Movie Review: ‘The Batman’ (2022)

Matt Reeves’ The Batman has finally landed in cinemas, giving us our first taste of Robert Pattinson’s interpretation of the Caped Crusader, but is this the Batman movie that we’ve all been waiting to see?

There’s no point beating around the bush, Matt Reeves’ The Batman is a masterfully crafted, ultra-realistic and hauntingly beautiful comic-book movie, which is the latest in a long line of remarkable adventures with the Dark Knight. The Batman is almost certainly not the movie that audiences are expecting, but I’m confident in saying that it’s the film that everyone who grew-up reading Batman comics and graphic novels has always dreamed of watching.

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Some of the greatest filmmakers in Hollywood history have added to the legacy of Batman, so director Matt Reeves had what some might call an impossible task with The Batman. By taking the character in a completely different direction, however, and choosing to tell a noir detective story similar Zodiac and Seven, Matt Reeves has created possibly the greatest Batman movie of them all. From the flawless opening to the very end of the movie, Matt Reeves takes us on a grim and gritty ride, and delivers an entirely new kind of Batman movie.

While the realistic and gritty tone that Reeves brings to The Batman can be compared to Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, the two are very different kinds of films. So much so, in fact, that at no point watching The Batman did any previous Batman movie even cross my mind. Reeves brings his own unique style and tone to his Batman movie, and the filmmaker has constructed a refreshingly personal and surprisingly scary narrative around Robert Pattinson’s Batman.

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With a runtime of almost three hours, The Batman could have been an overwhelming, tiring or even boring experience, but Matt Reeves and his fellow screenwriter Peter Craig have done a brilliant job crafting a complex and thrilling narrative. As the stakes grow and Batman gets deeper and deeper into the central mystery, Reeves puts every second of the runtime to use – creating spectacular sequences that are given time to breathe. Even with its three hour runtime, The Batman flies by, and I can’t think of a single moment that I would happily sacrifice for a shorter runtime.

We can’t review a new Batman movie without discussing the man beneath the cowl, and there’s plenty to unpack with Robert Pattinson’s interpretation of the Dark Knight. Pattinson has made a name for himself in recent years for delivering dark and incredibly memorable performances, and his portrayal of Batman is no different. This is Batman like we’ve never seen him before, and we couldn’t think of anyone better to embody this version of the Caped Crusader than Robert Pattinson. The Batman spends a great deal of time with Pattinson in the batsuit, but his transformative performance manages to shine through the cape and cowl. With his portrayal of Batman, Pattinson offers a suitably unhinged, surprisingly vulnerable and remarkably haunting performance, which may go down as the greatest Batman portrayal ever put on screen.

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While Pattinson’s performance as Batman was the most memorable, Matt Reeves’ captured some truly great performances from his supporting cast. Zoe Kravitz’s performance as Selena Kyle/Catwoman managed to surpass all of my extremely high expectations, with the actress delivering an exceptionally slick portrayal of the clawed burglar. It should also be noted that Kravitz and Pattinson have undeniably great chemistry, which we can only hope will be explored in future sequels and spin-offs. As for Paul Dano as the villainous Riddler, there’s no question that this is a truly inspired piece of casting. While The Riddler spends a great deal of time working behind-the-scenes, with Batman and Jeffrey Wright’s Jim Gordon playing catch-up, Paul Dano offers a chilling performance, which will no doubt go down as the best Batman villain portrayal since Heath Ledger’s Joker.

Jeffrey Wright’s Jim Gordon is given much more to do in Matt Reeves’ The Batman, with this version of the Caped Crusader treating Gordon more like a friend and partner. The relationship we see form between Gordon and Batman is one of the highlights of the movie, and like the relationship Pattinson’s Batman has with Catwoman, it’s something that I would very much like to see Matt Reeves explore further. Colin Farrell delivers a truly transformative performance as Penguin, and it’s clear that the actor was having a lot of fun playing in Matt Reeves’ ultra-realistic sandbox. While Penguin only has a small role to play in The Batman, Farrell offers an unforgettable performance that we look forward to seeing more of in the future.

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I don’t often find time to discuss cinematography and film scores in my reviews, but when they’re this good I find them difficult to ignore. Greig Fraser’s breathtaking cinematography paired with Michael Giacchino’s dark and beautifully haunting score enhance every moment of this movie. Giacchino, in particular, has created something that should be discussed and applauded, joining legendary composers like Danny Elfman and Hans Zimmer.

The Batman is unlike any comic-book movie that came before it, with director Matt Reeves delivering a thoughtful, beautiful and deeply powerful story, and Robert Pattinson giving fans an unforgettable portrayal of the Dark Knight. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, The Batman is the latest in a long line of great Batman movies, and it might just be the best of them all.

Rating: 5/5

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About The Batman

Director: Matt Reeves

Cast: Robert Pattinson, Zoë Kravitz, Paul Dano, Colin Farrell, Jeffrey Wright, Andy Serkis, John Turturro, Peter Sarsgaard, Jayme Lawson

Plot: Batman ventures into Gotham City’s underworld when a sadistic killer leaves behind a trail of cryptic clues. As the evidence begins to lead closer to home and the scale of the perpetrator’s plans become clear, he must forge new relationships, unmask the culprit and bring justice to the abuse of power and corruption that has long plagued the metropolis.

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One thought on “Movie Review: ‘The Batman’ (2022)

  1. Pingback: Every Live-Action Batman Movie Ranked: From ‘The Dark Knight’ To ‘The Batman’ – The Blog That Must Not Be Named

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