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The Batman – Non Spoiler Review

Director: Matt Reeves

Run time: 2 hours 55 minutes

The Batman is a promise delivered by Matt Reeves and team as the Planet of the Apes director continues to impress with his ability to tell compelling stories in established franchises. This latest Batman tale is grounded, noir and detective based, and a highly realistic entry into the movie mythos of the caped crusader.

Audiences will undoubtedly compare Nolan’s trilogy and Snyder’s recent iterations, both of which are worth reconsidering. And though audiences should feel a pressure to compare them, Reeve’s Batman film stands on its own legs 100% of the time. There are healthy callbacks to the comics and previous movies, but The Batman is definitive and one of the few recent movies that audiences should see as soon as possible, in Dolby Digital or IMAX at that. 

The premise of the film finds Bruce Wayne (Robert Pattinson) has been Batman for around two years after losing his parents twenty years prior; he notes that crime should have quieted down, but is actually on the rise. He blames himself for the rise because of overlooked layers of mob activity, dirty police, and shady politicians. When a high-profile politician is dramatically murdered, he teams up with Lt Jim Gordon to peel back the lies that hide a crucial mystery before its too late.

Famed Batman characters such as Alfred, Detective Gordon, Selina Kyle/Catwoman, Carmine Falcone, Oswald Cobblepot, and the Riddler play key roles in the aftermath of the fall of the Maroni crime syndicate. And Reeves uses them to good effect in adding texture to a gritty mystery that Batman has to tease details from to solve.

Even though the detective angle is new for the genre on film, the most impressive aspects of the film are the pacing, the score, the sound design, and the cinematography. For a three hour movie, almost every scene and cut feels necessary. If the film must be compared to Nolan’s trilogy, which will definitely be an argument for eons, Reeves’ avoidance of grandiose spectacle makes the moments where he does use CGI a little obvious. Nolan handled practical effects better, but both films had issues with the CGI when it was necessary. 

We’ve never had this Batman on screen in live action before. The way he moves and talks, thinks and fights is completely different from anything audiences have seen before and it’s done extremely well.

The most notable scene for is a car chase that’s the centerpiece of the trailer, but even better in the movie and five times as long. It felt like a love child of Baby Driver and Mad Max: Fury Road but even that doesn’t really put it into perspective. This one scene makes the movie a worthy watch.

Our stand out actors are Paul Dano as The Riddler and Colin Farrell as Oswald Cobblepot. Audiences will get to follow these characters in the The Batman spin-off series on HBO Max titled The Penguin and another focused on Arkham Asylum, but it’s worth mentioning that a follow-up movie about just Batman and Catwoman would have worked too. Zoe Kravitz carries much of the feminine weight of the movie, and doesn’t have an equitable amount of screen time.

The Batman also could have used Alfred more, but overall, one of the best elements of the film is that it doesn’t retread the death of Bruce Wayne’s parents like most iterations do. Alfred has always taken on the role of caretaker, surgeon, and co-pilot, so it was nice to see him as more of a step-father to contrast an angsty Bruce. We get a nice comic inspired twist on the legacy of the Wayne and Arkham family, but this film focuses intently on Batman two years on the job. Most of the history of his parents is likely being saved for spinoffs and sequels.

We give The Batman a 9/10 and recommend you see it in theaters while you can.

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