By Jacob Reese
A lot has changed since the last solo Batman film. Superhero movies, especially those by Marvel Studios, have become the most profitable genre of movie for movie goers. Thanks to films like “Avengers Endgame” and “Zack Synder’s Justice League,” movie-goers are much more friendly to films over the two and a half hour mark. So when a new Batman film was announced, starring Robert Pattinson, hype around the film started almost immediately. How does it stack against the classic Batman films, or even against its Marvel contemporaries?
When Robert Pattinson was cast as the caped crusader, many people were skeptical if the former vampire heartthrob was right for the role. Although Pattinson has been well respected in the indie and arthouse film circles for years now, “The Batman” sees him finally get the universal recognition he deserves with an incredibly acted and refreshing take on both the Dark Knight and Bruce Wayne himself. Unlike previous iterations of Bruce Wayne, who were seen as an eclectic socialite who frequently flaunted his wealth, this version is an awkward recluse whose long black hair and thick eyeshadow could win him a Trent Reznor look-alike contest. Mr.Pattinson is not the only talented actor in the film, however, as Paul Dano gives an amazing performance as a modern, more grounded adaption of “The Riddler.”
The film sees Batman return to its roots as a noir inspired detection film where “The Batman” works to uncover the identity of The Riddler all while more and more deaths are attributed to his name every day. Featuring interesting twists and turns as the movie goes along with engaging action and an even more engaging climax. Speaking personally: the car chase between Batman and The Pequin is one of the most engaging chase scenes in recent memory. Not only interesting visually but emotionally as we see the fear and determination in the Penguin and “The Batman” respectively in how they drive and react to the scene around them. The amazing visuals aren’t exclusive to the car chase scene, however, the entire movie is covered in impressive visuals. It combines the themes of both noir and gothic to create a visually engaging movie from start to end. The cities of London, Glasgow, and Chicago were used as filming locations and all three combined to make a distinctive and beautiful Gotham City.
Unfortunately, the movie is not perfect, as the three hour running time can become really daunting. There is a definite low part in the middle of the film where not much interesting is happening and it decides to focus more on the subplot of The Penguin and Catwoman rather than the (much more interesting) story of The Riddler. Average movie-goers who don’t frequently watch long films may become bored during the slower parts, and the last thing you want from a long movie is for it to feel slow.
So, is “The Batman” worth the watch? Absolutely! Aside from its few flaws with pacing and length, “The Batman” is an amazing movie and might be one of the best superhero movies in recent years. Anyone interested in superheroes, Batman, or detective and noir movies should definitely see “The Batman!”