The Batman and what makes it refreshing


Xander Edwards


“The Batman” by Matt Reeve’s is one of the most refreshing superhero films in a long time. Instead of trying to make a grand universe with cosmic threats, “The Batman” stays grounded in the city of Gotham with the big threat of the movie being a nerd with glasses who kills corrupt politicians.

 Although this might seem less exciting, the movie feels bigger than most of the marvel movies do. Batman has no powers and has to fight common thugs, so the action in the movie has more of an impact. Instead of CGI fight scenes, we see Batman beating thugs in a nightclub or chasing Penguin (Colin Farrell) on the highway in the makeshift batmobile.

 The tone of the movie is darker than most Marvel films, although the film is still fun and not depressing to watch. It has the perfect balance and tone to tell this more grounded story. But Robert Pattison’s Batman is the main reason why this movie succeeds.

His portrayal of Batman is perfect for a younger Batman who is still trying to find his footing, while fighting the injustices of Gotham and becoming something more than just vengeance and anger. For most of the movie, he is in a mask, so most of his acting comes from his eyes. Despite this challenge, he puts his all into the role and it works, giving the character the edge that people know Batman for, while also still giving him some light and emotion to make him a non-flat character. Plus his vocal delivery truly feels like Batman. 

All the actors in this movie give it their all. Zoë Kravitz, who plays Selina Kyle, is great for her role as being a mysterious ally to Batman.  Her and Robert Pattison’s chemistry in the movie was great for the most part. Collin Farrell as the Penguin does an amazing job of providing comic relief to the audience without messing with the tone and atmosphere of the film. Jeffery Wright did an amazing job as James Gordon. John Turturro had a memorable performance as Carmine Falcone. 

However, the stand out is Paul Duno as the Riddler, with a new take on the popular villain being heavily based on the zodiac killer. His chilling delivery and his range make a laughably awful villain into a chilling villain that has an impact. 

The story is very engaging, acting more like a noir mystery than the typical superhero movies that Marvel and even earlier Batman movies are known for. This focuses more on Batman as a detective, rather than him punching his way through every problem. The choreography of the fights in the movie are done beautifully. Thanks to Grieg Fraser’s camera work, the choreography is well shot and feels impactful. It doesn’t cut away from the movie, nor is it too fast paced like other movies. You can feel the punches that Batman throws and you can feel the pain when he gets hit. Unlike other previous Batman films, the camera plays with lighting and focuses to give the mood of the scene perfectly. 

The film isn’t perfect of course. Most superhero films go into the 2 hour range. “The Batman” follows this trend like its previous incarnations.  The film is 2 hours and 56 minutes long. Although the film for the most part uses this time effectively, some scenes drag on  for too long. Even more, the romance subplot involving Batman and Selina isn’t developed nearly strongly enough to care or feel anything.  After nearly 3 hours their romance still is not fully fleshed out, despite their chemistry.  By the end of the film, they added a tacked-on scene teasing this universe’s version of The Joker played by Barry Keoghan. In a movie where it feels like the studio at Warner Bros let Matt Reeves do whatever he wanted, it’s the one scene that feels forced and out of place. 

As a whole, however, this movie is refreshing to see after viewing the same types of superhero movies over and over.  Although Marvel is still fun, many of their films follow the same formula and hence become very predictable; they feel mass produced.

 This movie makes seeing a superhero on the big screen fun and interesting again. Hopefully more films like these will be made to make these movies more interesting and cultivating for their viewers to watch, from the fanatic comic nerd to the casual viewer.