A Batman That We’ve Never Seen Before

A gripping neo noir thriller take on the caped crusader

WARNING! This review contains SPOILERS from The Batman.

The Batman finally arrives in theaters, being the first solo outing in a decade since The Dark Knight Rises, which starred Christian Bale and was released in 2012.

Matt Reeves directs the film which stars Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Zoë Kravitz as Selina Kyle/Catwoman, Jefrey Wright as James Gordon, Paul Dano as the Riddler, Andy Serkis as Alfred, and Colin Farrell as Oswald Cobblepot/The Penguin.

The film follows Batman’s second year in his career fighting crime. A serial killer known as the Riddler is murdering corrupt cops and it’s up to Batman to stop him in spite of all of his traps and riddles.

He of course gets the help of Lt. James Gordon and Selina Kyle.

 If you are the type of person who loves crime thrillers or neo noir films, The Batman will be for you. Matt Reeves has crafted an amazing new world for the Batman franchise.

Reeves portrays Gotham brilliantly. He pulls from the comics while also modernizing it in his own way.The city, Gotham, is also a character by being a part of Batman and giving birth to his famous rogues gallery. 

In the movie the opening scene really shows that once Batman’s signal turns on, it’s a warning sign for the criminals in Gotham to get out.

And the first fight scene between Batman and face painted thugs is thrilling.

But the film really shows the detective side of Batman,  proving he’s the World’s Greatest Detective. 

In the first crime scene of the movie, the Riddler has just killed one of the runner ups to be the Mayor of Gotham. Batman looks at the other detectives that aren’t looking at and that they should be taking pictures of.

When Batman shows up at a funeral and sees the D.A. in an explosive collar, the Riddler gives him riddles to solve in order for him to survive, and Batman literally answers the riddle in five seconds.

Now that’s a true detective.

You can’t have a Batman review without talking about Batman himself.

Robert Pattinson becomes Batman. There have been many iterations of the character before, but they all lacked one thing that makes Batman Batman: The intelligence.

Adam West Batman debuted in the late 60s, and for its time, it was a more campier take.

Michael Keaton was an iconic Batman in the movies directed by Tim Burton, but his Bruce Wayne never had an arc.

Val Kilmer managed to portray both Batman and Bruce Wayne well, but if his character was darker and more mysterious, it would’ve been greater.

Should there even be a mention of George Clooney?

Christian Bale was a good Bruce Wayne, but his Batman would’ve been more enjoyable if it wasn’t for his over-the-top voice.

Ben Affleck’s Batman will probably be the closest to reflect the comic book Batman because in his time, they weren’t worried too much about realism.

And don’t forget, he was the Batman that defeated Superman and formed the Justice League.

But Robert Pattinson not only showed the true detective side of Batman, but also really delved into his no-killing rule. He even says to Catwoman that if she kills the person she wants to, she won’t be any

Courtesy of Warner Bros.

better than all of the other criminals in Gotham.

That’s something that the past versions of Batman really lacked.

As for Bruce Wayne, he isn’t the playboy billionaire Bruce Wayne that we knew from the past movies and comics.

But it’s Bruce’s second year as Batman and he says he would rather be Batman than Bruce Wayne.

He also mentions that he’s become more of a nocturnal animal and that he keeps all of his missions in a notebook, which is a clever and unique idea that differs from the previous versions of Batman.

And people get really excited to see Bruce in public because he’s never been out and is always “unavailable.”

Zoë Kravitz’s Catwoman has great chemistry with Robert Pattinson, which is needed for these characters.

Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Compared to the other previous versions of Catwoman, she’s almost as good as Michelle Pheifer from Batman Returns (1992). 

Paul Dano is terrifying as the Riddler. Sure, he is a bit over the top, similar to Jim Carrey’s version in Batman Forever (1995), but he is treated more like the Zodiac Killer where he baits people with coded messages, and even his costume represents the Zodiac Killer.  

A really funny scene takes place when Batman goes to Riddler’s hideout and sees a video the Riddler has made like he’s a YouTuber saying, “Hi guys. Thanks for all the likes and suggestions.”

Colin Farrell disappears into the role of the Penguin. He is completely unrecognizable with not just the makeup and prosthetics, but his voice and performance as well. He portrays the crime boss from the comics perfectly, unlike   Danny DeVito in Batman Returns (1992) where his version took the Penguin’s name literally. It really gives a lot of hype for his spin off series coming to HBO Max.

Courtesy of Warner Bros.

There’s also a riveting, intense, and exciting chase scene with the Penguin and Batman in his batmobile, even though it looks like a muscle car.

Andy Serkis and Jeffrey Wright are great in their roles as Alfred and James Gordon but they should have more to do because they’re key characters in the Batman world.

Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Screenwriters Peter Craig and Matt Reeves deliver a lot of twists and turns in the movie.

Famous crime boss Carmine Falcone (John Turturo), is revealed to be Selina Kyle’s father. He had an affair with her mother and killed her best friend, so she’s out to get revenge.

And Falcone might’ve had something to do with the death of the Waynes.

When Batman finally confronts the Riddler, he explains his plan to flood Gotham City, forcing Batman to try to save all of its people. 

Courtesy of Warner Bros.

After brutally beating a Riddler thug, Batman now realizes that he can’t be a vengeful hero for his city,  but needs to start being a symbol of hope for  Gotham.

If the film had more heart like that, it would have been flawless.

By the end of the film, Bruce will start to realize that he needs to be more than Batman and needs to start being Bruce Wayne as well.

The biggest scene by far happens in the end where the Riddler talks to a distorted figure in jail and it’s revealed to be none other than the Joker played by Barry Keoghan.

Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Now you may be thinking that the Joker will most likely be the main villain in the sequel, but…

During an interview with Variety, Matt Reeves explains Joker’s future in his new Batman franchise.

“It’s not an easter egg scene,” he says. “It’s not one of those end credits Marvel or DC scenes where it’s going, like, ‘Hey, here’s the next movie!’ In fact, I have no idea when or if we would return to that character in the movies.”

It makes sense that Matt Reeves doesn’t want to get to the Joker just yet, because there have been a plethora of Jokers, and there are great Batman villains that deserve another chance on the big screen.

Matt Reeves’ The Batman is a great reintroduction to the character in a new, fresh way and brings Batman fans what they’ve been wanting for a very long time.

As he always says…

 “I’m Batman.”

The Batman is now playing exclusively in movie theaters.