The Batman (2022)

Quick Reviews

Directed by Matt Reeves

Written by Matt Reeves & Peter Craig

Based on characters by DC Comics

Batman created by Bob Kane & Bill Finger

Starring Robert Pattinson, Zoë Kravitz, Paul Dano, Jeffrey Wright, John Turturro, Peter Sarsgaard, Andy Serkis, & Colin Farrell

Release Date: March 4, 2022

Running Time: 2hr 55min

Rating: PG-13

Bruce Wayne/Batman (Pattinson), who has been fighting crime in Gotham City for two years, uncover corruption while pursuing the Riddler (Dano), a serial killer who targets Gotham’s elite.

The film has grossed $677.8 million against a $185–200 million budget, making it the highest-grossing film of 2022 (as of this review), and received praise for the performances, cinematography, Reeves’ direction, action sequences, and story, though some criticized its runtime. It is intended to launch a Batman shared universe, with two sequels planned and two spin-off television series in development for HBO Max.

When I heard about a new Batman movie, my thoughts were ok. I mean, there had already been a bunch of these already. Then I saw the trailer and thought “yup, that’s a Batman movie.” Don’t get me wrong, I love Batman, but you gotta admit we’ve seen a lot of him in the past 15 years.

Needless to say, I was quite surprised at how different this latest interpretation felt compared to the others. Oh sure, it’s still got the darkness, the brooding, and all that stuff we expect from the dark knight, but at the same time it has refreshing elements to it.

For instance, we have a mystery element for the world’s greatest detective to solve, something often left out in these movies. There’s also the moral quandary of whether Batman is making difference in Gotham with his vigilante crime fighting. This will be brought up in various comics, but the movies rarely, if ever, bring it up. Batman is just depicted as an ass kicking vigilante. Nothing inherently wrong with this, but after several movies doing this over and over, it’s a very nice change of pace.

I’m also enjoying this version of Bruce Wayne being a recluse, seeing as he’s obviously someone with severe trauma (gotta imagine seeing your parents killed in front of you will do that), and would pretty much shut out the rest of the world. Robert Pattinson does a good job balancing the dynamic of the character. As Batman, he gives off confidence and intimidation, so you most likely wouldn’t suspect someone like Bruce Wayne behind the cowl.

The supporting cast is also top notch. Andy Serkis makes a good Alfred, Jeffrey Wright is great as Commissioner Jim Gordon, Zoë Kravitz plays Selena Kyle/Catwoman with a playful ferocity (plus she and Pattinson have solid chemistry), Paul Dano is appropriately creepy as Riddler, Colin Farrell properly sleazy (and unrecognizable) as Oswald Cobblepot/Penguin, and John Turturro once again shows why he’s one of the best character actors around with his intimidating performance as Carmine Falcone.

So yeah, I am looking forward to seeing where this particular continuity goes.

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