The Best Batman?

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Kasen Christensen

“The Batman” hit theaters this weekend, and director Matt Reeves managed to once again raise the bar for not only future Batman films, but all superhero films. Robert Pattinson shocked audiences with his intimidating portrayal of the masked vigilante, but the entire cast was a nigh perfect ensemble of compelling and powerful performances that brought a fresh, new take on the dark world of Gotham City. The tasteful cinematography, the pacing of the puzzling plot, the beautiful scoring and sound design, and the general atmosphere of the film manages to effortlessly capture audience engagement for the entirety of the 3 hour runtime.

The world of Batman has always been a cold and dreary place filled with dark tones and complicated emotions that are difficult to capture through film. “The Batman” dips deeper into the crushing depression of Bruce Wayne and Gotham City and creates a realism to Batman’s character and world that has never really been done before. It is clear throughout the film that Reeves wants to try and humanize the Caped Crusader. So, Pattinson does what he does best and gives us a broken and unsettlingly offset Bruce Wayne who hides his true self behind a guise. But this time, the “guise” is a sleek, bulletproof set of armor with a cowl and flashy cape, dangerous gadgets, the coolest Batmobile to date, and an awesome obsession with justice and vengeance. Combine this gloomy, fractured, billionaire, orphan turned vigilante with the bleakly hopeless crime underworld of the most dangerous city in the world, and you get a powder keg of action, mystery, and surprises. Throw in a psychopathic, Zodiac Killer inspired murderer known as the Riddler, and watch the fuse slowly burn down as the plot creeps closer to total catastrophe. 

Like he did with his contributions to the “Planet of the Apes” series, Matt Reeves proved with “The Batman” that gritty superhero action movies do not have to be plain and shallow. Fantastic performances from Zoe Kravitz (Catwoman), Jeffery Wright (Commissioner Gordon), and Andy Serkis (Alfred Pennyworth) helped ground the film emotionally and prove that Batman is not always the lone hero of the night. The setting, Gotham City, was visually stunning and provided a fantastic backdrop for the action thanks to cinematographer Greig Fraser. Countless scenes throughout the movie will have jaws on the floor: Batman’s dramatic entrances, an explosive high speed chase featuring the classic muscle car inspired Batmobile, and of course the nail biting finale. The film’s powerful score from Michael Giacchino and incredible sound design envelop the viewer and makes you feel as if you are there firsthand, watching Batman take bullets to the chest and hit harder than Apollo Creed. 

This masterpiece of a film shines a light on the deepest and darkest corners of the city of Gotham as Batman punches and kicks his way through it in the name of vengeance.

 

SCORE: 92/100

Photo from IMDB, Official “The Batman” Poster