I had the pleasure of seeing The Batman with a friend on Sunday. Not only was it my first theater experience in over two years, it was one hell of a movie. I loved it.
Coming into this movie with no expectations, I didn’t know what to expect, in a lot of ways. I’ve been lukewarm on the DC universe’s approach to its movies, never quite knowing what their goal is for a given movie, so I didn’t pay much attention to the press tour leading up to this release.
Having seen the film now, I can safely and excitedly say that The Batman is a great movie from beginning to end, and Robert Pattinson is a great Batman.
I’m going to run down my favorite things about this movie, without spoilers. If you watch (or have already seen) the trailer below, nothing on my list will be a surprise to you.
My 10 Favorite Things about THE BATMAN
I’m going to say this is in no particular order, except the order that these are flying off my fingertips.
- Robert Pattinson’s brooding Batman and Bruce Wayne. Without speaking to the movie’s plot, I will say that I loved Pattinson’s portrayal of the Dark Knight in this film. He was brooding and tortured and honestly intimidating. I don’t know that any previous live-action Batman has felt as menacing to me as this character.
- Bruce Wayne’s relationship with Alfred. I had no idea Andy Serkis was playing Alfred in this film, and he was amazing.
- Jeffrey Wright as Jim Gordon. He was smart and subtly charismatic in the way you expect a younger Jim Gordon to be.
- The gritty Gotham. This was one of the more unique Gotham settings we’ve gotten in a Batman film, at least recently. The setting felt more like a comic book version of Gotham while still being believable. It seemed like it could still be a real city without feeling generic.
- The interplay of the various villain characters. This is a hallmark of Batman films, where multiple villains are bound to show up in big power plays. One thing that stuck out to me was the surprisingly personal moments that a few of the villains share with our titular character. These were not bland archetypal evil-doers with outlandish schemes. These were people with goals and motivations and fears, and that really helped to sell the plot.
- Cat Woman. Zoe Kravitz’s Selena Kyle was dynamic, could hold her own, and had incredible chemistry with Robert Pattinson’s Batman. I’m all in on those two.
- The Bat-mobile and car chase. You saw a piece of this in the trailer above, where the person Batman is chasing is shown in an over-the-shoulder POV. This is used to great effect during a car chase scene that is perhaps the most visceral car chase I’ve ever watched.
- The music. Again, the trailer shows some of the movie’s hand here, but there are two famous songs that are used and melded with a riveting hook to incredible effect that never gets old throughout the film.
- The details. This is the type of movie that has a lot going on to direct the viewer’s attention — lighting, silhouettes of characters, colors, and emotional facial close-ups. But there’s also a lot going on in the background. There are no extras looking awkward in any scene in this movie. Even in random corners of the frame, the actors are making it feel like a live scene, rather than a staged frame.
- The tone. I think the gritty, dark films can too easily fall victim to trying too hard to be edgy. It’s not trying to shock the audience with unnecessary gore or brutality, and it doesn’t drown the viewer in a cynical worldview. The grittiness envelopes the characters and drives a lot of the suspense and foreboding, but it’s beside the point. There is a lot more to this story than its gritty tones.
- One more for good measure! The mystery. This film is framed as a noir detective story, and Batman makes a convincing problem-solver. This style of storytelling helps to drive the plot and much of the suspense leading up to the final sequence, when the hero’s journey is ultimately revealed.
Well, those are my brief thoughts about THE BATMAN. I’m thinking I might need to see this in theaters again, because I can’t stop thinking about it.
Have you seen it? What did you think?!