The Caped Crusader Returns For a Three Hour Thriller

The Caped Crusader Returns For a Three Hour Thriller

Audrey Smith, Writer

I’m pretty sure I’m not alone when I say I was skeptical of yet another Batman rendition, especially one starring Robert Pattinson. However after its release, it seems Pattinson’s Batman is one for the books.

On March 4, Matt Reeves’ directed The Batman was finally released after months of anticipation due COVID-related delays. And for fans who were excited for it, it did not disappoint.

The Batman stars Robert Pattinson as the titular role as well as Zoë Kravitz, Paul Dano, Jeffrey Wright, John Tuturro, Andy Serkis, and Colin Farrell.

The film is set in the second year after the rise of the vigilante, Batman, who is faced with the villain, the Riddler, who attempts to unmask Gotham City’s corruption using villainous methods. Pattinson’s Batman is then forced to team up with Catwoman (Kravitz), Gotham Police Lt. James Gordan (Wright), and mob bosses, the Penguin and Carmine Falcone (Farrell and Tuturro), to unmask the Riddler.

Needless to say, the plot definitely delivered. At almost three hours, the plot is action-packed, chilling, and fast-paced. Although the length of the film is definitely noticeable, especially when you reach the second hour.

CNN‘s Brian Lowry noted, “The Batman could easily lose 30 minutes without sacrificing much.”

However if you’re used to the length of superhero movies, the movie flies by, especially considering the mystery of the Riddler keeps you on the edge of your seat.

Fans of previous Batman movies will see a lack of an origin story, which is refreshing to longtime fans who already know how Batman came to be. New fans, however, will understand Bruce Wayne’s motive through verbal communication rather than flashback sequences.

Part of the reason for the power of the plot is Robert Pattinson’s acting. Pattinson’s Batman took a darker, gritty turn than previous renditions of the vigilante. You can see the emotional toll that hits him throughout the movie, and how his motives change from start to finish.

Glen Weldon of NPR agrees and elaborates, “Pattinson ensures that we can see that change, in every frame. He holds himself differently. He’s more centered, more assured. He’s grown up.”

Pattinson also has amazing tension and chemistry with Kravitz’s Catwoman. Similar to The Dark Knight Rises, Batman and Catwoman team up and form a sort of romantic relationship. And similar to the previous film, you can feel the tension in The Batman’s version of this duo.

The cinematography of the setting also plays into the dark atmosphere of the movie. While you can see the action of the movie, many of the shots have darker lighting. Most of the movie takes place during nighttime, and even when there’s a scene during the day, viewers will very rarely see the sun.

The cinematography overall creates a very gloomy and crime-ridden Gotham City. From the opening sequence of a Halloween night in Gotham, viewers will be able to quickly understand the importance of Batman’s presence.

The gritty acting and dark atmosphere cannot be complete without dramatic sound and score. The film’s score was created by Michael Giacchino and plays consistently throughout the action scenes. One notable music usage is when Batman comes out of a fiery car accident in the rain with the riveting score sounding loudly in the background.

As a whole The Batman is a fantastic next installment in the Batman franchise. Despite the possibly off-putting length and darker PG-13 material, viewers of the film will be able to appreciate Matt Reeves’ work and Robert Pattinson’s acting.

And if viewers leave the film ready for more, The Batman is meant to set up the next “Batman Film Universe” and Pattinson has expressed interest in delving further into the character.

There are also two HBO Max spin-off series in production. One about the Gotham City Police, and the other featuring Colin Farrell’s Penguin.

But in the meantime you can watch The Batman now exclusively in theaters, and starting on April 19 on HBO Max.