Riddle me this, what’s dark, gothic, and in some ways the best Batman movie we’ve had so far?
It’s Matt Reeves Batman movie starring Robert Pattinson and Zoë Kravitz.
For me, this movie is as close to the comics as they can get while keeping a sense of realism in there. It takes some of the best parts of the Christopher Nolan movies and turns them up a notch. I don’t think the action scenes hit the mark as much as The Dark Knight but it wasn’t far behind and you can see a lot of inspiration there.
One thing Matt Reeves has achieved in this movie is just some perfect cinematic visuals. Reeves has really stepped up the bar for comic book movies and kept them grounded in reality which pulls the audience into the movie.
It’s not a Batman that I think we’ve seen in movies before, he’s less a superhero and more just a vigilante detective which is maybe where Batman was strongest in the comics. We don’t see any sci-fi tech, he’s not even got a real Batmobile, it’s more of a custom car which I think was a great direction to go in. Again it really brings the character down to earth and plays on the realism angle which was such a success in the Joker Movie.
Cast wise I think the movie was amazing, Robert Pattinson played a great Batman although he didn’t get to shine as Bruce Wayne as much I think that’s down to him playing a much younger version of the character than we’ve seen in previous movies. He’s still got a lot to learn and there is still more of the origin to explore. In this movie he’s been doing it for a while, has a costume and a few tools but not a lot of a back story. We know his parents died and inspired his life of crime-fighting but we don’t have the origin of where he learned to be a detective or how to fight which we got in the Nolan movies. It might be that we’ve seen all that before and Reeves didn’t want to include it or it might be something they want to introduce in the future.
Bringing Cat Woman in on the first movie isn’t something we’ve had in recent Batman movies, In Nolans we didn’t see her until the third movie, Tim Burtons wasn’t until the second movie and we never saw her at all in the Snyderverse. I have to admit I didn’t think we’d see a Cat Woman better than Michelle Pfeiffer from Batman returns but I totally love Zoë Kravitz’s Cat Woman, an amazing casting choice and maybe the closest we’ve had to the comics. She had a great back story and motivation in the movie too. The movie isn’t just about telling Bruce Waynes story it’s Selina Kyle’s too.
Overall the whole cast was amazing, Colin Farrell’s unrecognizable transformation into the Penguin aka Oz was very well done. Again he’s not a supervillain, just a gangster with a mission. Jeffrey Wright was Gordon added an almost buddy cop dimension to the movie, he’s the only cop Batman will trust on the force and they team up a lot in the movie to take down the mob.
In comparison to other Batman movies this one feels closest to The Dark Knight, the Riddler in this movie is even a little reminiscent of Ledgers Joker in terms of his motivation and calculating plans. The action scenes are less explosive but visually on par if not better than those in Nolans movies. There is one scene which we see in the trailer where there is a car chase between the Penguin and Batman which ends with the Penguin being run off the road. I think most movies would have filmed from the outside with his car being flipped over but Reeves chose to film from inside the car and we see this amazing scene where Collin Farrells Penguine is flipping around with things flying all over the place, it’ feels almost like you’re in the back seat of the car.
Most of the Batman movies we’ve seen before are heavily inspired by Frank Millers Dark Knight and we do see a bit of Millers Year One in there but maybe more of Tim Sales vision with The Long Halloween and Batman: Dark Victory. I think that really gives it a bit of an edge and why we haven’t seen a Batman like this in the movies before.
Following what happened with Zack Snyders Justice league movie I think WB really damaged DC comics in a lot of ways, as a fan I just don’t want to get excited or attached to a movie franchise that might get canceled due to some behind the scenes politics. Marvel on the other hand hasn’t hit the mark with all their movies but they are reliable and never-ending.
I really hope this gets a sequel as it well deserves one but we will need to wait and see.
Posted by Adi Mursec on March 8, 2022
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