Even in a saturated comic-book film market, I discover it not possible NOT to be excited for The Batman. I like what Matt Reeves did with the Planet of the Apes trilogy, by some means he might make an oft-told subject material feels contemporary and new once more.
It’s already well-known even for informal Batman followers that Gotham Metropolis is a metropolis filled with criminals, however Reeves delve into the depth of its corruption even additional right here. Proper from its opening scene, the movie begins with a brutal crime that rattles the town… the start of a reign of terror from considered one of Batman’s nemesis. The crimes are ugly and harsh, Reeves actually pushed the PG-13 boundaries so far as it might go.
Nicely, I’ve quite a bit to say so let me simply break it down into the great and not-so-good class. I’ll make sure to mark spoiler-y bits (as I all the time do), so let’s begin with the positives, lets?
It’s extra of a criminal offense drama than a typical superhero film. The Batman actually does get to do extra sleuthing than you’ve seen him within the earlier variations. Those that love noir crime thrillers who aren’t into comic-book films would possible take pleasure in this Batman model. Wherever James Gordon and the cops are at a criminal offense scene, Batman is all the time round… a lot to the chagrin of the present metropolis Commissioner (yep, Gordon continues to be only a lieutenant right here). I take pleasure in each second the ever-so-astute Batman figures out a clue earlier than the forensic man does, and each time he discovers the place the Riddler spots the envelope supposed for him.
I all the time recognize a great character research with a powerful arc. This youthful Batman is somebody who’s nonetheless studying who he’s and what being a hero really means. Bruce Wayne begins out as a vengeful beast, all rage and unbridled anger, however by the tip of the journey, we see a change in him.
SPOILER ALERT: On the finish he realizes vengeance doesn’t work for him, and when the town will get flooded, he’s keen to go from the highest the place it’s safer and guarded, all the way down to the place the hurting individuals are. All of the darkness are contrasted with him serving to individuals in broad daylight, maybe the one sunny day in Gotham.
Robert Pattinson’s Batman is much less charming however extra brooding and forlorn … impressed by Nirvana’s Curt Cobain, this one is actually the grungiest Batman. I’ve to say I’m nonetheless adjusting to Pattinson’s tackle the character. I’ve solely seen two Twilight films up to now and he pushes the angsty, tortured-soul sensibilities into overdrive right here.
Regardless of his morose vibe although, this Batman really works nicely with others, as he’s usually proven working alongside Gordon and even counting on Selina for intel from Gotham underworld. Although he’s not fairly a grasp within the crime-solving division but, he’s obtained a powerful instincts, abilities and assets for turning into the world’s best detective.
I’ve to speak about that cool costumes. Jacqueline Durran is on a roll, she’s the costume designer of Cyrano, Spencer and this one. The Batsuit appears to be like extra armor-y however really sensible, heck even the bat chest emblem is a detachable knife! But it’s versatile sufficient to present Batman extra mobility and you may see fairly a little bit of Pattinson’s jawline so he’s not fully coated by the cowl. I’m loving Selina’s Catsuit as nicely, which is cool and horny with out being trashy.
Zoe Kravitz is nice as Selina Kyle, she’s obtained that cool vibe in the best way she strikes in her slinky leather-based outfit. Her journey in turning into Catwoman is an intriguing one, sans the freaky origin story a la Michelle Pfeiffer’s model whose fall down the window by some means makes her an outstanding seamstress. Now, followers of the Comics won’t be shocked by a sure revelation about her character, nevertheless it appeared to come back out of left subject for me. She and Pattinson have an attractive, flirty chemistry collectively that we don’t see in any of Nolan’s Batman movies.
I just like the give attention to only one primary villain and make him really terrifying. Gone is the inexperienced leotard-wearing circus-freak of The Riddler, this model is sadistic and his vendetta is a private one (which makes him even scarier). Paul Dano has by no means been extra chilling on display, his mannerism and manner of talking actually will get beneath your pores and skin. But his Riddler isn’t an agent of chaos just like the Joker, there’s nonetheless a touch of humanity at the same time as he commits probably the most heinous crimes.
Colin Farrell’s Penguin steals the present because of his unrecognizable hair & make-up and fats swimsuit. He’s virtually misplaced within the character and it’s so fascinating to look at. However good make-up can solely take you up to now, Farrell made the character his personal right here because the comedian aid along with his repugnant however hilarious efficiency. His NY accent is spot on as he apparently based mostly his character after the weakly and ignored Fredo Corleone in The Godfather. After seeing him right here, I can’t wait to see the brand new Penguin-centric collection on HBO Max!
The movie’s plots appear to be impressed by right this moment’s headlines and cultural zeitgeist. The primary group-attack sufferer on the practice platform is a person of Asian-descent, maybe in reference to the ‘Asian hate assaults’ that occurred in the course of the pandemic. The movie additionally doesn’t draw back from the truth that Bruce Wayne is a wealthy white male residing in privilege, the one orphan everybody takes pity on whereas a plethora of destitute orphans are misplaced and forgotten.
As seen within the trailer, the aesthetics are phenomenal… DP Greig Fraser is on a roll recently with Dune and this one. The movie is decidedly darkish when it comes to lighting nevertheless it’s obtained a number of the most spectacular visuals of the town. There’s loads of wet scenes, a couple of third of the working time is shot within the rain. Clearly photographers love the moody environment of a wet day, plus these reflections are golden, which Fraser places to good use.
There’s a panoramic aerial shot of Batman and Selina using their bikes collectively at nightfall… and naturally the rooftop scenes are simply unimaginable! I’d be dissatisfied if Fraser isn’t nominated for Oscar subsequent yr for his great work right here.
Reeves’ hyper-realistic world-building with manufacturing designer James Chinlund makes Gotham appears to be like and feels livable. One expects a corrupt metropolitan, a cross between Chicago and NYC to be dirty, dirty and filthy… you possibly can virtually odor the dampness of the air and the rot of the menacing metropolis.
The supporting solid are robust throughout. Jeffrey Wright provides gravitas in each function he performs, so no shock he’s been in SO many large franchises in his profession. I like seeing Batman working so intently with James Gordon right here, and so they have a playful rapport as Gordon pokes enjoyable at Batman for having belief points. At this level Gordon nonetheless has no concept Bruce Wayne is Batman but, as Reeves doesn’t actually wish to bathroom individuals down with all of the backstory of how the characters meet within the first place.
I additionally love the casting selection of Andy Serkis as Alfred, who balances the dutiful butler and a shrewd crime analyst function rather well. Serkis clearly had an incredible working relationship with Reeves within the ‘Planet of the Apes’ trilogy, and he’s the type of actor who can virtually do something. John Turturro has some memorable moments as Falcone, and his Italian-American roots makes him completely appropriate for the function.
Final however not least, the music. That is maybe my favourite rating from Michael Giacchino. I do know he’s finished a ton of soundtracks, however by some means I don’t bear in mind them in addition to the work by different famend composers. However his rating right here is haunting, sullen, ominous and solemn… incorporating a part of the motif from Nirvana’s music’s One thing In The Means. It enhances the pensive tone of the movie brilliantly and repetitive be aware has a hypnotic high quality that I used to be virtually buzzing it for days afterwards.
The Not So Good
The film is 3 hours lengthy! Now, as a lot as I benefit from the film, I feel enhancing will be tightened up fairly a bit… all of the scenes of Batman strolling slowly on the police station and glowering on the officers will get too repetitive. The movie additionally look manner too darkish at instances (I don’t know if it’s simply on the theater I used to be in) … I imply, sure it’s in regards to the Darkish Knight, nevertheless it’d be good to have the ability to see most of what the hero is doing within the film.
As a lot as I recognize what Pattinson’s finished with the function, I additionally really feel his–and Reeves’—interpretation of Bruce Wayne is simply too morose and depressed. He barely cracks a smile in all the runtime, fully devoid of wit and zest for all times. I’m hopeful although that he’d loosen up a bit within the inevitable sequels, at the least he’s not fairly nihilistic as he nonetheless has hope for the town of Gotham.
So general the positives far outweighs the negatives for me, regardless of the movie’s intentionally miserable tone. Reeves made good on his promise to ship a fierce and suspenseful Batman detective noir. This movie feels extra like a thriller crime thriller by which the protagonist occurs to be a superhero. Given the plethora of Batman variations on the market, Reeves nonetheless manages to create his personal distinctive model that highlights the power of the caped crusader as an outstanding detective, and that alone is kind of a feat.
I don’t suppose this one tops Christopher Nolan’s The Darkish Knight for me, however I’m trying ahead to no matter else Matt Reeves will provide in his riveting Batman universe.
So what do YOU consider THE BATMAN?