“The Batman” movie

The Batman movie

Justin Lal, Staff Writer

The most anticipated film for the last two years, The Batman, is finally in theaters. Director and co-writer, Matt Reeves, has brought to life his grand new vision of Gotham City and the world of The Batman in a familiar yet fresh new take.

Robert Pattinson (best known for his role as Edward Cullen in the Twilight series) made his long awaited debut as the caped crusader. He delivered a brilliant and powerful performance as always. He has truly created an iconic new version of the character that will become legendary. Pattinson was not the only star of the show however. Co-star Zoë Kravitz made her debut as Selina Kyle, better known as Catwoman in the film. Kravitz portrayal of the character was nothing if not brilliant and iconic. Supporting characters were also incredible and offered great dynamics between Batman, such as Jeffrey Wright as Jim Gordon and Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth. Batman’s rogues are also portrayed with magnificent talent; with Paul Dano as The Riddler, Colin Farrell as The Penguin, and John Turturro as Carmine Falcone.

The story takes place in Batman’s second year as a young vigilante trying to clean up as much crime in Gotham as he can. In an early scene narrated by Batman (Pattinson), he explains the very realistic struggle of not being able to be everywhere at once; that there will always be crimes in Gotham that Batman can’t stop because he’s occupied by other ones. We get different shots of different criminals throughout Gotham looking up at the rainy night sky and seeing the bright bat-signal illuminate the clouds, each one becoming consumed with terror as they suspect that The Batman may be in the darkness near by. That fear in criminal’s hearts is how Batman can be in multiple places at once. Then, Batman follows up with one of the greatest quotes in the entire film: “They think I’m hiding in the shadows. But I am the shadows.” 

In this refreshing new iteration of the caped crusader in his younger days, Batman encounters his first true villain— the Riddler. The Riddler is a serial-killer in Gotham who targets prominent public officials who he knows are corrupt. As his name implies, this Zodiac-inspired killer leaves riddles and complex clues at each of his crimes. This villain choice was absolutely perfect considering Batman is the world’s greatest detective. Paul Dano brought this classic Batman rogue to life in a terrifying but brilliant way. Dano’s Riddler was an excellent blend of intelligence, scary, and full on crazy. Throughout the film we follow Batman accompanied by Jim Gordon (Jeffrey Wright) trying to solve Riddler’s puzzles and stop him from killing more people. Along with his fiendishly ominous riddles, The Riddler also makes use of homemade deathtraps which look like something out of the SAW films. Not only is Riddler an extreme threat to Batman because he is a psychopathic serial-killer, but he is also a threat because he knows Batman’s greatest secret— his identity.

In Spring of 2019, before Covid-19 became a global epidemic, it was first announced to the world that Robert Pattinson would be dawning the cape and cowl as the next Batman. Wide majority of fans were already in support of this casting due to Pattinson’s exceptional acting talent and career. He is most famously known for portraying the vampire Edward Cullen in the Twilight films. Although Cullen is his most iconic role, Pattinson has now taken the mantle of an icon who has been beloved by millions upon millions of people for over eight decades now. Point being, Pattinson’s Dark Knight is something special; something unforgettable and something unstoppable. He did a fantastic job as both Batman and Bruce Wayne. This iteration of Bruce Wayne gives a dark and raw look at what it’s like to be the caped crusader. His Batman was not only menacing, but he is exceptionally smart. This movie at its core is a true detective film which is beautiful. Batman at his root is a detective after all, and this movie does a phenomenal job of portraying his thought-process and deductions. The audience feels like they are solving the riddles of the film along with Batman which is just pure brilliant.

Zoë Kravitz also made her highly anticipated debut as Selina Kyle/Catwoman. Her performance was nothing if not perfect. She brought a spark of magic and emotional depth to the story and world. Although she and Batman are not a couple in the film, there is definite romance and intimacy between the two characters which was just beautifully portrayed by both Kravitz and Pattinson. The chemistry between Batman and Catwoman was electrifying. Selina Kyle is a small-time cat-burglar who works at The Iceberg Lounge—  a nightclub for mobsters and corrupt city officials. Selina shares details about her mother, who was murdered when she was seven, used to work at the same club as well. The club is owned by notorious crime boss and Batman foe: Carmine Falcone. Oswald Cobblepot, A.K.A. The Penguin is Falcone’s right hand and run’s the club. Working under such dangerous and violent people, Selina’s line of work is terrifying, especially for women and that is a very important aspect that is highlighted in the movie; what it’s like to be a woman living in Gotham City. It is an absolute nightmare. Catwoman’s story introduces a girl who also worked at The Iceberg Lounge, Annika, whom Selina is in a relationship with. Annika is a key element in the film’s plot and Selina’s character arc. Annika is an innocent young woman who is burdened with the knowledge of Carmine Falcone’s association with Gotham’s Mayor Mitchell, who stole her passport so she couldn’t escape from him. Selina Kyle unexpectedly finds help from Batman, who is trying to find Annika because he is investigating the mayors murder.

The music in The Batman was exceptional. Michael Giacchino, composer of the film’s music, began writing the scores for the movie before he was even officially hired. Being a huge Batman fan, he was simply too excited and too eager to get a jump-start on composing his sound of The Batman. He is an extraordinary artist who has created some of the most  iconic soundtracks in film history. Some of the films he’s made music for outside of The Batman include the MCU Spider-Man films, Up, The Incredibles, Coco, Star Trek and many many more. He is the recipient of countless accolades including an Oscar, a Golden Globe, two Grammys and more. His scores in The Batman would range from ominously dark and quiet, to the bombarding rhythmic pulsations of four main repeated notes; consisting of simply B-flat and F-sharp. This man managed to take two notes, and he found a way to build around them in a way that would build its repetition almost suspensefully. This feeling of suspense building in the music is intentional because a lot of the music is meant to be an auditory representation of the fear that The Batman instills in the criminal element of Gotham. One of the earliest scenes of the movie shows just that. Giacchino translated this fear mixed with Batman’s heroism into his beautiful chant-like anthem for Batman.

Overall, The Batman was an extraordinarily well made detective-noir film which has already cemented itself as one of the greatest comic book movies of all time. Not one second of the film is wasted or feels out of place. A sequel for the film has not been officially announced as of yet, but we will most likely get more films of Pattinson’s Batman. It’s simply too big of a success to not continue to explore. Matter of fact, plans have already been announced for a Penguin series and a Catwoman series in the same universe with the same actors on HBO Max. The world of The Batman is already expanding, so why wouldn’t there be more films? Director and co-writer Matt Reeves has said however he is in early stages of writing a sequel to the film. Reeves did an unbelievable job directing this movie. The world he has created is something truly special. The Batman earns an unquestionable 10/10.