The Batman (2022)

the batman poster 2022 movie poster
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Good, almost a horror movie at points

Doesn't feel differentiated enough from previous versions

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Batman

Studio:  Warner Bros./6th & Idaho Productions/DC Comics

Genre(s):  Comic Book/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  March 2, 2022 (France)/March 4, 2022 (US)

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

What’s Riddler’s game (and have any of these characters ever heard of a booby-trap?)

Gotham City is broken…but so is Bruce Wayne (Robert Pattinson) spending all of his time as Batman and living as a recluse, the Dark Detective finds a new terror hitting Gotham in the form of the Riddler (Paul Dano).  The Riddler is attacking some of Gotham’s top socialites, and teamed with Jim Gordon (Jeffrey Wright), Batman is find that the deaths and destruction seem to be circling the Penguin (Colin Farrell) and Carmine Falcone (John Turturro).  Also targeting Falcone is Selina Kyle (Zoë Kravitz) who has her own personal reasons for hating the crimelord, but as the Batman and Catwoman get closer to the truth, the city of Gotham might not survive.

Directed by Matt Reeves (who also co-wrote the script with Peter Craig), The Batman is a DC Comics action-adventure superhero film.  The film went through a number of production changes with Ben Affleck dropping out of the cast and directing role and was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The film was released to mostly positive reviews and strong box office numbers.

the batman catwoman kiss

This seems like a really obvious place for a “secret meeting”…plus there is a giant Batsignal stationed here.

I like the Batman films and I’ve seen every Batman movie since the release of Michael Keaton’s 1989 outing while growing up on Adam West’s campy Batman.  Each actor/director/writer brings a different take to Batman and some takes are good and some aren’t so good…The Batman is one of the better takes, but it probably isn’t the best take.

The biggest talking point about The Batman is the film’s length.  At almost exactly three hours, the movie is long.  While it doesn’t seem like it is three hours long, it does still feel long and that is mostly due to how the story is laid out.  The movie relies heavily on Batman’s detective aspect and borrows from multiple DC storylines to create a very familiar (if not methodical) Batman story…while the approach is a bit different the boiled down and core aspect of the story feels like it aligns with the plots of Tim Burton’s Batman, Batman Begins, and The Dark Knight Rises and in that way it doesn’t feel as original as it is made out.

the batman robert pattenson eye make-up

Gawd, Alfred…you never let me go out and fight crime…You’re not my dad!!!

Robert Pattenson is a good Batman.  He’s got the grimness, his voice isn’t as over-the-top as some takes on the character, and he seems to do well emoting through the big mask.  I’m not as keen on his angst-y Bruce Wayne because even though Pattenson is playing younger, it feels like he is too old to be behaving as he is (you could argue that not growing up is just another aspect of his paralysis of being trapped by his past, but it isn’t played that way).  Zoë Kravitz’s Catwoman is a good fit, but I don’t feel John Turturro is the best Falcone.  I like Farrell’s take on the Penguin, but he doesn’t get enough of a chance to expand the character while Jeffrey Wright does make a good Gordon.  It was hard to get a good read on Andy Serkis’s Alfred since he wasn’t in it much, but Paul Dano is truly terrifying as the Riddler (Reeves wanted him to be more like the Zodiac Killer).

the batman robert pattenson costume

Wait…I’m I the cause of evil in Gotham?!?! (shocked gasp)

The movie has almost a steampunk-esque approach to the design.  Gotham of course has a gothic cold look to it, but it feels like a lot of the characters costumes and looks are slightly more retro looking.  Batman’s cape and cowl resemble the Batman:  Gotham by Gaslight design and it is fun to see Batman having more interaction with the police (besides just running from them all the time).

The Batman does succeed in being a different take on Batman, but I would be angry if it wasn’t a different take on Batman since Batman keeps getting rehashed.  Fortunately, we’re not stuck with another version of Bruce’s parents’ deaths, and this is possibly the closest we’ll get to a horror movie Batman.  Unfortunately, I wish that the movie had pushed it even farther…making it more of a procedural film, more of a horror film, or more “natural”.  The uneasy balance in the movie makes it feel a bit too close to the other Batman films and doesn’t distinguish it quite enough to make it “the best” Batman film.  I’m sure The Batman will be back and if they could iron out a few of the wrinkles, the next Batman could succeed even more.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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