Directed by Matt Reeves
Starring Robert Pattinson, Zoe Kavitz, Paul Dano, Jeffrey Wright, John Turturro, Peter Sarsgaard, Andy Serkis, and Colin Farrell
Like a lot of Batman movies, this one has already had a bit of a trouble production. This was originally supposed to be the Ben Affleck solo Batman film, spinning off from Justice League. Having gotten some praise for directing Argo, Affleck was going to star in it and direct it. Then Affleck figured it would be too labour intensive to do both roles, so he took a step back to let someone else direct. And that’s where Matt Reeves comes into the picture. Reeves gave us Cloverfield and the last two Planet of the Apes movies. So Reeves came on board to direct and Affleck…eventually decided he didn’t want to do it and wandered off. So Reeves decided to do a whole new thing. Robert Pattinson, still best remembered for being the sparkly vampire in the Twilight films, came on as our new Batman. That casting got a lot of hate, because, well, every Batman casting gets a lot of hate, but I think he silenced the critics with the first trailer. And then, like a lot of films these days, COVID really messed up their filming schedule. It was supposed to come out Summer 2021 until COVID came in. But anyway. It’s here. It’s in theatres. Was it worth the wait?
Gotham City. Batman has been on the job for two years. Bruce Wayne has thrown everything into it, leading the public to think that Bruce is now a recluse in Wayne Manor. Batman’s starting to wonder if he’s really having any effect on crime. Then a serial killer pops up, whose targeting Gotham’s elite. The press quickly dubs him “The Riddler” because he leaves cryptic riddles addressed to Batman at the crime scenes. Batman soon begins unraveling a conspiracy that could rock Gotham to its very core, but he soon makes some unlikely allies. He’s got a detective friend on the Gotham City police named James Gordon, he’s putting the heat on a mobster named Oswald Cobblepot who’s picked up the nickname Penguin, and in the middle of it all is cat burglar Selena Kyle who’s working her own angle. Will Batman get to the bottom of this crime? And what does it mean for Gotham City?
What I Liked
Well, this movie really is more of a conspiracy thriller than any other Batman film we’ve had in the past. And that’s a good thing. We’ve never really seen the detective aspects of Batman really explored on film. And Robert Pattinson is outstanding as Batman. This is probably the truest representation of a Frank Miller Batman that we’ve ever seen on film. This is a Batman that is 100% obsessed with his War on Crime. He’s so obsessed that Bruce Wayne makes headlines just by stepping outside. Paul Dano is wonderfully creepy as the Riddler. This was a very bold direction to take the character, and it pays off. Zoe Kravitz makes a wonderful Catwoman. And the film just looks amazing. This is both the most realistic and the most cartoonish that Gotham has looked. There’s one shot of Gotham’s version of Times Square that looks ripped straight from the animated series. It’s beautiful.
What I Didn’t Like
So the film is long. I double checked the run time. It’s four minutes shy of three hours. Longest Batman movie to date. I should clarify solo Batman movie, because the Snyder Cut is five hours. While that is good for the conspiracy thriller aspect, I did find myself at sometimes just waiting for Batman to go kick some ass already. We have our requisite Batmobile car chase, and it kind of disappointed me. It’s all filmed in close-up and we really don’t get a lot of the Batmobile kicking ass.
This is a phenomenal Batman film, but it does a get a little too long and ponderous for me at some points.