Movie Review: A New Batman
By Julia Barth, Features Editor
The newest portrayal of Batman has hit the theaters and has been a major success, hitting $128.5 million at the box office in the first weekend of release alone. Many people have given the three-hour blockbuster rave reviews, with some people online claiming it to be the best Batman yet.
The film stars Robert Pattison as the winged superhero as well as Zoë Kravitz as Catwoman. The plot takes the form of a detective story, as Batman and his ally in the police department — James Gordon (played by Jeffrey Wright) — take on the villain known as the Riddler. Throughout the movie, the Riddler commits a series of murders of high-profile public officials that have been known to be corrupt in their position of power. He does it in secretive ways and leaves clues for Batman through riddles and puzzles.
Not only did the plot keep the audience on their toes, but the action that the movie brought did not disappoint. Fight scenes were intricately choreographed, and some of the main action scenes, like the car chase, were well thought out and extremely cinematic.
The portrayal of the city of Gotham was also spot on. In many of the previous Batman movies, Gotham is portrayed as very dark and dreary in order to emphasize the dangerous and crime-ridden streets that plague the city. “The Batman” followed this trend, by visualizing one of the darkest and rainiest Gothams that the movie screen has ever seen. Sometimes, however, the darkness became too much, such as when the detectives were investigating crime scenes using only flashlights. The practical side of my mind was thinking, “If they are looking at evidence, why wouldn’t they turn the overhead lights on?” It was all for the vibe though, and I can respect that.
The cinematography of the city matched well with Pattinson’s portrayal of not only Batman but also Bruce Wayne. Instead of being charismatic, like Bruce Wayne was known to be in past versions, Pattinson took on a feeling of gloom — always with messy hair and undereye bags. He rarely made any appearances as Bruce Wayne in the movie, choosing to focus on his role as the masked vigilante. However, there were a few scenes where he portrayed the emotions of Bruce Wayne really well, including his conversation with Alfred (Andy Serkis) in the hospital and his appearance at the mayor’s memorial, which both showed the deeply troubled and unhealed side of him.
Besides Pattinson, Kravitz’s Catwoman was also a performance to marvel at. She not only fit the role perfectly with her quick movements and confident stature but she also was smooth in her fighting and stayed poised even during emotional scenes.
But overall, this movie wouldn’t have worked if it wasn’t for the efforts of the entire cast, the direction by Matt Reeves and the booming score by Michael Giacchino. The cast worked great off of each other: Reeves knew exactly what he wanted with the pacing of the film (a three-hour movie that I didn’t feel the need to check my phone during? Unheard of), and the presence of the score vibrating the entire theater was unforgettable. I’ve actually been listening to the soundtrack while doing homework in the library.
And lastly, it would be out of character if I didn’t mention how good Robert Pattinson looked at Batman. I have loved him since Twilight (team Edward forever– team Jacob doesn’t actually exist if you read the books) and I will forever love him. And you know what, he was the emo, attractive Batman that we all needed.
I have seen “The Batman” twice in theaters now, and I highly recommend it. If you have the chance, make sure to catch it before it leaves theaters, because the experience of watching it on the big screen will — I’m sure — be much better than watching it at home. Although Batman has been done over and over again, this newest installment exceeded expectations.