“The Batman is a great movie. This was the story that we as Batman fans needed to see in a live-action movie!”
Over the past weekend, I went to see The Batman. This makes viewing #4 for me. Although I have discussed this movie on several podcasts, I realized that I have not written a proper review of the movie so here it is.
First off, I am a huge fan of the character. I watched the live-action television series as a young child. I have been reading comic books since the 80s. And I watched the animated series fairly religiously as well. In fact, apart from Star Wars, you could say that Batman is my biggest pop culture fandom. That being said, I am fairly picky when it comes to all things related to the Dark Knight. With a couple of exceptions that I won’t mention here, I have enjoyed all of the live-action films. So back to the movie at hand.
I will have to admit that when the film was first announced, I was a little disappointed. First, because it wasn’t Ben Affleck in the role. In my opinion, Ben is the most comic book accurate representation of the character in live-action. I was disappointed that he was not getting a solo film because as much as I liked his portrayal, the movies in which he played the character were less than stellar. Secondly, at first, I was not impressed with their choice of actor for the lead role. I could not see Robert Pattinson in the role. That being said, after watching Pattinson in the 2020 film Tenet, I felt less apprehensive about him playing the part.
So now on my opinions of the movie itself. This was a great movie. First, is the casting. The casting in this movie was phenomenal. Pattinson did a great job as The Batman. Zoe Kravitz was great as Catwoman. Aside from those, my favorites were Jeffrey Wright as James Gordon, John Turturro as Carmine Falcone, Andy Serkis and Alfred Pennyworth, and, of course, Colin Farrell as the Penguin. The dynamic between, specifically, Wright and Pattison and Serkis and Pattinson were just incredible. Such great chemistry between these actors. I admit that I was a little apprehensive about Andy Serkis in the role of Alfred originally but he certainly turned me around when I saw the movie.
He was so great. He reminded me of the Alfred that we read about in the Batman Earth One graphic novels. And Farrell as the Penguin was so amazing. There were only a couple of times in the film that I could even tell that the Penguin was being played by the actor. Turturro surprised me with his portrayal of Carmine. Mostly, I see Turturro as a comedic actor but as Carmine Falcone he was great. He made that character very creepy. And I would be remiss if I did not mention the superb iteration of the Riddler that Paul Dano gave us. While he wasn’t the Riddler that I remember and know from the comic books, he showed us a good place to start with the iconic villain.
Second, is the story. This was the story that we as Batman fans needed to see in a live-action movie. We did not need another origin movie which this was not. This was a younger Batman but still had been around for a little bit. Most importantly, writer/director Matt Reeves gave us a detective story. This is something I feel that has been missing in previous Batman movies for the most part. Batman is the world’s greatest detective but based on previous live-action iterations of the character, you would never guess that. This gave us more of the detective side of him in the vein of such great stories like The Long Halloween.
The costumes, especially Batman’s suit were great. I loved how his suit looked so much like tactical gear. Like he was suited up for battle. I also really liked the score, which was composed by Michael Giacchino. I have heard some people say that they didn’t like it because it felt repetitive but I wholeheartedly disagree. The score fits the film perfectly. And the addition of Nirvana’s “Something in the Way” fit along with Giacchino’s score so well.
Also, the Batmobile in this movie was so exciting. It was not super fancy like previous iterations of the vehicle. It was the type of Batmobile that I envision Batman would actually drive. Although it doesn’t have the fancy gadgets that the comic book Batmobile does, it has power. And it looks great! That car chase scene between him and Penguin was one of my favorite scenes in the movie.
While there isn’t anything about the film that I necessarily disliked, there are a few nitpicky things I think they could have done better. The main ones being I think that they should have given us more Alfred and more Bruce. As of this writing, the film is the highest-grossing film of 2022, having made over 3 times its budget. Keeping in mind that it is just March but I am going to predict that it will stay in the top 5 of highest-grossing films of the year.
If you have not watched this film yet, I highly suggest that, even if you aren’t a fan of superhero films or even a fan of Batman himself, you are doing yourself a disservice by not checking this one out.
The Batman is distributed by Warner Bros. and is playing in theatres everywhere NOW!