Once again, Batman has been rebooted but rather than waste time on Bruce’s origin story, it focuses on who you’re really here for – the villains.
|Screenplay By||Matt Reeves, Peter Craig|
|Where To Watch||In Theaters|
|Genre(s)||Action, Crime, Drama, Mystery, Romance|
|Duration||2 Hours and 55 Minutes|
|Bruce Wayne/ Batman||Robert Pattinson|
|The Riddler||Paul Dano|
|Selena Kyle/ Catwoman||Zoë Kravitz|
|Osward/ Penguin||Colin Farrell|
|Thomas Wayne||Luke Roberts|
|Martha Wayne||Stella Stocker|
|Carmine Falcone||John Turturro|
We’re at year 2 of Bruce Wayne becoming the Caped Crusader, and while Sal Maroni has fallen, the rise of Carmine Falcone has by no means brought peace to the streets of Gotham. That’s where Batman steps in for with him representing vengeance, he strikes fear into the people, represents change for some, and is a symbol for many.
However, Bruce may have never intended to inspire people like The Riddler, who too think of themselves as representing vengeance. And with it being an election year, The Riddler, and his followers, seem to no longer desire the status quo but believe the rich and powerful need to be called out and answer for their sins. If not the whole city flushed out for there to be any hope for its future.
Things To Note
- Reason(s) for Film Rating: Cursing (Yes, but not enough to, as shown, push this to be R rated), Violence (Gun violence, blood), Miscellaneous (drug use)
- There isn’t a mid-credit scene, and the after credit scene is not worth sticking around for if you’re not someone who generally watches the credits
Question(s) Left Unanswered
- When and how did the other person in Arkham end up there?
- How many prisoners are currently in Arkham?
Please Note: This character guide is not an exhaustive list of every cast member, and character descriptions may contain what can be considered spoilers.
In his second year as Batman, Bruce seems to think the symbol in the sky works as a deterrent to crime. However, there are times when he questions if he is making any real, long-lasting change, considering Gotham doesn’t seem to be getting any better.
An orphan who has been disenfranchised most of his life, upon realizing how deep the corruption is within Gotham, he decided only the truth and death could cleanse the city.
More than a butler, Alfred remains a confidant, and the closest thing to family Bruce has, and it seems the feeling is mutual.
Rather than a notable thief, the Selena we meet is just a girl trying to make ends meet while keeping an uncomfortably close relationship with the man who partially pretends she doesn’t exist. But with her “roommate” being kidnapped, so begins us seeing bits of the iconic Catwoman.
Carmine’s right-hand man, whose primary focus is the drugs coming in and out of Carmine’s club, Oswald, is prepping for taking over – especially as it becomes clear Carmine might be in decline.
A one-time mayoral candidate, Thomas Wayne, fell from grace after his interactions with Carmine Falcone got a little too close, and a favor was asked.
Martha, like Thomas, comes from a founding family of Gotham, but while his reputation and family history is clean, Martha’s is not. Hence Thomas did what was necessary to keep his wife’s family history from being fodder against him.
While no longer the public figure he once was, Carmine Falcone remains one of the power brokers of Gotham with enough information, money, and addicts to rule Gotham.
More So Focused On Batman Than Bruce Wayne
Batman has been rebooted almost as many times as Marvel’s Spiderman at this point, but like the latest Spiderman, The Batman isn’t trying to rehash the iconic hero’s origin story. We are reminded that his parents died tragically and that Bruce has serious guilt over their deaths. However, for most of the movie, Pattinson is operating as The Batman, and The Batman benefits from it so much.
After all, who really wants to watch Bruce and Alfred, who is barely in the movie, re-establish Alfred being the father figure and all that? Who wants to watch the billionaire playboy attempt to live a dual life? Perhaps more than any other, this franchise is over-exploited between its live-action and animated features, so just focusing on the detective who kicks ass and takes names is a blessing in disguise (pun intended).
It Allows Its Villains To Be Notable & Iconic
From Selena being a seductive thief with an acrobatic fighting style to The Riddler being the complete opposite of Jim Carrey’s take on the character, you’ll be glad the door is left open for every single villain to return. Going further, when it comes to The Riddler, there is something about him being a bit more unhinged. I’d even say tapping into what made Heath Ledger’s Joker one of the more notable takes on the iconic character. For like what we saw when Christopher Nolan controlled the franchise, Reeves presents us with a more darker take.
Now, for some, darker doesn’t mean more violent or sinister. Selena is basically a girl who works at a club, is potentially in a relationship with her roommate, and only steals to get what she deserves. The same goes for Penguin. This isn’t FOX’s Gotham-styled Penguin or Danny DeVito’s. This is a proper gangster who might be fat, or rather an unrecognizable Colin Farrell in a fat suit, but he isn’t someone to laugh at or jeer. In fact, if it wasn’t for them referring to Oswald as Penguin, you may not know that is the character.
But it’s The Riddler who takes the cake. Between his almost Se7en-like traps to force politicians to tell the truth, to a level of madness that inspires the government’s usurpers, what they have done with The Riddler is remarkable. I’d even say, whether past movies, video game representation and even the animated version, this might be one of the best renditions of The Riddler yet.
While Long, It Makes Use Of Its Run Time
You will check the clock about an hour and a half in, as the film takes a break from The Riddler and focuses on one of his riddles which exposes Thomas and Martha Wayne, never mind pushes the need to question who killed Bruce’s parents. However, as noted before, the film is at its best when it is focused on the big-name villains and Bruce as Batman, and thankfully it spends very little time over the brooding young man who has become a recluse with a strong need for therapy.
How It Includes the Legacy Of Martha Arkham and Thomas Wayne
Outside of TellTale Games’ take on Batman, Thomas, and Martha Wayne’s story has usually been limited to them being Bruce’s parents who were murdered and set him on the path to being Batman. In The Batman, we dive a bit more into their history and lives. Albeit, not to the point of feeling like they are taking up too much screentime. But between noting Martha’s mental health, and the curse of the Arkham family, to Thomas’ mayoral run and interaction with Carmine Falcone, we get the kind of information that makes you wanting more, but in the form of seeking information on your own.
How It Sets Up A Sequel
Rather than do as Marvel and coerce you to watch credits, the sequel is set up before one of the final scenes, and you know who makes a shadowed appearance. I.e., the only person besides Two-Face you’re probably looking for.
Batman’s Fights Aren’t As Brutal As You’d Expect
With Batman willing to do everything but outright murder someone, you’d think his fight scenes would have more oomph. Granted, the limitations of the PG-13 rating could prevent the sounds of bones breaking and other sounds to really get you to understand what it is like to be punched by someone who wears pounds of armor all day. Yet, considering a good portion of the film is Batman doing hand-to-hand combat, it sucks that, while in his vengeance era, we don’t get the level of violence you can tell Bruce thinks is acceptable.
On The Fence
Selena’s Relationship With Bruce
There really isn’t much in the way of chemistry between Selena and Bruce. Maybe it is because she only gets to know Batman, or that most of the movie has her focused on avenging her roommate who, with her calling her “Baby,” could have been her girlfriend? Heck, let’s throw in that it seems the only reason Selena may kiss Batman is to keep him around so he can be useful towards the investigation she has?
Either way, any desire to see these two together comes from established lore than either Kravitz or Pattinson’s performance.
Our Rating: Mixed (Divisive)
When it comes to focusing on Batman and his rogue gallery acting amok, The Batman hits all the right notes. However, Selena Kyle, specifically her cringey interactions with Bruce, takes the film down a few notches. Add in Batman’s fight scenes not being as brutal as some of the actions of The Riddler, and it is hard to not be a bit disappointed that the often rebooted character still has kinks that writers and directors seem unable to work out.
On The Radar
- Recommended: Some of the best-seen movies we have ever watched and mentioned to friends, family, and strangers as films that need to be seen.
- Positive (Worth Seeing): Whether you’ll have to go to the movies, download, or stream, movies of this category are worth your time and money with few, if any, qualms from us.
- Mixed (Divisive): Due to this movie having a few quirks, of which may work for some and for others be a problem, we believe your enjoyment of this movie will depend on your taste.
- Negative (Acquired Taste): While one or two elements kept us going until the end, unfortunately, we’re of the opinion this film never reached the potential it was marketed to have.
Special Categories/ Tags
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- Shorts: Be it ten or fifteen minutes, or a half-hour, these quick teases or films get right to the point, often show the potential of filmmakers and the actors who have joined them in their journey.
- Ending Spoilers: Trying to remember how a film ended, or want a different take on the ending, then check out the "ending spoilers" category.