Batman is, as we all know, a symbol of good. He is a beacon of hope and righteousness in times of great sorrow and darkness, and the newest Batman movie showcases this like never before. (This article contains no spoilers.)
Batman, aka Bruce Wayne (Robert Pattinson), has only been Gotham’s Protector for two years, and it seems that nothing is getting better.
The streets are still lined with criminals, both petty and deadly, and Batman is almost at a loss on how to help; however, when The Riddler (Paul Dano) turns up, things get much, much worse.
Each clue left by this villain edges closer to Wayne’s past, and teases to reveal things even the great Caped Crusader doesn’t know about himself.
The Bat must work with The Cat, aka Selina Kyle (Zoë Kravitz), as well as Gotham City’s best cop, James Gordon (Jeffrey Wright), to figure out what The Riddler really wants, as well as searching deeper into Gotham’s underbelly for some deadly answers.
So, what did I think?
It’s very rare that, while writing a review, I have so much to say that I almost don’t write one. The Batman is everything I wanted and more.
The Batman, since it was originally announced, has been the centre of attention. From discussions of casting choices, to plot and the characters involved, there's not a conversation that hasn't been had in the run-up to release. Fortunately, the film ticks all of those boxes and more. It's movies like this that make me love what I do.
There is so much to unpack with The Batman, but first I need to give Robert Pattinson the praise he deserves.
Pattinson, who many know from the Twilight film series, did an outstanding, phenomenal job as both Batman and Bruce Wayne.
I was in utter awe at the reveal of the Dark Knight himself; his footsteps heard from beyond the shadows, and his slow move into the light was beyond incredible.
Pattinson’s Batman and Wayne were different to other recent versions of the character played by Christian Bale and Ben Affleck. For example, Wayne is somewhat of an outcast, and his vigilante alter-ego isn’t taken too seriously among both cops and criminals.
What made Pattinson’s Batman unique, and a version of the character I now hold very close to me, was the actor’s determination and ability to prove everyone who thought he couldn’t do this, wrong.
His Bat had an incredible sense of power and dominated the room, as Batman does, but this was different. Batman, in this movie, isn’t some creature in the night to beware of, he is simply a man in a suit, which grounds the film in an amazing way.
Pattinson was absolutely the right choice for Batman and Wayne; The Bat is a much more realistic character, and the film portrays him as someone who wants to cure Gotham but feels as though he is doing nothing.
I can’t praise Pattinson enough for this performance; he was absolutely perfect. From his Batman voice, which was beautifully done, to his dreary Wayne and purposeful take on the World's Greatest Detective; he has done the character proud, and I felt pride myself for simply witnessing his performance.
Moving on to casting in general, every single character was portrayed with what you can tell was a great deal of thought and care, especially Selina Kyle.
Catwoman is a wonderful and mysterious creature, but, in The Batman, she showed her more caring and daring sides.
Kravitz, just like Pattinson, clearly cared deeply about this role, and wanted to play it to perfection, which they both did. The actress was an amazing choice for Kyle; she had gall, of course, but also had wit, talent and a meaningful backstory which made her an incredible on-screen presence.
Gordon was also well-cast, as Wright showed the determination we expect to see in this character, but he also felt different to any other take on the persona I’ve seen, which was brilliant. He too adored his role, and that always translates onto the big screen.
The Riddler was superb, as there was a great deal of method to his madness, and his character was wonderfully mad. Dano did this role so well, and made The Riddler a villain to remember.
In terms of the plot and atmosphere, both were flawless, to say the least.
Batman must catch The Riddler before he kills again and again, but The Bat, Alfred (Andy Serkis), and Gordon, struggle at times to decipher the killer’s codes.
The plot was rather easy to follow, and showcased an amazing detective story on a completely other level to anything I’ve seen before.
There wasn’t a single second where I wasn’t simply in awe of this film; it looked sensational and the cinematography, with colour themes of red, black and orange, was genuinely incredible as these simple colour choices gave the film an identity that cannot be matched.
Many films have choice colours that work well, but The Batman utilised these colours in different ways; red for blood and lights in the club, orange for the beautiful sunrise and the flames of Gotham, and black for The Bat himself.
Every single second of this film could be paused to create a stunning still image, even in movement this feature was just beautiful; it wasn’t afraid to be its own thing and to stand tall among other movies, and that’s exactly what it did.
I believe that The Batman will be remembered and talked about for years, even decades perhaps; I caught myself smiling at many points within the movie, as every single aspect of this feature was outstanding.
Even the reveal of the Batmobile had me on the edge of my seat; it was an impressive and exciting scene, and I loved that the iconic vehicle had its time to shine.
I was happy to see such a grounded film, too. It felt realistic, which only made it more immersive, and it felt as though Batman was real; he didn’t really have any fancy gadgets, and his willpower and sense of vengeance was just so believable, making him a genuine hero.
One final specific credit, aside from Matt Reeves for directing such a masterpiece, is Michael Giacchino, the man behind the music.
The Batman was a bold movie not just because of casting or exceptional visuals, but also because of the music. I was again, in awe of this aspect of the film; the music hardly ever let up, which I thought was very intriguing.
The music for our Caped Crusader was incredible, which is an understatement to say the least. The main theme, which was heavy with piano and drums, had me in a state of utter joy.
It was highly atmospheric, and it was almost present in every minute of the film, which worked so well to keep my attention (not that I needed another reason), and was so strong and clever.
I don’t think I’ve been so mesmerised by an original score before; it’s difficult to describe just how well it worked and I cannot give Giacchino enough credit for his beautiful, menacing creation.
In a nutshell, The Batman is one of the greatest cinematic achievements on offer. It was beautiful, bold, and ever so slightly in tune with a horror movie; it was also creative, unique, and so, so much more.
I could go on forever about his much I adored this film; Batman has new meaning now, and Pattinson has done that for him. People were perhaps wary of this casting choice, which is maybe understandable, but Pattinson broke through and created a new, perhaps even more iconic Batman, and I believe we should thank him for that.
Films such as this one are the very reason I adore movies, and why I love my job. It reminded me that change can be good, and that there will always be a hero among us, even if he’s fictional.
Watch the trailer for The Batman below:
Written by Melissa, who you can follow on Twitter @melissajournal