“The Batman” (2022) is the best superhero film I have ever seen, but not in the way that might be expected.
The film follows Bruce Wayne, played by Robert Pattinson, in his second year holding the Batman mantle as he takes on one of his most famous villains, the Riddler.
If viewers are expecting to watch a movie that is upbeat and has you laughing, this is not the one. The film has a dark noir tone with dramatic and artistic elements that have viewers invested throughout the entire film. From the dark filters and lightings to the dramatic sets, Gotham is covered in a gothic feel. The start of the movie has almost a horror feel to it that slightly lessens as it continues but is still present within the black and red end credits.
Fans of the comics will notice elements from many different runs including Darwyn Cooke’s “Batman: Ego and Other Tales,” Frank Miller’s “Batman: Year One,” Jeph Loeb’s “Batman: Long Halloween” and many more. Director Matt Reeves did more than base the film off one story, but instead the depth of his research of the character is clear.
Pattison gives an astounding performance, erasing any memory viewers may have of “Twilight” (2008) and truly earning the mantle that has been played in live-action performances by at least nine other actors. His performance is matched beautifully by Zoë Kravits as Catwoman, another actor who has a great understanding of the character which makes the execution beautiful.
What makes this film so well done is the deep understanding of the character and the corruption that he is trying to address. Instead of an indestructible hero, you see an individual, who is more mask than man, trying to do something with all that he has, no matter the cost. We are not shown the playboy Bruce Wayne in these films but instead one who is overcome by drive for vengeance. This is the perfect telling of an early Batman and of a hero who is still dealing with Gotham as an experiment.
This film is so different and unique from any other hero film I have ever seen, even Christopher Noland’s “Dark Knight” trilogy. By the end, viewers are clearly displayed the idea of hope coming from darkness, something that is true to Batman’s character.
While the film has a runtime of two hours and 56 minuets, I never found myself wanting the film to be over but instead questioning how they would be able to reach a resolution. All loose ends were tied extremely well besides the ones intentionally left for a next film.
Overall, this film was something so dark and beautiful, unlike any hero film I have ever seen, which is why I give “The Batman” 5/5 stars.