'The Batman' starring Robert Pattinson: Does it live up to the hype?

Apr 20, 2022 0 comments



The Batman is DC’s latest film release with director Matt Reeves at the helm and stars Robert Pattinson as the Batman, Zoe Kravitz as Selina Kyle/Catwoman, Paul Dano as the Riddler, and Jeffrey Wright as James Gordon. In this new, grounded take that moves away from the massive world of multiverse bending wackiness, does it live up to the hype? Without a doubt.


Gotham City is f*cked up


The Batman takes place two years into Batman’s vigilante career. We follow Batman and Gordon solving a horrific series of puzzles and murders left by a new serial killer dubbed as “The Riddler”. From there we see Batman and Gordon uncover more and more dark truths about Gotham City’s underbelly as they get closer and closer to solving the mystery. 


Straight off the bat (pun intended), one of the many things that really drew me into the movie was the overall look and feel of Gotham City itself. In this film, Gotham City has a fuller personality than any of the iterations from past Batman films. The Nolan trilogy started us off with a spot-on interpretation of Gotham City in Batman Begins, but gradually looked plainer until it looked like just another city that happened to feature Batman (perhaps it was intentional? I can’t say for sure). The Burton duology in the late 80s and early 90s on the other hand got the grim and gothic look of the city, but felt more like a diorama than an actual city, with overly-gothic gargoyled skyscrapers looming over the streets to emphasize that this was, in fact, Batman’s domain.


In Reeves’ take, just within the first few minutes, we get to have a clear look as to what Gotham City looks and feels like: a place resigned from hope; dilapidated buildings, abandoned subways, and dirty streets only made filthier by the rain, caused by sheer neglect and corruption from city officials and have allowed anarchic crime to remain rampant in the streets. The city looks broken and is almost irredeemable. Its design is perfectly balanced without being overly gothic like the Burton movies and grounded enough to look realistic like the Nolan movies. The city's overall look melds with the plot and themes the film wants to show.


A Crime Thriller

Zoë Kravitz, as Selina Kyle, with Pattinson. Warner Bros. Pictures



While Matt Reeves’ the Batman certainly has the elements of a superhero movie, I think most of the movie is more akin to that of a crime thriller like Se7en than a superhero film. The film also has a longer (if not the longest) runtime for a stand-alone Batman movie, clocking in at just four minutes shy of three hours. But despite its runtime, The Batman justifies its length by keeping a good pace of unpacking its dense mystery plot and learning more about how Gotham's grim history affects both the story and our main characters, from the Wayne's involvement in local politics, to how corruption has become so ingrained that it takes a masked vigilante and a serial killer to bring all its dark secrets into the light.


The rest of the film’s cast are absolutely stellar. Zoe Kravitz perfectly exudes the sly charisma of Selina Kyle, while Jeffrey Wright’s Jim Gordon has a more gruff and gritted take on the police lieutenant but still holds the core essences of Gotham City’s most honorable cop.  


But the standouts of this film have to belong to both Paul Dano and Colin Farell for their roles as the Riddler and Penguin respectively. Dano’s take on one of Batman’s iconic villains from his rogues gallery reinvents the character into a modern horror figure— a radicalized serial killer who is the dark reflection of Batman’s mission.


Whereas Farrell’s Penguin (or Oz as he’s more commonly referred to in the film) offers the film some unintentional comedic moments in the scenes he’s featured in. Farrell literally and figuratively disappears into the role as this “mob boss”-esque caricature. From his facial prosthetics to his voice and body language, he is the Penguin.


A different kind of origin story

Robert Pattinson. 'The Batman' Warner Bros. Pictures


And now for our hero himself. Simply put, Pattinson’s Batman is another excellent rendition of the Dark Knight. Batman here, (and ergo, Bruce Wayne) is still filled with raw hatred and brokenness. We see it when Bruce takes off his cowl, his smeared eye makeup and bloodshot eyes that wordlessly tells “I don't care what happens to me”. We see that this version of Bruce Wayne is far from the charismatic playboy he puts on as a front, but is instead a recluse and an insomniac, preferring to lash out against the unjust world as the Batman more than participate in rebuilding society as Bruce Wayne. In a sense, this is part of his immaturity in his early days as the caped crusader.


Pattinson (or Battinson as fans call him) excellently carries both the stoicism and the rage of the Dark Knight. From entering into the crime scene as a calm and observant detective to a daunting force that should not be reckoned with. The heavy cadence of his boots as he emerges from the darkness, paired with Michael Giacchino’s musical score of what sounds like impending doom, is nothing short of masterful—a comic book panel come to life.


But what I like about Pattinson's Batman the most is his flaws. Despite being two years in, we can see that Batman can still be reckless at times. He tanks more bullets than he should and fumbles his landing after gliding from the roof deck of the GCPD. He’s less of a mythic creature of the night compared to Batfleck, and more of a masked vigilante that happens to have a cape and a cowl, but it doesn’t by any means make Battinson less intimidating. 


However, his most prominent flaw addressed in the film was his worldview, which ties into the themes of the film itself. From the beginning of the movie, we learn that Batman wants to have an indelible effect on this city: and that is to be a symbol of fear against evil. But as the film progresses and reaches its climax, Batman realizes that he has to become something more than that, and that is to be an icon of hope and rebuilding. This is his origin story into becoming the Batman we revere him as today.


Despite being another live action Bat-flick in a long line of Bat-films before it (to which I’ve all enjoyed, even the campy ones), The Batman remains a breath of fresh (broody) air for fans old and new.


━━ Written By  Juan Carlos Montenegro


Join the community of Young, Empowered, and Creative! Like, Follow, Subscribe to metroscenemag.com and our socials FacebookTwitter and Instagram

Comments

Related Posts

{{posts[0].title}}

{{posts[0].date}} {{posts[0].commentsNum}} {{messages_comments}}

{{posts[1].title}}

{{posts[1].date}} {{posts[1].commentsNum}} {{messages_comments}}

{{posts[2].title}}

{{posts[2].date}} {{posts[2].commentsNum}} {{messages_comments}}

{{posts[3].title}}

{{posts[3].date}} {{posts[3].commentsNum}} {{messages_comments}}

{{posts[0].title}}

{{posts[0].date}} {{posts[0].commentsNum}} {{messages_comments}}

{{posts[1].title}}

{{posts[1].date}} {{posts[1].commentsNum}} {{messages_comments}}

{{posts[2].title}}

{{posts[2].date}} {{posts[2].commentsNum}} {{messages_comments}}

Metroscene Featured Artists

{{posts[0].title}}

{{posts[0].date}} {{posts[0].commentsNum}} {{messages_comments}}

{{posts[0].summary}}

{{posts[1].title}}

{{posts[1].date}} {{posts[1].commentsNum}} {{messages_comments}}

{{posts[1].summary}}

{{posts[2].title}}

{{posts[2].date}} {{posts[2].commentsNum}} {{messages_comments}}

{{posts[2].summary}}

{{posts[3].title}}

{{posts[3].date}} {{posts[3].commentsNum}} {{messages_comments}}

{{posts[3].summary}}

{{posts[4].title}}

{{posts[4].date}} {{posts[4].commentsNum}} {{messages_comments}}

{{posts[4].summary}}

trending

The utter hypocrisy of Filipinos in the face of sex scandals

Some Filipinos are sex predators! There, I said it.  For sure there are …

International State College of the Philippines might be the perfect university for you

Filipinos have a lot of internet moments, but there's one thing that surely…

Philippines to finally have COVID-19 mass testing, a result of their protest

Art by: Carver  After weeks of online petition for mass testing. The g…

Ez Mil's 'Panalo' can be problematic and here's why

While some people express their love for the country by writing poetry, some ar…

Benefits and side effects of crushed dolomite on Manila Bay

Amidst the current pandemic the country is going through, another controversy…