One of the top movies of this year that I wanted to watch, besides Top Gun Maverick, was The Batman. So last night, I had a good chance to chill for 3 hours and take it in. And oh wow, it was worth every moment.
Batman’s storied character is simply one of the most interesting in fiction, so most Batman movies are bound to be good. The glaring exceptions are Joel Schumacher’s overly campy versions in the mid–90s. Thankfully, Christopher Nolan’s depictions resurrected Batman with night and day difference.
Now enter Matt Reeves’ The Batman. Incredible.
Despite the movie’s positive reception, I thought the 3-hour runtime might be a stretch, but oh no. Once it started, I was hooked all the way.
The film’s dark noir ambience is a cinematic delight. The deft use of black and red color punctuated by audio cues like the deadpan thuds of Batman’s looming methodical boot-steps were simple yet profound marks of storytelling.
Actor Robert Pattinson’s performance was a mystery going in. How would he be as Batman? Without doubt, he was far better than I had imagined. His steely unblinking dark stares, rigid jaw, and gothic demeanor gave such weight to Batman that I could almost feel his threatening presence.
Other character performances throughout the movie were also well done. The interplay between Batman and Catwoman feels better than expected. But if I have any low points, it’d be the unmasking of the Riddler. The plainclothes version of this antagonist was too plain.
Else, costumes, props, settings, and Gotham itself were as good as anticipated. In particular, the aural build-up of the Batmobile’s
engine dark-rage presence is gripping and a clear example of what makes cinema a wonderful storytelling medium.
Everything together creates a thrilling tale of a dead-serious detective who pulls all-nighters fueled by vengeance more than vigilante justice. Batman’s street-fighting fisticuffs is perhaps more realistic than Christian Bale’s martial-artistic performance in the Dark Knight, making The Batman grittier and more human than superhero.
I look forward to watching The Batman in future viewings, so I’m glad I was able to buy the digital only 4K HDR version on sale for $10 via Apple TV/iTunes.
And for a guy who came of age when Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain was screaming out, to hear his Something in the Way play a theme in The Batman is icing on the cake.
Have you seen The Batman? What do you think?