Over the years, as fans of the caped crusader, we have been privileged to encounter many interpretations of Batman upon the silver screen. From the neophyte dark knight to the older, broken-down version, with varying degrees of success but enough achievements that empower us to take another look into the decadent and immoral city of Gotham.
“The Batman” directed by Matt Reeves presents us with a very dark and gritty version of Gotham, a city that is in the early stages of being ambushed by a dark vigilante… called Vengeance.
This story takes place 2 years into the night stalking career of Batman. As a film, “The Batman” is fulfilling as we finally get to see a version of Batman that we haven’t delved into before in film… the world’s greatest detective. The influences on Matt Reeves by suspense thriller films like “Seven” and “Zodiac” are truly evident as this film isn’t a superhero movie loaded with big action pieces and CGI effects. “The Batman” is a character study of how good and evil intertwine with a line drawn between them that is very thin.
For fans of the comics, they will enjoy “The Batman” as Reeves also borrows heavily from two iconic Batman comic runs, “The Long Halloween” and “Hush.” If you are not the avid comic reader and are looking for the usual superhero film, you may be a bit disappointed with the lack of action.
The action may be moderate but the film does have a few stellar performances that carry it, most notably Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman and Paul Dano as the Riddler. Robert Pattinson, as Bruce Wayne/Batman, gives a credible performance but the script doesn’t allow him much dialog or acting opportunities. Pattinson spends most of the movie either walking slowly, or staring and emoting angst.
What slows down and lengthens the film considerably is the reliance upon the sub plot that takes away from the main storyline which had the better acting performances. Also, for me I thought Matt Reeves relied too much on the musical score to push the audience into certain feelings and emotions… not allowing the action and/or acting to establish the tone.
Even with these drawbacks, “The Batman” is worth watching. It’s a bit too long, with too many shots lingering upon characters for dramatic effect, but since the film gives us an examination into the world of the greatest detective, a refreshing angle to add into the lore of Batman films, “The Batman” is worth watching. I rate it 3 out of 5 on the MMTromter.