The Batman. Quick Review.

Really. Another Batman film. after we laid the carcass of the embarrassingly inept SnyderVerse to rest. That said Matt Reeves is a solid choice for director. His 66% of the Planet of the Apes Caesar trilogy is awesome and some of the best blockbuster films in recent memory. Robert Pattinson has completed his redemption arc with the type of audience who cream their jeans at the very sight of the A24 logo. Helped along by a strong supporting cast the creative team had the potential to do something interesting with the character. Did they achieve this?
Mostly. The Batman is mostly very solid but. It’s the type of film you expect given the trailer campaign. Essentially a three hour proof of concept that this 100% neo-noir influenced Batman can work for the mainstream public. Simultaneously desperate to convince a general audience that the creatives behind this have been on a David Fincher binge. They are doing an indistinctly solid version of his crime movie formula in its own right. This is in large part thanks to the core plot With Paul Dano’s Ridler is an excellent antagonist being in throwing from the start There are plenty of great moments and set pieces sprinkled throughout the running time. It helps that Pattinson is a surprisingly brilliant Batman. His performance has all the intimidation factor that makes Christian Bale so iconic without the inherently gravelly vocal delivery that has been parodied into oblivion. The supporting cast delivers strong work too. Colin Farrell is unrecognisable as this universe’s take on The Penguin. Zoe Kravitz is a solid choice for Catwoman. Andy Serkis gets the balance just right as Alfred. However, the breadth of the cast and world-building leads us to the first major problem. This film may be three hours but leaves a great many of these fantastic actors and performances feeling decidedly This is in large part because the narrative is trying to do so much heavy lifting within the confines of its runtime in terms of starting from scratch with this incarnation of Gotham. Either cut the theatrical version two hours focusing distinctly on the superbly done central Ridler plot. Or release a fully R rated extended directors/streaming cut allowing the myriad of side plots to be more fleshed out. For as meaty as the theatrical version feels it’s distinctly caught between the two schools of execution. It comes across more like an extended theatrical pilot for a slate of streaming content than a film in itself. The other major problem the firm brings to the table is unfortunately Pattinson Bruce Wayne. He may be fantastic when donning the cape and cowl but outside it Patterson feels a little miscast for a project that presents itself as such a full-hearted attempt at this kind of crime thriller with comic book characters. It’s the point everyone will make but his interpretation of Bruce brings nothing new to the table beyond the fact it feels like he is currently going through a massive emo phase. You can imagine My Chemical Romance blasting through Wayne Manor. Pattinson’s out of costume Wayne does not get that much screentime. His performance may improve with future sequels and the expansion of this universe. On a certain level, it’s hard to tell based on this film alone.
The Batman is… mostly pretty good. It’s made by a creative team who had a clear goal. They were able to execute their intentions mostly effectively with a couple of caveats Diving into the full neo-noir side of the Batman character the rain-drenched central crime plot is fantastically done. It helps that Patterson makes such a strong first impression in the scenes where he dons the Batsuit. It’s the material around the main narrative that lets the peace down. There are some fantastic moments and performances within the gargantuan runtime Even at three hours Segments and side plots in the final cut feel decidedly underserved. Add there’s a lot of potential in this incarnation of the universe for sequels and streaming expansion. This is something that Warner Brothers is going full steam ahead with. Whether or not all of these potential projects will turn out great remains to be seen. That said there’s enough foundation here and a solid incarnation of tone that this viewer is certainly willing to at least sample whatever comes next for Pattinson era Batman. The film might not be the revelation that its biggest fans think it is but it’s certainly worth checking out and an antidote to the crimes against cinema committed by Zack Snyders incarnations of these characters in their theatrical form.

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