Out this week in Irish cinemas is The Batman. Starring Robert Pattinson in the titular role as the iconic dark knight, The Batman tells the story of a Batman in his sophomore year of fighting crime. As a hyper-intelligent serial killer calling himself The Riddler (a haunting Paul Dano) causes mayhem across Gotham, Batman has to contend not only with this deranged lunatic but also the reveals he is uncovering along the way.
Director Matt Reeves has crafted something that is quite brilliant. The Batman is an epic crime drama. Everything you’ve likely heard about it is true. The inspirations for the story include the works of Scott Snyder, Jeph Loeb as well as David Fincher.
The aesthetics are inspired by Tim Sales’ work, Reeves draws upon the shadows and lighting that makes Batman such a devastating figure to criminals. An early scene narrated by Bruce showcases that the criminal element is unnerved by almost every shadow in Gotham and he knows this. He uses this fear to his advantage and it’s impressive.
There is also an audio element within the film that can be overwhelming. It’s a kind of pressure. It feels like Reeves is using this audioscape to heighten the presence of Batman on Gotham. He strides into every scene and there is a distinct oomph on his arrival.
The Batman, you’re becoming quite the celebrity
On the topic of the characters, they’re all quite fascinating. Bruce isn’t so much a character as he has been Batman now for two years and his “Gotham Project” is still in its early phase. He feels like a child at times and this is likely due to him relying too much on the persona of the Batman. Accompanying him on this adventure is Andy Serkis’ Alfred. This Alfred is a man still terrified by what Bruce has become. He still aids him though even in matters Bruce has no interest in.
The supporting cast is equally as engaging. Zoe Kravitz plays a sultry and dangerous Selina Kyle easily up there with Michelle Pfeiffer’s. She’s not a true villain in this film, she is simply a person trying to get her own justice. Which seems to be a running theme. Everyone is seeking justice no matter how warped it might be. Dano easily represents this with his Riddler. He’s a man trapped in his own riddle and he wants to subject the people of Gotham to his twisted games.
Take it easy sweetheart
Not everything is coming up batwings and batmobiles though. Audiences may be tired of yet another story with Batman. This film doesn’t break new ground on the character it simply offers a fresh perspective and audiences will either like where Reeves has chosen to take Bruce and the denizens of Gotham or they won’t. I also found that this is light on the superhero element of Batman and falls closer into the crime drama. It’s not as eccentric as some fans may hope but it is still packed with enough style and character to make up for that, at least in my eyes.
The Batman is easily one of the most intense cinematic adventures Batman has been on. It’s like a fuse has been lit and this powder keg is ready to go off after 3 hours. And when it finally goes off and the tension finally subsides you’ll either be in awe or you’ll be hoping for something more flamboyant next time.
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