The Reel Review
Robert Pattinson stars in this gritty remake about the iconic comic book superhero. Its story centers around sadistic serial killer, The Riddler, who is killing Gotham’s high profile, corrupt government officials in spectacular fashion, while taunting the caped crusader by leaving ghoulish, clue-filled greeting cards on their bodies.
Leaning into our current depressing, dark times, where justice seems increasingly unlikely for white collar political criminals, director Matt Reeves (War For the Planet of the Apes, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) constructs an intricate, more detective-oriented Batman story that is more moody, broody, 1970s crime noir than a superhero film. Pattinson is ideally cast as this more introspective, reclusive Batman, with a solid supporting cast that includes Pattinson’s longtime friend Zoë Kravitz as Catwoman, Jeffrey Wright (The French Dispatch, No Time to Die) as Batman’s cop buddy Jim Gordon, a disturbingly good Paul Dano (There Will Be Blood) as The Riddler and an unrecognizable Colin Farrell as The Penguin.
The Batman‘s well-choreographed, hair-raising fight scenes, the relentless score from composer Michael Giacchino (Up, Coco, Jojo Rabbit) and the shadow-filled cinematography from Oscar-winner Greig Fraser (Dune) are all truly impressive – the work of a production crew that clearly is at the top of its game. But with so much focus on the clever story and dazzling technical aspects, where The Batman falls a bit short is in hollow characters that lack depth, and a crushingly bleak, bloated three-hour runtime that is at least an hour too long. It looks great – but it’s hard to care about them. Still, this depressing film is a gripping thriller for fans appreciating a darker take on the Batman mythos.
• Robert Pattinson faked a family emergency while in rehearsals for 2020’s Tenet to audition for The Batman.
• Writer/director Matt Reeves co-wrote the script for The Batman with Robert Pattinson in mind for the part after seeing Pattinson in the 2017 film Good Time, not knowing until later that Pattinson was fixated on playing the part without knowing the status on the project.
• Paul Dano dropped out from the role of George Burbank in 2021’s The Power of the Dog to star in The Batman.