“The Batman” – Best comic book movie since “The Dark Knight”?
The ever-popular caped crusader gets yet another reboot in the heavily anticipated “The Batman.” The film is not only visually striking, but it takes the character in new and unexpected directions. “The Batman” is so perfectly realized that it even rivals the quality of Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy.
This film refreshingly puts full focus on Batman, which stands in contrast to Nolan’s interpretation of the character – the villains and supporting cast were more central to the trilogy. This choice to only focus on Batman’s perspective dually allows the audience to understand Batman’s motives and to understand why his motivations changed during the conclusion of the film. This renewed focus is a double-edged sword, as it means nothing if the actor filling Batman’s boots does not provide a quality performance. However, Robert Pattinson’s portrayal of the character is the best in cinema history. Batman is brilliantly shown to strike genuine fear into unsuspecting criminals and the fear is warranted as Batman relentlessly beats those that dare to challenge him. He only talks when it is necessary and even then, an expected reply from the Batman is a low and gravely, “yeah.” Interestingly, Bruce Wayne, a character mostly shown to be charismatic, is instead just as dark and moody as Batman in this film. While this lack of duality could be considered a downside, it instead is welcome since the film constantly finds ways to interpret Batman’s character in unexpected ways.
“The Batman” is a gorgeous film, so much so that it puts itself in another league when compared to comic book movies of our time. The film has repeated colors of deep reds and blacks which work in tandem to make Gotham feel all the more alive. The city is far more akin to the slums of New York City and yet maintains a certain beauty amidst the rot. The director, Matt Reeves, tastefully uses a noir style to his full advantage to create a simply unforgettable film. 2019’s “Joker” similarly wears its inspirations on its sleeve, but directly rips certain beats from “Taxi Driver” and “The King of Comedy,” making it feel unoriginal at times. “The Batman” does not suffer from this issue as it uses its inspirations to create something new.
“The Batman” is a rare gem amid constant comic book movie releases that refuse to take risks. This film does not waste certain scenes to set up sequels, insult the audience’s intelligence with one-dimensional characters, or look like it had the production budget of a Netflix movie. Hopefully, this film’s overwhelming praise and success will show Hollywood that audiences want new and bold interpretations of beloved characters. This is the type of film to raise the bar for movies that come after it.