Review: The Batman

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With the release of Matt Reeve’s The Batman on streaming platforms worldwide, we’ve decided to review the film from two perspectives. Sofia will offer the viewpoint of a comic book movie newcomer, while Flora will give the point of view of a longtime Batman fan.

Sofia: 

The Batman  is a movie that requires context to understand, but the cinematography, cast, and story is what makes this movie so great in addition to the comics that inspired it. There is   more depth to it, especially in terms of Bruce Wayne’s character because Batman is complex and troubled, a vigilante who seeks only vengeance. But by the end he evolves into a  symbol of hope and possibility to the city of Gotham. Each action scene is packed with stunning visuals, top-notch effects  and daring stunts. the soundtrack was very effective, ranging from Ave Maria to Nirvana’s hit Something in The Way. I, however, did find myself asking questions throughout the film. Who is Bruce Wayne? Who is Batman? What is Gotham? Why has he chosen vengeance? I recommend asking a friend to fill you in with the basics, and trust that it will make your experience ten times better.

Reeve’s casted people who are considered attractive such as model Zoe Kravitz and actor Robert Pattinson, and other actors such as Paul Dano who aren’t exactly Vogue material, but they all so seemed real, as if they could be walking the streets of Gotham.  It made the film feel more almost gritty, with the cast seeming less like the glamorous heroes with perfect hair in the middle of a battlefield, which audiences have began to expect in blockbusters. They weren’t heavily made-up, with the exception of Colin Farrell’s Penguin, who was almost unrecognizable. Robert Pattison’s Batman, “Battinson” as he’s referred to, felt real, especially when he remove his costume to show the scars and bruises that come from his nightly crime fighting. That’s the thing with Reeve’s Batman: it manages to capture raw, human emotions and experiences in the story of a hero and a villain while being relatable to the audiences of today.

The Batman is a movie you walk out of and feel renewed, with a new sense of strength and awe for superheroes. This movie almost redefines the term superhero, it doesn’t revolve around crazy lasers coming out of eyes or any overdone effects that never seem to fit right. We see a human in Batman, a person, who crashes and stumbles and even falls in love. Batman is perhaps one of the only superheroes we can see a mirror in, reflecting back our own vulnerability and strength.

 Flora:

As a longtime Batman fan, this film may be one of my favorites of the comic book movie genre. It was all the detective noir of early Batman comics, such as “The Long Halloween” combined with more modern DC classics such as “No Man’s Land” . This was because you did not  have to read a specific comic to understand the movie. They touched on Batman’s origin story but did not delve deep into it which was more effective  than a lot of other Batman films. They didn’t have shots of Martha Wayne’s pearls dropping in the alley, or a shadowed shot of the mugger, but the viewers understood how the Waynes died, and what effect it had on Bruce , not just from his quest for vengeance, but through his avoidance of others and rare public appearances. One of my favorite parts of taking pieces from the Batman canon was that it didn’t choose one storyline instead being inspired by many, as shown above.  There have been critiques  on Batman’s character to Christian Bale’s portrayal, with critics of Battinson wondering why he doesn’t have the charm and skill of the former’s Batman. But the comparison to The Dark Knight as a film doesn’tstand , since it’s a first in a trilogy, much like Nolan’s Batman Begins and in that sense, this movie surpassed it easily. It doesn’t have to get Bruce Wayne’s character perfect, because he is still developing. We get to see a younger Bruce Wayne navigating his way around Gotham, well-known as a vigilante but not established as a hero, struggling with his morals and the idea of justice.

Robert Pattison breathed life into his character, combining elements of Keaton’s campier Batman with some of the elements of Bale’s broodier Bruce Wayne.  Jeffery Wright as Jim Gordon emanated a worn-down detective in a corrupt city, and one of the best representations of that archetype, a difficult title to achieve Reeves’ interpretation of the Caped Crusader seemed to draw inspiration, many thrillers and mysteries in a way that felt wholly original. He drew into that suspense and mystery aspect of Batman, one less commonly seen in blockbuster movies even though he may be “The World’s Greatest Detective”.

Overall, we give The Batman a rating of 4.5 stars out of 5. It was enjoyable , especially for longtime fans of Batman, but also for the average viewer who wouldn’t mind a quick visit to Wikipedia.

If you enjoyed The Batman, try…

Se7en – dir. David Fincher

All the President’s Men – dir. Alan J. Pakula

Prisoners – dir. Denis Villeneuve

Vertigo – dir. Alfred Hitchcock