The Batman (15) |Close-Up Film Review

Dir: Matt Reeves, US, 2022, 176 mins.

Cast: Robert Pattinson, Zoe Kravitz, Paul Dano, Jeffrey Wright, Andy Serkis, Colin Farrell

Review by Carlie Newman

Robert Pattinson takes on the role of Batman in the new Marvel comic hero film, The Batman. He is Bruce Wayne/Batman in the first of a new series.

Pattinson’s Batman is not a very happy person. As Bruce Wayne he lives alone, almost a recluse in his mansion with his manservant (Andy Serkis). He doesn’t say a lot and when he does Pattinson uses a somewhat low, deep voice.

More detective than the usual flying superhero Batman, he is called upon to help solve the murders perpetuated by the Riddler (Paul Dano), who leaves clues directed at the Batman. Also involved is the Penguin (Colin Farrell, who is so disguised that he is unrecognisable). And the big criminal baron, Carmine Falcone (John Turturo). And then we have Zoe Kravitz as Selina Kyle – not just a cat burglar but also Catwoman! And she’s extremely fine in this part.

While the plot is a bit complicated, the story line is all just a background for Batman to showcase his superpower. Apart from flying, Batman is able to deal quickly and smoothly with all villains who get in his way. the only one he really has trouble catching is the Riddler.

All this is set in a very dark Gotham City. Almost always dull and gloomy, it rains a lot there. The settings are very well designed and the contrast between Gotham City itself and Bruce Wayne’s office and home environment is well brought out.

The many fine actors playing small roles all contribute well individually and as a group backing Robert Pattinson’s Bruce/Batman. Pattinson himself uses a low growly voice which is not always distinct but, in spite of the mask, he is able to convey his feelings. This is a thoughtful, somewhat despondent Batman who is not always appreciated by the good citizens of Gotham.

At almost 3 hours, the movie is a little too long and, although the action sequences are well filmed and exciting to watch, I would have been happy to lose some of the footage. But this is a well-directed film by Matt Reeves and worth your time and money to see. Just make sure you watch it on a large screen. Furthermore, it does make you keen to see the next instalment.