As time allows, I love going to the movies.
My latest foray to the cinema was for the recently released Matt Reeves directed The Batman, starring Robert Pattinson.
In many ways, this version of the caped crusader was one of the best I have seen put to film.
The story succeeded in humanizing the titular hero, while still making him someone that criminals feared.
Something else that the story really has going for it is how heavily it digs into Batman’s detective origins.
The Batman character was first introduced in Detective Comics #27 in May 1939, where he was as much a sleuth as he was a superhero.
Keeping in that vein, the film dug as much into the mystery genre as it did the superhero genre.
Supporting Pattinson on screen was an all star cast, with Zoë Kravitz playing Selina Kyle, Jeffrey Wright playing a young Lt. James Gordon, an unrecognizable Colin Farrel playing the Penguin and John Turturro playing Carmine Falcone.
The Batman, a standalone film not connected with the rest of the DC movies, stands on its own without reinventing the wheel.
Unlike the Michael Keaton fronted Batman of the 1980s or the Christian Bale fronted Batman Begins of the 2000s, Reeves film introduces us to a young, but established, hero, without spending time redoing his entire origin story.
With the supporting cast, Reeves’ fantastic directing, and a well thought out story it is hard to find flaw with this film.
The one flaw I wanted to point out, that of Pattinson’s acting, I find hard to critique after watching a video essay on The Batman.
I wanted to criticise Pattinson’s monotone, almost painful acting, but after watching the video essay, I can’t do it for the simple matter that this is not the typical Batman/Bruce Wayne alter ego setup.
In a typical Batman movie, the character is the masked avenger at night and a millionaire playboy by day.
Not so in this performance as both Batman and Bruce Wayne are tortured souls striking out at evil to help the people of Gotham while living in the shadow of fear of failure.
The Bruce Wayne of The Batman is a recluse, not a playboy, driven by vengeance and who strikes from the shadows by night.
For this tortured character, Pattinson was cast perfectly.
While I initially believed that Pattinson was miscast in the role of Batman, after further contemplation reflecting on the character in the different perspective I can see why Reeves made the pick he did for the main casting.
Overall, I thouroughly enjoyed The Batman.
It was dark. It was gritty. It was equal parts thriller, mystery and superhero story, without any one element overriding the others.
Reeves successfully translated what the Dark Knight could and should be into a story worthy of the 80+ year old character created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger.
For anyone who is a fan of the caped crusader, the movie is definitely worth a watch either on the big screen or on demand.
Just be prepared for a long run-time.
The latest iteration of the Dark Knight’s adventures comes in at just under three hours.
See you at the movies!