Is the New Batman Movie Really Worth it?

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Courtesy Photo

This promotional poster highlights the new Batman movie staring Robert Patterson and Zoe Kravitz.

Adry Munoz , Writer

Matt Reeves’ The Batman is arguably the start of a brand new era in the DC franchise. With a gritty, dark, and intense feel to this new Batman reboot, Reeves’ transforms it into more than just a superhero movie. As director and co-director, he’s taken a tale we’ve seen over and over again and remodeled it to a new, exhilarating perspective to the Batman. 

Going into the movie, for many fans, it’s hard to know what to expect. But what distinguishes this movie from all the other adaptations featuring the character, is the harsh reality that is placed on this newly formed Gotham City. It’s dark, it’s sad, and it’s real. We see the toll the city really takes on the people and even our beloved superheroes. This is story works incredibly well. Within the plot, we see elements of law and order with some horror tied in. Played by Paul Dano, we get a version of The Riddler who keeps us on our toes and definitely adds to the horror aspects. He gets a sadistic makeover that can be seen as disturbing in many parts of the film. In some reviews, critics noted that ‘The Riddler’ had similar characteristics and ideas as The Zodiac Killer. The movie gives us a feeling that we’re watching a mystery thriller from the 50s. In this adaptation, we get introduced to a detective side of Batman which is definitely underrated within portrayals of his character. Throughout the movie, we see him go through clues about the villainous Riddler to find out more about this mystery man and his motives. At the same time, the movie is coupled with exciting action sequences; one scene even featured the new and improved Batmobile.  

Another highlight of the film was the characterization of Bruce Wayne himself. While we get intense fighting scenes and fearsome dialogue from Batman; we also get a new side of Wayne rarely explored. Robert Pattinson is the actor who plays Wayne, and he gives us a perspective that explores a young but broken Wayne. Throughout the movie we see the character struggling with his own internal demons. He questions his own motives for fighting at all with his repeated failures to stop the Riddler. Wayne especially questions himself when the Riddler reveals information about his father that makes the infamous Thomas Wayne look like a corrupt man full of lies. We see Wayne struggle with this because he explains that one of his sole reasons for being Batman he is to avenge his father’s legacy. It is mentioned that Wayne thought of his father as a saint of sorts and aspired to do good like him. All of this, tangled with Wayne’s obvious frustration and confusion with The Riddler, gives us a story of a Batman who questions if he’s even a hero at all. However; it is nice to get a more human side of Wayne. We see his internal feats that eventually lead to the development of ‘Batman’ and who he wants this hero to become. Reeves foregoes the rich ‘playboy’ Bruce Wayne mentality and really gave Pattinson the room to express Batman’s struggles on a large platform. This movie gives us the perfect balance of a Batman who is feared but a man who is also deeply flawed when he takes off the mask. Combined both give us a greater understanding of this character in general and what his true goal really is. 

Zoe Kravitz, who plays Selina Kyle (Catwoman), gives us a refreshing take on the beloved heroine. Pattinson and Kravitz notably had great chemistry, but their characters also greatly parallelled each other in general. Catwoman was shown to be a loyal portrayal of a partner, her motives were always drawn to doing what’s right. 

Conner Daniels stated, “After watching the movie, I thought The Batman was probably the best if not the best pretty close Batman portrayal I have ever seen so far in any adaptations. The movie was long but there were a lot of great action scenes in it as well.” 

Overall, it will be interesting to see how this new Batman era will play out in future years. With a chance for a three-movie trilogy, Pattinson has the potential to feature in maybe the best adaptation of the Batman franchise we’ve ever seen. Not only in characterization but also in directing and world-building.