The Batman Film Review


Leslie Mendez

The Edwards Cinemas remains closed in Camarillo, Calif. on Thursday, May 7, with the marquee displaying the message: “Coming Soon, Fresh Popcorn Smell, and Great Movies to Watch.”

By Ali Wire

“The Batman” premiered on March 4, along with a new face behind the mask. Despite the cape, Batmobile, gadgets and other typical fixings, “The Batman” is more than just your ordinary superhero movie.

While many directors have given different cinematic interpretations of Batman, director Matt Reeves drew inspiration from Frank Miller’s “Year One” Batman comic. The film presents itself as dark as Gotham City should be, the streets shadowed and littered with grit and garbage.

The subtle use of gothic architecture is a hauntingly beautiful mix of modern and cathedral-style buildings. While Gotham City is a comical, fictional place, it still feels eerily real.

“The Batman” is not a continuation of any of the former DC Comic stories. There have been eight live-action Batman motion pictures made and much like its predecessors, it introduces a brand new Batman universe with a new face behind the mask. Robert Pattinson, known for playing Edward Cullen in the “Twilight” series, takes his turn as the caped crusader.

Gotham City’s state of crisis revolves around the mafia, a corrupt justice system and rising criminal activity continue to plague the streets. Bruce Wayne, the last standing member of the Wayne family, buries his pale face into his diary as he documents his first few fundamental years as the Batman.

The story follows Wayne and Gotham City police officer James Gordon who is played by actor Jeffrey Wright. The movie follows the pair as they uncover clues and chase down criminals, ranging from frantic street racing to capture a mafia boss to uncovering cryptic messages from the deranged masked villain The Riddler, who is played by Paul Dano.

Pattinson’s Batman contrasts strongly with former Batman film stars like Christian Bale and Michael Keaton. His transformation into the tormented Wayne is both physical in his appearance and in his acting.

Other iconic characters from the original Batman series are also reborn into this new series with fresh new portrayals. Alongside Pattinson is Zoe Kravitz as Selina Kyle, using acrobatic abilities to slink in between fire escapes in her leather bodysuit.

Kravitz differs from the iconic actresses that have played the role before her with her charisma bursting from her eyes in each scene. Kravitz’s iconic look in her skintight suit is memorable but the costume is more likely to get lost in the emotional performance Catwoman delivers.

The chemistry between the two is extremely strong, allowing their physical and mental abilities to bounce back and forth with ease. The cast’s determination to bring out the darkness in the film’s script and environment is apparent.

Notably, the biggest difference between “The Batman”and all other films in the DC franchise is its appreciation for film noir. This film sheds the playboy bachelor skin Wayne typically displays as he joins up with Gordon to consult on crime scenes. The two sulk together on shrouded rooftops, plotting and planning on how to end corruption in their city.

“The Batman” is currently only available in theaters, but is expected to be released on HBO Max in mid-April.