Riddle Me This: A Review of The Batman

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Batman (Tyler Moir) of Critical Care Comics poses in front of the Art Houz Theater for the premiere night of The Batman. Photo taken by Stephanie Overton.

Disclaimer: This review is spoiler free!

Any movie fan will know exactly what last Friday was: the much anticipated release date of The Batman. First announced in early June 2019, the film was delayed twice from it’s initial release date of June 2021. Directed by Matt Reeves, this movie brought a new, darker spin to the Batman we know and love.

The movie and story play out in a way that makes you feel as though you’re reading a comic book. From page to screen, you really feel like you are delving into a three hour long Batman graphic novel. 

The story seems to transcend genre. It is simultaneously an action, horror-thriller, and romance film. The Batman seems to be more of a serial killer detective noir than a superhero story. A few witty jokes and comedic moments sprinkled through-out the film only add to the overall story and offer a bit of levity. 

With a script by Matt Reeves and Peter Craig and cinematography by Greig Fraser, Batman fans will get to experience a three hour film that truly delves into the depths of Bruce Wayne. Plus, we finally get to see Batman as “the world’s greatest detective.” 

Robert Pattinson was a surprising, but perfect choice for the casting of Batman. He perfectly embodies the internal conflict that Bruce always has. It is thrilling to see Pattinson on screen as both sides of the Batman/Bruce Wayne role. His delivery and understanding of the character is exceptional. 

Zoe Kravitz has an air about her that shows that she was born to play Selina Kyle, also known as Catwoman. She is the embodiment of the character, utilizing her wit, wiles and whims as a femme fatale with “an affinity for strays.” Her storyline is (without spoiling) one of the most compelling in the film.

Kravitz’s chemistry with Pattinson is palpable on screen and the two characters together are everything that fans want to see. The relationship between Catwoman and Batman is one of the driving forces behind the film, and creates a love story that’s different from ones we have seen with Batmans of the past. 

Paul Dano creates a Riddler like one we have never seen before. He is darker and scarier than other iterations of the character, like that of Jim Carrey in Batman Forever or John Glover in Batman the Animated Series. The introduction of the character immediately brings the feeling of the mystery, which hangs in place for the rest of the film. 

On the note of introductions, this film has one of the coolest, bone-chilling introductions of The Batman that has graced our screens yet. 

Colin Farrell as The Penguin (Oswald Cobblepot) is a real treat for Batman fans. The character feels as though he has literally stepped off the page of a comic book, both in appearance and as a character. The makeup team on The Batman did a fantastic job of transforming Farrell into an almost unrecognizable version of himself. 

High praise must also be given to Andy Serkis (Alfred Pennyworth) and Jeffery Wright (Lieutenant Gordon). The two have stepped into iconic roles in the DC Universe flawlessly. Serkis’s Alfred is the kind-hearted father-figure that fans know and love with a twist, and Wright’s ability to bounce back and forth with Pattinson as Gordon is a delight. 

Barry Keoghan (Eternals) also had a surprising cameo towards the end of the film, which many fans theorize will lead into sequel films with Robert Pattinson at the helm. 

Jacqueline Durran and her costume team worked hard to create gritty Gotham characters that could realistically exist in the real, modern world. The Bat suit has a thrown together design, reminiscent of an early Batman still getting his bearings together, yet still having a few surprises which are a thrill for the audience to watch unfold. 

One of the truly astonishing parts of the film was the music. Michael Giacchino knocked the music for this film out of the park. The soundtrack is full of suspense and the main theme will send a shiver down your spine each time you hear it. The chiming of bells and drumming of  bass are almost haunting, and are the icing on top of the cake that is The Batman.

Overall, the film is one of the best live action Batman films to date. One could even go so far as to call it one of the best comic book movies of all time. Fans can only hope to see more of Pattinson’s Batman in the rumored sequels, but seeing as the movie just came out, it may be a little while longer before he’s back up on the screen.

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