This dark and brooding take on the caped crusader is thrilling to watch- but could use some tightening up plot and time wise to ensure the audience’s full attention.
Filled with darkness and menace, The Batman feels suitably gothic but without going too far with it to create a thrilling experience that keeps the audience guessing as to whether Batman will ever catch the Riddler. Yet, there are parts towards the middle of Matt Reeves and Peter Craig’s screenplay that could have been edited and tightened up further to ensure that the audience doesn’t lose the thread of the main plot.
At the centre of this film, corruption (as you would expect in any Batman film) forms the centre of it all – with a broken promise that keeps the Riddler on the search for his own form of justice – both those in government and that on Bruce Wayne himself. It is a very much a cat and mouse game that plays out well through Matt Reeve’s suspenseful noir inspired film, filled with plenty of stylish and artistic shots, complete with epic fights and stunts that keep the audience thrilled and gripped in equal measures. This is very much a Batman film for our times, with the Riddler making full use of social media and the way in which underhand deals are done by politicians – in places it feels like it is depressingly reflecting our times.
Yes it is a film that is filled to the brim with detail – particularly with regards to the character depth that is intriguing to watch as how each of the central character’s past come to play a huge part in what unfolds. There is plenty of torment, anger and pain that is displayed by all characters that makes this compelling to watch – adding a new perspective on characters such as Batman, Catwoman and even the Riddler himself. However, there are places when it becomes so fixated on ensuring that everything is explained thoroughly, the plot itself can become a little lost amongst the action.
Perhaps its because Reeves and Craig are more focused on changing the perspective of the character rather than the set up of the story that some might find this still a bit formulaic than groundbreaking, however by re-examining the characters the story itself can take on a sharper and different tone.
The cast themselves have plenty to offer. I will be honest, I was surprised to hear that Robert Pattinson was named as the title character and wasn’t sure if he could pull it off – but my goodness he does. Giving the character plenty of angst and torment, the audience can really feel the weight of the Bruce Wayne’s sense of guilt and well-meaning through his performance that makes his performance intriguing and enjoyable to watch. Meanwhile, his chemistry with Zoë Kravitz as Selina is on point – there is something special that happens when they are put in scenes together. On her own terms however, Kravitz can really hold her own: giving the character plenty of spark and a woman who is in charge of her own destiny. There is also great support in the form of Jeffery Wright as Lt James Gordon and Andy Serkis as Alfred.
The Batman is a thrilling, enjoyable and occasionally chilling ride that impresses from start to finish – just a few cuts here and there would have made it perfect.
By Emma Clarendon
The Batman is available buy and download now