‘The Batman’ Review

“They think I’m hiding in the shadows, but I am the shadows.”

How do you reinvent a character that has been done countless times? The Batman attempts to answer this question, and does with relative success. This new form of the character is excitingly down to earth, and stripped from the identity of Bruce Wayne. This is a Batman who exists in Gotham, not above it. 

 

Matt Reeves answers this question by removing Batman from the legacy and wealth of Bruce Wayne. He understands that the audience has an idea of what Batman should be. Batman has always been a playboy, someone with unlimited potential given his excessive wealth. Robert Pattinson’s portrayal conveys just that. His disillusionment creates a new side to Batman, one who wears his eyeliner and doesn’t make public appearances; he’s just as gritty as the Gotham he serves to protect.

 

The Riddler, played by Paul Dano lacks the usual flamboyance of the past. Dano’s performance is irksome, at some points genuinely creepy. It’s hard to guess his next move. The Riddler uses social media in a realistic way; he sends threats and finds help through other dark-minded individuals – something that can be easily imagined in this reality. Being modeled off the Zodiac killer makes it even more realistic. The tension Dano creates makes you almost laugh in hope to break it.

 

We know that Batman and the Riddler were portrayed phenomenally in this film, but how does the plot compare? The nearly 3 hour runtime may seem daunting to some viewers, but the pacing is stunning. It never feels drawn out or boring, it flows effortlessly like a good crime noir should. It is reminiscent of classic neo-noirs such as Se7en and Taxi Driver. The ambianance of Gotham itself is dreary, rainy and chaotic mood matches the crime drama atmosphere of the film. Corruption fills the dark, neon lit alleyways while the booming soundtrack by Michael Giocchino echoes around Batman. It’s enduring and loud, announcing his arrival and lust for vengeance. Overall, The Batman is an innovative approach to the overdone superhero flick that’s worth watching for its stunning visuals and reinvented characters.