The Matt Reeves reboot of the Batman franchise is more than just a shallow imitation of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy.
It stars Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne / Batman alongside Zoë Kravitz, Paul Dano, Jeffrey Wright, John Turturro, Peter Sarsgaard, Andy Serkis, and Colin Farrell. Set after two years of fighting crime, the film sees Batman uncover corruption in Gotham City while pursuing the Riddler (Dano), a serial killer who targets Gotham’s elite.
Reeves avoids the tired trend of showing us Bruce Wayne’s origin story and instead drops us into an established world where a younger Batman is in his second year of crime fighting and he is still wondering if in the end is it worth doing.
Reeves spins a lot of the time world building and juggling numerous stories of newly introduced characters while trying to tell a gruesome detective story.
The film shows a Gotham filled with dirty cops, The Penguin, Catwoman, the Falcone crime family, and much more. The film throws A LOT at the audience almost to it detriment. With all these plot points and characters it’s easy to see why this was a 3 hour film.
Even so, the film depicts a Gotham that is petrified against the Batman. When the bat signal shines in the sky the cowardly criminals literally shake with fear.
This depiction of Batman is a little more brutal and gloomy. This younger Batman is still trying to find a balance between his duties as a crime fighter and billionaire playboy.
The film really goes out of its way to show Batman use his detective skills as much as his fighting skills. Something that has always been lacking in previous Batman films. There’s a reason why the Dark Knight is the world’s greatest detective and this film goes to great lengths to show that.
The rest of the cast is nothing short of extraordinary. Matt Reeves always knows how to bring the most emotion out of his cast and he does so here again to great lengths.
The buddy cop relationship between Batman and Jim Gordon here is depicted very well. Jeffrey Wright brings a lot of gravitas to the role of Gordon. Zoe Kravitz turn as Catwoman might be the best one yet with her defiant attitude and spunky personality. Colin Farrell, who is unrecognizable in his Penguin prosthetics delivers a memorable and enjoyable turn as the classic Batman crime lord.
Paul Dano’s portrayal as the Riddler is a frightening depiction that falls between the likes of the real life Zodiac killer and Jigsaw from the Saw films.
Overall the film can linger a little too much at times and the sheer amount of characters and various plot threads don’t come together as nicely as you would want them to, however Reeves has created a dark and brooding Gotham populated with the most comic book accurate portrayal of its iconic characters seen yet on film. This is a must see for Batman fans and viewers who loved films like Seven or shows like Netflix’s Mindhunter. Recommended viewing.
What The Batman was doing during his first year crime fighting…