Full Review for Matt Reeve’s The Batman
I am so excited to finally be posting a review for one of my most anticipated movies to release, The Batman. Batman’s release date had been pushed so many times and then when it finally came out, I was fighting a cold and didn’t know when I would be able to post. But it is all good because here we finally are ready to discuss what Robert Pattinson and director, Matt Reeves have brought to the Batman universe.
I know this movie had a lot of speculation when it was first announced and even more when the cast was announced. It is no secret, we have a lot of Batman movies and even more portrayals in games and animated movies. So of course, many were thinking why the heck are we getting another batman especially so soon after Ben Affleck’s portrayal. Personally, I was not a fan of Ben’s Batman at all so while I don’t necessarily think we needed another Batman, I didn’t mind having a new one. Basically, I can never really get sick of Batman’s story. I just want more inclusion of Batman’s other villains besides Joker because he has some of the greatest villains to choose from compared to other heroes.
With that being said, when the first teaser came out with the cast reveal, I have to say I was pretty ecstatic. Say what you want about Robert Pattinson and yes I was a Twilight fan, but I do feel he was a great choice as the dark knight. Maybe not the most obvious choice and certainly a younger choice, but his acting in other films besides fantasy proved to me he could be up for the job. Other than Robert, I was very pleased with the casting choice of Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman as well as choosing the Riddler and the Penguin as our first set of villains. Before the casting was announced, I had just seen Big Little Lies on HBOMax so I really felt Zoe had the perfect attitude for Catwoman.
Needless to say, I’ve been on the edge of my seat waiting patiently for the Batman to release so it is time to finally get into what I thought about the movie. This review will have SPOILERS so a SPOILER WARNING is in effect here.
If you have not yet seen the movie, I do recommend seeing it before passing full judgment. Then come on back and let me know what you think. Also warning, there isn’t exactly an after-credits scene, but more of an after-credit message. For now, let’s get into it.
One of the things that really stood out to me when the trailers first came out is the style and direction approach to Batman. I loved seeing how dark and Film Noir the direction seemed giving me a mix of the Arkham games with classic movies. With Batman being a great detective with some of the eeriest villains of all time, it makes complete sense for this movie style. Honestly, I’m not sure why it wasn’t done before. We’ve gone sort of creepy, Halloween-ish with the Burton adaptations to a more serious, political approach with Nolan’s trilogy, but we haven’t gone full detective mode. Watching the film, the style did not disappoint and I was heavily enveloped in the cinematography and production. Everything from the color choices to the change in point of view fully had me. Literally, the first five minutes of the film and I was already a little jumpy. I could tell we were about to aboard a dark and creepy ride of a film.
Now if you only know Riddler from Jim Carrey’s portrayal in Batman Forever, then you’re probably thinking how is the Riddler creepy. He seems more comical and maybe even a little irritating with all his games and tricks. However, if you have seen the show Gotham, then you probably realize how crazy Riddler could really be because at the end of the day being smart is pretty scary. Think about it. It is one thing to have a “thug” type character who steals or kills, but it is completely another thing to have someone who can plan out such dark crimes and get away with it. For example, one of the creepiest movies to ever jump my bones is Untraceable. It is an older movie you may have seen and maybe thought was cheesy, but for me, it completely freaks me out to see someone take pleasure in brutally killing and then on top of it not being able to be caught. Riddler in this movie is essentially on that wavelength and Paul Dano does a killer job portraying someone so intelligent but so on edge.
In the first scene in the movie, he is already killing someone and not in a quick and easy way either, but rather brutal and sadistic. We find out he has killed the mayor and left a note for Batman as well as some clues towards why the murder and who is next. Telling us, this movie is going to be a great big puzzle mystery for Batman with the help of Gordon and Alfred to solve. Even though it is mostly dark, I have to say there were some pretty funny moments in this film that I’m not even fully sure were meant to be funny. What I mean is having moments like Batman giving Gordon the mayor’s cut-off thumb to activate a hard drive they found. A thumb being cut off is disturbing, but the moment was so witty and I loved the dark humor that was thrown into the mix especially since we don’t usually see this time of comedy in superhero movies.
Other than Riddler, we are introduced to Catwoman and Penguin pretty early on in the film as well. Catwoman really hasn’t had a front seat in a long time so I appreciated her character having more screen time and being more involved throughout the whole movie. She was even given more of a backstory which we did not see in the Dark Knight trilogy. I didn’t absolutely love her backstory in that it is a bit strange to have her related to someone like Falcone, but at least it is something. It kind of makes sense in context, but just strange. Regardless, I loved seeing her have so much screen time and I thought Zoe embodied Catwoman as well as have amazing chemistry with Robert. I felt like I could see how much Bruce longed for her, but also really cared about her and her well-being. We all know Catwoman can take care of herself, but still, I love seeing the dynamic of their partnership.
As far as Penguin goes, holy cow I can’t believe that was Colin Farrell! I mean I knew at some point, but completely forgot while watching. Not only outstanding on his part but kudos to the makeup and costume designers. The looks on everybody were amazing. I even got over the emo hair of Bruce. When it was wet and messy, I don’t think the hair looked too bad and actually worked with his gruntled demeanor. Robert in the suit however was a really great Batman look and he fit the part so well. Everything from his intense, fearful stare to his walk was captivating and gave me exactly what I needed for the character.
Now this movie was really long by movie standards so there is so much I could discuss, but I’m going to narrow it down to some key points. Personally, I don’t think the movie’s length was much of an issue, but I could see the ending being shortened and it would still work. But I really don’t agree with those complaining about the length. Sorry, but how can you love the Snyder cut and then complain about 3 hours. Plus Eternals was just as long and that was a movie I really could have done without, to be honest.
Some of the major standout scenes for me were the batmobile car chase between Batman and Penguin as well as when Batman fights the thugs in the Iceberg Lounge in a scene reminiscent of Darth Vader’s entrance at the end of Rogue One. Honestly, all of Batman’s fighting scenes were great for me and my favorite parts. Robert’s fighting style was brutal, quick, and full of impact which completely had me thinking about Arkham Origins where Batman is sort of starting out and is a lot more intense and full of vengeance rather than the wholesome “justice” Batman. Other than his fighting, his moment in the batmobile chasing the Penguin was everything to me. 10 out of 10 scene. I shouldn’t be surprised because, in The Dark Knight, my favorite scene was Batman on his bike chasing after Joker in the 18-wheeler. Both of these scenes had me on the edge of my seat cheering because Batman just driving fast with his cool a** vehicles that can take on everything is just straight-up awesome. What made this moment in particular so impactful in this movie is when Penguin thinks he has actually succeeded until the Batmobile literally flies through fire and takes him down. Plus come on the directional choice of having us view Batman upside down because Penguin was now flipped in his car is pure genius. Moments like this just give me more reason to appreciate cinema and the creators.
A few things that sort of disappointed me were the lack of Alfred and the introduction of Joker at the end. I thought Andy Serkis was an amazing choice for Alfred and I’m surprised he wasn’t a choice way sooner, but we don’t really get too much of him in this film. We get one sad moment with him when he becomes victim to one of Riddler’s tricks and ends up in the hospital. It was a tad difficult to feel too much during this though because there isn’t a whole lot of time spent developing the relationship between Alfred and Bruce and honestly I saw something happening to him in the first moment he came out. As soon as Bruce was a little cold towards him, my head immediately thought oh something is going to happen to him where he almost dies and Bruce will feel remorse. Therefore, this was not the most shocking thing to happen. However, when Bruce visits Alfred in the hospital we get a moment where we find out more about Thomas Wayne. I thought here we go, we might get a Batman story where the Waynes are not so great after all, but they ended up with Thomas still having a heart and not being so corrupt. I was kind of hoping the Waynes were actually darker people kind of like their portrayal in the Joker. Something that was sort of similar to the Joker is the fact that in this movie we find out Martha did go to the Asylum and had a dark past with her family. I found this interesting because remember in the Joker, Joker’s mom claimed to have had an affair with Thomas and he sent her to the Asylum. I’m just wondering if this was a reference or not since Phoenix’s Joker isn’t going to be a part of this Batman series.
Instead, a different Joker is supposed to come into the series, but don’t know exactly when. He apparently is introduced to us in this film, but honestly watching the film, I swore it was Two-Face and not the Joker. So far I am not much of a fan, but we will have to wait to see where it goes. I am excited to see other villains come who have not yet been given a chance to the big screen like Hush, Red Hood, or a better Poison Ivy and Mr. Freeze. Luckily, Matt Reeves is not against bringing other villains and has even mentioned Hush which I think would be a great story to tell and makes sense for this darker take. So I’ll be patient and open-minded to see what comes because I think Matt is smart to think about other villains, but also know the importance of Joker to Batman.
All in all my final thoughts on The Batman is 93% and complete cinema gold. This kind of movie I really like to see in theatres and most definitely my kind of superhero movie. It is full of dark and compelling storytelling with amazing actors, breathtaking set designs, makeup, and costumes. Everyone really stood up to the plate and gave amazing performances. Say what you want about these actors before, but they did phenomenal in these roles and I can’t wait to see more. It has been confirmed we will get more movies, but some HBOMax series as well in between the movies such as a series about Arkham and the GCPD.
Do you think it is a good idea for Joker to enter this series? What other villains would you like to see in the cinema? Are you excited about the HBO shows coming between the movies? What did you think of Robert’s performance? What is the movie missing? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to like, share and subscribe to get notified of new posts. You can also follow Bombshell on social media on Facebook (@bombshellgamingandstyle), Twitter (@bombgame_style), and Instagram (@bombshellgamingstyle) where you can also get notified of new posts or videos. Until next time my bombshells, Bye!