“The Batman” was directed & co-written by Matt Reeves, based on the superhero of the same name and is the 3rd reboot of the character following the Christopher Nolan trilogy which ended in 2012. Ben Affleck’s appearance as “Batman” was supposed to carry on following the DCEU projects but ultimately left the project. The film stars Robert Pattison as the titular hero, alongside Paul Dano, Zoe Kravitz, Jeffery Wright, Colin Farrell, Andy Serkis & John Turturro. After Affleck’s solo “Batman” film project never came to fruition, Matt Reeves went to work on a reboot of the franchise which is, at this point in time, is not connected to the DCEU. Rather than Batman being the “old man” as in the Ben Affleck character, Pattison is more of a “Year One” early years take on the character.
In Gotham City on Halloween night, the city is rocked by the murder of the mayor by a mysterious killer calling himself, “The Riddler” (Dano). The masked vigilante known as “Batman” (Pattison) is specifically called out by the Riddler for an unknown purpose and with the help GCPD Captain James Gordon (Wright) they look into the Riddler’s puzzle and began an investigation all while crime and corruption continue to rage in Gotham City. As Batman & Gordon continue their investigation, a local cat burglar, Selina Kyle (Kravitz) also her own investigation into their disappearance of her friend which leads to her crossing paths with Batman and the mob boss, Salvator Maroni (Turturro) and his minion, The Penguin (Ferrall). Batman, Gordon and Kyle must solve the Riddler’s puzzles to prevent another murder.
This movie was a much darker than predicted which only adds the movie as a whole. The dark and gothic tone made Gotham feel more like one of the animated films or even the graphic novel. Matt Reeves did an excellent job directing and with the writing. The only complaint with this movie is the lacking character of Bruce Wayne. Pattison as Batman is fantastic, and the suit and car look awesome but his turn as Bruce Wayne was that of a moody young adult. It’s like his “Twilight” character grew up and became a billionaire who lost everything. An argument can be made that that is who Bruce Wayne is. Val Kilmer had a similar performance, but it wasn’t as grim. Pattison does give a good performance, but it isn’t the Bruce Wayne we should have gotten in this story arch. Everything in this movie is top notch from the writing and directing and the tone but it’s the Bruce Wayne interpretation that feels out of place.
Overall, this was a fantastic movie that lived up to the hype. Despite one criticism, this film had it all and bought something new and different to the character, as it should. The look and feel of this new Batman & Gotham City are great, the characters are top notch, the mystery elements are exciting and unique, and the car is BADASS! The future looks bright for Batman in the hands of Matt Reeves & Robert Pattinson.