I was hot and cold about Robert Pattinson playing Batman/Bruce Wayne in The Batman. Sure, he makes a great vampire. But the Caped Crusader? I am pleased to report that Pattinson does indeed have that dark, Batman attitude, and he pulled off an astonishing performance. This is one that Batman fans around the world will not want to miss.
This iteration of the Batman saga has Paul Dano as one of Batman’s biggest enemies, the Riddler. Dano’s Riddler comes off as quiet and thoughtful, but he’s also a ruthless murderer who always has to hide the meaning of his messages. Only the Batman, with some help from some of his friends, can figure out the Riddler’s message. Dano’s Riddler leaves a dark trail of violence and evil that some may actually find hard to bear.
The Batman is of course set in Gotham City. Bruce Wayne is early in his career as the head of Wayne Enterprises, playboy extraordinaire, and the Dark Knight. His faithful servant Alfred, played by Andy Serkis, is by his side. The city of Gotham is corrupt and the Riddler, meanwhile, is killing people and leaving clues linking to more victims. Some of the other classic Gotham City criminal minds are also adding to the chaos, including Carmine Falcone, played by John Turturro, and Oswald Copplepot, aka The Penguin, played by Colin Farrell. Zoe Kravitz plays Catwoman Selina Kyle, who teams up with Batman and detective James Gordon, played by Jeffery Wright, to put together the Riddler’s puzzles.
Darkness is still Batman’s ally in The Batman, but it’s also a friend of his enemies and the darkness grows with the deceit, corruption, riddles, and death—in both the narrative and noir sense. It can be seen in the darkness and cinematography of Gotham and in the darkness of the evil moments of the film.
The Batman is truly dazzling and haunting on many levels, and I was simply blown away. It was different than the other Batman films, but very captivating and exhilarating. Three and a half stars for The Batman.