Movie Review: ‘The Batman’


Poster Credit: Warner Bros. Studios

Earlier this month, DC Films put out the best Batman story to grace the big screen in recent memory. While The Batman was up against some stiff competition, with the Dark Knight series being the gold standard for both Batman and superhero stories in general, Batman fans may well have found a new favorite.

The movie sees Robert Pattinson don the mask of Batman, and he fills the role perfectly. With just the right combination of confidence and inexperience, he portrays not a character just getting started, or an experienced paragon-hero, but someone just beginning to get comfortable with his role.

Opposing him stars Paul Dano as the Riddler, and while my heart still lies with Jim Carrey, he is undoubtedly one of the best portrayals of this oft-ignored member of Batman’s rogues’ gallery. Like Pattinson, he plays a much more grounded and believable version of his character, focusing less on sci-fi gadgets and more on believable, almost DIY equipment, heavily drawing from real-life figures like the Zodiac Killer.

Filling in the rest of the cast, we get some great performances from Andy Serkis, Jeffery Wright, a fantastic Catwoman from Zoe Kravitz, and a truly unrecognizable Colin Farrell as the Penguin. For context, the Penguin was previously played by Danny Devito, and they look pretty darn similar.

Together, they all form a Batman film that sheds all the outlandish trappings of the later Nolan/Bale films, trading in a CGI helicopter/plane thing for a motorcycle, and whatever the Tumbler was supposed to be for just a souped-up muscle car. Combined with the more realistic villain, the movie makes for a much more down-to-earth, believable interpretation of the characters, and I can’t praise it enough for that.

Still, the film could afford to be a little tighter around the edges, with the nigh 3-hour run-time greatly exceeding what was necessary to tell its story. I’ll avoid spoilers, but suffice to say there are some plot threads and characters that are gone as soon as they are introduced, and are indicative of the movie’s troubled early development.

But while I could nitpick anything to death if I had enough time, I’ll simply say that while this might not be the greatest movie with Batman in it we’ve seen so far—The Dark Knight can keep its crown for now—it is without a doubt my favorite Batman story I’ve seen so far and a huge recommendation to anyone even remotely interested in the character.