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Movie Review: “The Batman”

Release Date: March 4, 2022

Runtime: 2 hr 56 min

Directed by: Matt Reeves

Starring: Robert Pattinson

             Zoë Kravitz

            Paul Dano

            Colin Farrell

            Jefferey Wright

            Andy Serkis

Since the first trailer’s appearance on Oct. 16, 2021, fans have been excited to witness the newest installation of the Batman franchise.

The film, titled “The Batman,”debuted with a trailer showcasing a darker, more sinister tale for the caped crusader. Fans anticipated the project as one of the biggest films of 2022.

The film was released to the public on March 4, 2022 and has already made $128.5 million at the box office. This is 2022’s highest opening weekend for a single film so far.

The story follows Bruce Wayne (played byRobert Pattinson) in his second year as Batman, who, along with officer James Gordon (played by Jeffery Wright), must track down a serial killer who leaves riddles at each crime scene. At just short of 3 hours, the film is long, but not a minute is wasted.

Director Matt Reeves takes the story of Batman to a place we have never seen before. Unlike many other Batman films and trilogies, “The Batman” is not an origin story. There is no scene showcasing Thomas and Martha Wayne’s murder, which fans know causes their son Bruce to put on the mask and become the vigilante who rids the Gotham City streets of criminals.

The film presents the character of Bruce Wayne uniquely as well. In previous Batman films, Wayne is shown as a billionaire playboy philanthropist who attends local parties and enjoys a lush life outside of being Batman.

While Pattinson’s Bruce Wayne is still the billionaire son of Thomas and Martha Wayne, though he is presented as more reclusive and not nearly as comfortable with the public as other portrayals show. On top of this, Pattinson’s Wayne showcases the emotional turmoil of balancing himself with his alter ego. This is a departure from the other films, which seemed to portray Wayne and Batman as nearly two different people, like a Jekyll and Hyde scenario.

Another difference between the 2022 Batman and the films preceding it include how Batman navigates the plot. While previous Batman interpretations have showcased the caped crusader simply beating up bad guys, Reeves’s film features Batman acting as a detective, working with city police to decipher the Riddler’s clues and discover who he really is.

Overall, I feel this film lived up to the hype it received in the months leading up to its release. In terms of cinematography, this is one of, if not, the best Batman movie ever made. The camera shots and angles make you feel as if you are immersed right in the action rather than merely watching from the sidelines.

The acting is also spot on. I was skeptical when it was announced Robert Pattinson was cast to play Batman, but after watching this film, I was quickly proven wrong. Zoë Kravitz does an excellent job playing Selina Kyle/Catwoman, and Collin Farrell goes through an insane transformation when it comes to portraying The Penguin.

Paul Dano’s portrayal of The Riddler is also amazing. Dano takes the goofy caricature presented within the comics and flip the character on its head. The Riddler is now a scheming, ruthless serial killer. However, Dano’s Riddler still takes a backseat to Heath Ledger’s Joker.

The film is dark, both visually and emotionally. Bleak colors and lighting are used throughout the entire runtime, matching the film’s dark plot and overall tone. To me, “The Batman” was a PG-13 version of 2019’s “Joker” when discussing dark subject matter.

All these components merged together to create something special, which in my opinion, easily produced a top 3 Batman film. I think it is still a little early to decide if this is my favorite Batman movie, but it is up there.

Matt Reeves’s “The Batman” kicked off what is going to be a great year for DC films. On July 29, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will star in “Black Adam;” on Nov. 4, Ezra Miller will reprise his titular role for “The Flash;”and on Dec. 16, Jason Momoa will return as Aquaman for “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.”

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