<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>


Directed by Matt Reeves. Starring Robert Pattinson, Zoë Kravitz, Jeffrey Wright, Colin Farrell, John Turturro, Andy Serkis, Peter Sarsgaard, Paul Dano 

In yet another reboot of the most popular DC franchise, we get a more realistic portrayal of Batman in what is actually an average gangster movie.

Robert Pattinson is a good actor but he’s gotten a pretty dreary and flat character to play in The Batman. He’s sufficiently scowl-y and dark (with black eye shadow that makes him look like he should be in a reboot of The Crow) but tends to tear up a lot, which I don’t think goes with the character but they’re trying to make him more relatable. There is not much of Bruce Wayne in this film so he doesn’t get to turn on the charm. It’s nice that he gets to kindle a romance with Cat Woman (Zoë Kravitz) though.

The Batman (Robert Pattinson) and Cat Woman (Zoey Kravitz)

And oh-my-god is that Colin Farrell as Oz the Penguin? Didn’t see it; make-up guy/girl is getting an Oscar for that one. Not because he resembles a penguin but because he looks nothing like Farrell. In fact, most of the characters don’t resemble their comic book characters or even iconic looks from previous Batman films. They just seem like regular people given strange pet names. They even make fun by having Oz waddle along like a penguin when he’s in ankle cuffs.

While The Batman has been touted as a detective thriller, I found there to be not that much in the way of sleuthing or thrilling. The caped crusader manages to solve a few silly riddles on his own and has some low tech gadgets and even gets a clue from a policeman at the end of the film. There’s no Robin in this one but Captain Gordon (Jeffrey Wright) takes on that role nicely as they go up against the sinister and somewhat strange Riddler (Paul Dano) who is wearing a weird fetish mask and geeky glasses. Looks nothing like the Riddler you and I know.

Robert Pattinson as the Crow, oh I mean as Batman

What’s great about The Batman is that it’s the director’s vision of a different type of superhero. One who is deeply sad and disappointed in humanity and his city of Gotham. He finds solace in fighting crime but no peace. ‘Vengeance’ is what they call him but you realise the Riddler probably deserves that title more.

The stand out scene in the film is Batman fighting off some goons in a dark room that is only lit up when their machine guns start firing as he pummels them. Everything else you’ve seen done eminently better in previous Batman films. If you took away the costumes and the silly names this would be your average gangster action film.

Riddle me this

It’s great that they made this Batman more vulnerable so that the regains his hope by the end of the film when he realises he’s not alone in the cesspool of corruption and crime that ensconced his life. It’s all very serious and heavy, with perhaps only one moment of levity when Penguin makes fun of the Batman and Gordon for their terrible understanding of Spanish.


PS: The only thing I thought that really made it feel Batman-ish was the thumping music and great sound editing


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