Movie Review: The Batman

March 18, 2022

Details from IMDB:

The Batman

8.4/10

When the Riddler, a sadistic serial killer, begins murdering key political figures in Gotham, Batman is forced to investigate the city's hidden corruption and question his family's involvement.

Initial Thoughts:

If you’re read this blog, you know how I feel about Batman. While I love other comic book characters (Spider-Man being number 3 and Superman 2), nothing else compares to Batman for me. He is the character that helped me transition into more serious comics and some of my favorite comic books are Batman (including of course “The Dark Knight Returns” by Frank Miller). So, when there was a new Batman movie, I knew beyond a doubt that I would be there, the question was only would I be disappointed or not.

Main Points:

I will say right away, I was not disappointed, this movie was very good (even excellent at times) and I also can say that Battison (at least for me) is a lot better than Batfleck. Also, to go any further SPOILER ALERT! Ok you’ve been warned, lately I can only talk about a movie that I enjoyed a lot by talking about plot details, so I’m doing that here as well. I am happy that while it’s acknowledged that Bruce’s parents were killed, the director chose wisely not to do a flashback scene showing the Wayne’s gunned down in an alley, it’s been done plenty and this was the correct choice.

In terms of casting, everyone does a good job with highlights on Colin Farrell as the Penguin, Robert Pattison as Batman/Bruce Wayne, Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman/Selina Kyle and Paul Dano as a genuinely creepy Riddler. The movie is dark (but doesn’t glorify violence or feature gore) but it ultimately shows one of the best parts of Batman, he can terrify criminals and be an instrument of vengeance, but he is a hero who brings people hope, is brave, and saves people. The movie shows his devotion to his parent’s memory and his love of Gotham, along with the only real important person in his life (for now) which is of course Alfred.

One of the best parts of this movie is that we get to see Batman in a light that’s (almost) never seen onscreen, an actual detective who is good at his job. We’re not getting the world’s greatest detective but that’s fine, this is Batman year 2 and I’m happy to see him work with Gordon on a case and (usually) help the police. The film also does something I didn’t suspect, it doesn’t paint the Wayne’s in such a flattering way as most films before it (Joker being an exception, though that almost doesn’t count as it’s not a Batman film).

Also worth noting is that this movie gives us almost no Bruce Wayne, which is good with me. There is a line in the movie (which I don’t remember exactly) but basically, the Riddler tells him that when he puts on the mask he becomes his true self and I agree. Sure you can do a good Bruce Wayne story but really you don’t need to, the best stories (at least 90%) are Batman ones, Bruce is just not an important part of the story and the film treats him as such. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that this is indeed a young, learning Batman, he makes mistakes, gets hurt, and needs help often. They have also decided to put him not in Wayne manor (and outside of Gotham) but right in the city under a Wayne Corp building (which I thought was a good change that makes a little more sense in the story). I also have to mention that Batman does not have all his gadgets here and sometimes just wanders out a civilian (or Batman) on a normal motorcycle, which is also good as some movies and comics I think he relies too much on his technology.

Final Thoughts:

There is also a terrific car chase that is shot in an interesting way (and it’s a lot of fun to watch!) along with some other excellent action scenes and music that is always fitting to the scene. I loved this movie! Sure there are a few moments where I could feel the 3-hour runtime (not many) and I did wish several times that he let his guard down with Selina more, but I’m just being impatient and I’m sure those scenes will come. A solid 8 out of 10 from me and a hearty recommendation. If you are a Batman fan you MUST see this! My wife said all she could see was Edward Cullen (from Twilight of course) but I think he’s grown as an actor and I didn’t see that once. I suppose Bruce Wayne is maybe a little too emo for my taste but his role is so small, it takes very little away. Please don’t bring young kids to this, I would say ages 14+ for violence, mature themes, and coarse language. Here’s hoping for lots more Battison and more detective stories for the Dark Knight.