily accessible.
Pattinson also nailed the Batman voice, making it distinct enough from his Wayne persona, without making the voice so deep and gravelly that we have no idea what was being said. Pattinson’s portrayal of Wayne was also spectacular. We could tell how much this Wayne is struggling to balance life as Batman and also as a prominent public figure. Pattinson’s Wayne is tortured by his past and unsure how to create his future.
Paul Dano’s Riddler was absolutely bone chilling and made me shiver each time he was on screen. His portrayal of a Riddler who was truly mentally disturbed, but also extremely intelligent, was brilliant. Dano’s ability to change his mannerisms from meticulous killer to playful jester was amazing and really demonstrated further the mental state of this Riddler. Dano’s Riddler was the perfect villain to appear opposite of Pattinson’s Batman.
The Penguin, played by Colin Farrell, was absolutely riveting. Farrell truly captured the survivor attitude of the Penguin and delivered some snark during the film. Farrell nailed the mobster character and the actor’s transformation through makeup and costume was extremely impressive.
The detail in the costuming and makeup of this film was stellar. The Riddler’s costume contained details that worked for the character, from the saran wrap on his hair to prevent DNA being left at the crime scene to the glasses over the full-face mask to give him an intelligent personality.
It was also refreshing to see the iconic catsuit on Zoë Kravitz’s Catwoman, but it was even better to see a cat suit that was flattering, functional and not hyper-sexual. I especially appreciated the eye paint smeared over Wayne’s eyes once he takes the mask off. Even the differences between the details of the bat suit and Wayne’s everyday attire demonstrated how much Wayne valued being Batman over being himself.
“The Batman” was all that I hoped it would be and more, and it is a film that deserves multiple viewings. For those who have seen the film and can’t get enough of it, DC has announced several TV shows set in this universe will release on HBO Max. For those who haven’t seen “The Batman” yet, you won’t want to miss it!
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