HOLLYWOOD—It is dark, it is the iconic superhero film in my opinion who absolutely changed the world of the comic book movie. I am referring to Batman aka Bruce Wayne. There has been plenty of Batman films, but nothing compares to Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight” that movie gets an A+ across the board in my opinion. It was perfect people. That trilogy ended, we had Ben Affleck (God awful) and now we have a new one in Robert Pattison, yes the guy from the “Twilight” series as the caped crusader.
This new installment, “The Batman” delivers a grittier Bruce Wayne (Pattison), in a role that is more focused on a dark atmosphere compared to the latest outing with Zack Snyder and the “Justice League.” Now I will admit I had glimpses of Pattison going back to his earlier days in the “Twilight” franchise. Moody, quiet, moody, quiet, and smaller glimpses of anger when needed. That is what I got from Pattison as Bruce Wayne and the caped crusader.
He didn’t wow me, but if I were ranking the actors who have played the caped crusader it goes: Christian Bale, Michael Keaton, Robert Pattison. So I would say he’s in good company. The problem is that the tone is so serious that Bruce Wayne/Batman comes across stoic and almost lifeless, which I’m not sure if director Matt Reeves was going for that. However, back to the plot there is a killer on the loose and he cloaked himself in googles/classes where his face is completely covered and he’s in green. He loves to leave riddles, ones that Batman guesses correctly every time, and I was also impressed with the fact that I had a few of them right.
The big bad this time around is the Riddler played with perfection by actor Paul Dano. The last time we saw the Riddler he was portrayed by Jim Carrey who made the nemesis of Batman quite iconic to say the least. I liked this darker version, but the Riddler came across like a serial killer and his motives were very serial-killer esque people. He wants blood and in a weird dichotomy it felt like the Riddler was the opposite version of Batman in his quest to take down on the corrupt people in Gotham City and there are plenty people.
“The Batman” felt like it took a slice of “Batman Begins” and “The Dark Knight” with its narrative touching on the baddies Carmine Falcone (John Turturro), Salvatore Maroni and The Penguin portrayed by an unrecognizable Colin Farrell. I loved the Penguin this time around because he didn’t look like an actual Penguin, but he was a formidable adversary against Batman that delivered an epic car chase and action sequence. It is one of the best in the movie.
There are also strong supporting roles by Jeffrey Wright as Commissioner Gordon, Andy Serkis and Alfred, but the star of this flick hands down is Zoe Kravitz, as Selina Kyle aka Catwoman. We have NOT had a great interpretation of the villainess since Michelle Pfeiffer in “Batman Returns” nearly 30 years ago. Kravitz is phenomenal in the role and has great chemistry with Pattison on the screen. They work as allies and foes, but as I like to recall in the comic book series Catwoman was more of a threat to Batman, which we really have yet to see on the big screen that would be thrilling to see people. Kravitz might be one of the most fleshed out of all the characters in the film which explains why she resonates so well with audiences and is the standout of everyone in this all-star cast. She teeters that edge of danger, yet sympathetic.
If there is a problem with “The Batman” it’s too long. The movie clocks in just 4 minutes shy of 3 hours. A three-hour flick is a problem, if the pacing is not strong. There are slight moments of boredom between the first act and transition to the second act, where about 20 minutes could have been trimmed off. The climax is NOT bad, but it’s not as epic as I wanted. You think it’s over, but it’s not, but what we conclude with is not the most satisfying. I’ll be honest I don’t even recall a moment of brightness in the movie, because the shots were dark and moody. Hell, I was hoping things were brightened at one point so I could decipher everything that was taking place.
The film teases what could come next, but I rather see a villain that has NOT appeared on the big screen before in terms of Batman’s many enemies. The guy has a long list of enemies so it should NOT be too hard to find a suitable one if the new franchise is slated to remain in this dark aura it has crafted. Not perfect, but damn satisfying as a fan of iconic superhero. I’m eager to see what could transpire in a sequel for our caped crusader as “The Batman” absolutely approves upon the dreadful outing with Ben Affleck in “Justice League.”