Robert Pattinson in “The Batman” is
By Colby Merrill, Reporter
“The Batman,” 2022 begins two years after Bruce Wayne, played by Robert Pattinson, became the caped crusader. The tone is established in the first 15 minutes with murder, crime, corruption and violence which depict a more brutal Gotham than ever before. In the beginning of the movie Batman is the embodiment of fear, but over the course of the film he becomes a hero.
In the comics, Batman has many names, including “The World’s Greatest Detective”. Many, if not all, live action films skip this aspect of his character, however, this movie answers the calls of many comic fans like myself for a darker yet more complex batman. This portrayal of Batman illustrates abilities that he has in the comics while still developing new parts of the character.
Reeves takes creative liberties in his version, one of which is the Batmobile which has been modified by Bruce, and is featured in a sequence that I consider to be the greatest chase in any Batman film about halfway into the nearly three hour long epic. Another creative change is the Batcave, which is no longer under Wayne Manor. In fact, Thomas and Martha Wayne donated the Wayne Manor prior to their deaths, so Bruce now resides in Wayne Tower instead. Beneath the tower, an abandoned subway station becomes this film’s Batcave. It is ideas like these that make the story more believable.
The story is focused on an A and B plot. The A Plot focuses on Batman and James Gordon (Jeffery Wright) uncovering the mystery of the Riddler (Paul Dano), a psychopath who is targeting Gotham’s corrupt to get to Bruce. The B plot follows Batman as he attempts to help Selina Kyle, otherwise known as Catwoman (Zoe Kravitz), find her missing friend and keep her composure in high stakes situations.
It’s understandable why people prefer past iterations of the Characters like Michele Pfeiffer’s Catwoman from Batman Returns (1992) over these versions of characters because the versions in this film are very different. However, every actor uses their incredible skills to bring accurate portrayals for the darker story of this film. Kravitz is a great Catwoman, she embodies a very complex yet compelling version of the character. Jeffery Wright acts more of a co-worker to Batman than a friend, and I really enjoy all the time they spend on screen together. Colin Ferral is unrecognizable as the Penguin but his performance packs a punch of memorability. Paul Dano is my favorite actor to be cast in the film. From “There Will Be Blood” (2008) to “Prisoners” (2013) Dano is an actor of great talent and his casting as Riddler sold me on this movie four years ago. Finally, Andy Serkis plays Bruce’s butler Alfred Pennyworth who acts more like a father than Michael Caine’s performance who acted as a role model in the Dark Knight Trilogy.
“The Batman” is the version of Batman I wanted to see and Matt Reaves delivered with a visually stunning demonstration of cinema in the superhero genre. We focus on their abilities. Their stories. But we don’t focus on the people they save or why they even try to save them. Batman asks these questions and comes out with an answer. Batman begins as shadows, vengeance, and fear but ends as a hero, he ends as hope.