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The Batman
review by Bobby Blakey

There are few comic characters as iconic and well known as Batman. Over the years we have gotten numerous actors taking on the role in various projects from TV, movies, and video games. The latest man to don the cowl is Robert Pattinson. His casting was obviously met with mixed opinions for his outing in The Batman from director Matt Reeves. Could this new version of the Dark Knight bring something new from the shadows or will it fail to solve the riddle?


The Batman follows the Riddler, a sadistic serial killer, who begins murdering key political figures in Gotham, and Batman is forced to investigate the city's hidden corruption and question his family's involvement. The film features a great supporting cast including Jeffery Wright as Gordon, Andy Serkis as Alfred, Zoe Kravitz as Selina Kyle aka Catwoman, Colin Farrell as Oswald Cobblepot aka the Penguin, Paul Dano as Edward Naston aka The Riddler and John Turturro as Carmine Falcone.


I was not a fan of Twilight or the casting of Pattison here, but have really dug him in more recent flicks like his brilliant performance in The Lighthouse. I have come to know not to judge castings of this character because more often than not they have all worked in some form. I can honestly say I not only loved this film, but loved Pattison in the role. I felt the film was perfectly cast across the board, but obviously if he didn’t work as Bruce Wayne/Batman it wasn’t going to work at all. People have commented on the “goth’ version of the Wayne, but that isn’t what this is. Instead it is a young Batman on his 2nd year who is still dealing with his own losses, inexperience and opposition around him including from the police.


The whole film is clearly taken a lot of its story elements from The Long Halloween in tone and like it was slapped into a film like Seven. It’s not your usual superhero flick and that is a good thing. It is firmly focusing on the detective side of Batman, as he works side by side with Gordon, played great by Wright. It is dark and almost scary in its grounded reality. Dano’s Riddler is not just a silly costumed villain, but an insane killer that could easily exist in the real world. This takes it into a film noir style world complete with mobsters, gangs, corruption and mystery.


The Riddler doesn’t have a lot of initial direct screen time and instead a lot of videos and quick moments which makes it work so well and Dano is brilliant in the role. I loved Serkis as Alfred and while he got the least amount of stuff to do he still has some great moments and impact. Kravitz is great as Selina Kyle/Catwoman bringing her own vibe to the role that is familiar and impactful in her own journey. The real scene stealer for me was Farrell as Oswald/Penguin. He is unrecognizable in face and voice coming off like the late Jame Gandolfini’s Tony Soprano a bit although way more insane. He is not a parody silly character but a menacing mobster that you can see why people would fear.


While this is far from an action flick and instead focuses on detective nature it still offers up some great stuff. There are plenty of fights that are well executed and brutal as well as an excellent car chase showcasing this version of the Batmobile that is all kinds of awesome. This isn’t the usual world of Batman we have seen so many times before and that is a good thing. This is its own thing that not only does justice for the characters brings a new refreshing element to the brand that I hope is just the beginning. I can see some not digging it because its not more of the same, but I for one loved it.


I was concerned with the almost 3 hour run time, but it felt like it went by quick and I was so engaged with the story and how it was crafting this world I was all in. Pattinson might not be my first choice for the new Batman and honestly still trying to figure out if I am going to put him on the top of the list now, but he is damn good here as is the film. I loved this movie so much more than I thought I would and looking forward to checking it out again soon.


In addition to the film this release offers up bonus content including deleted scenes, featurettes and so much more. Join the latest Dark Knight on his mission of justice with The Batman available now on digital and HBO MAX and then on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD on May 24th from Warner Bros Home Entertainment.

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