For years and years and years, the entertainment industry has been inundated with countless comic book movies and TV shows. Everyone's a critic, especially in regards to their favorite comicbook characters coming to life on the big screen. FrostyPhenix here… And I’m here to talk about the most recent movie iteration of one of DC Comic’s most iconic characters, “The Batman”, directed by Matt Reeves and starring Robert Pattinson, Zoe Kravitz, Paul Dano, Colin Farrell, Jeffrey Wright and more. People are giving their reviews of the movie and now I’m finally going to give mine. This is definitely a spoiler alert… give this a read once you’ve seen the movie… Let’s get into it.
The Opening Scene
How movies open are important, just like a news article or an online video or even a tv show pilot. They bring you into the VIBE of the work. The movie opens with the Riddler claiming his first victim, Mayor Don Mitchell Jr., by sneaking into his home as he is watching a playback of his campaign debate with mayoral race opponent Bella Reál. The Riddler leaves behind not only the mayor’s corpse, but his head taped up and a mystery addressed to his nemesis…The Batman. Meanwhile, “fear” that the Batman’s presence looms in the night and hits the criminal element once they catch sight of the signal in the sky as they enact their heinous deeds. After dealing his standard of justice to a group of Skull Masked Thugs who were beginning to assault a man in the subway (one particular thug looks familiar…played by an actor from another DC/Batman Theme show but…we doubt it’s affiliated) Batman heads to the scene of the crime for the murder of Gotham’s Mayor. These scenes set us up for quite a cat and mouse ride of a mystery as far as the Riddler’s Clues for Batman and how far he will go to see his messages delivered.
The Overall Story
From the start with the clues and victims of Riddler all the way to the conclusion of his final criminal act and Batman saving citizens of Gotham, the story is smoothly told and delivered along with elements of comics and superhero feats that weren’t “overdone” but JUST RIGHT when we talk about real life applications. On the surface, we are seeing the story/exchange between Batman and one of his most well known intellectual enemies, The Riddler. Meanwhile, blackmail tells of an affair that the now deceased Mayor had engaged in that opens a can of worms of corruption through Gotham’s Justice System, from the Mayor to the Police Commissioner to the District Attorney…THICK with crooked dealings. And then there is Selina Kyle, introduced into this web of scandal with her own mission…finding out why her roommate/girlfriend who was seen in the pictures with the former mayor is suddenly MISSING while also plotting her steps towards confronting her birth father, Carmine Falcone…leader of the Falcone Criminal Underworld! Each of the city’s political and law enforcement leaders are taken out one by one (by The Riddler and well..their greed if you unpack why they died the way they did). When the mystery finally comes down to exposing Falcone for his hand in the murder of the Mayor’s Mistress, Falcone is murdered ”in the light”! (If you watched the movie, you get it)…by the Riddler via sniper shot from a window…it was all a set up! But even after catching the Riddler, his final plan comes to action and it takes Batman, Selina, Gordon and the entire good side of the police force to protect the people of Gotham as the walls come crashing down around them…literally via ruptured damns around the city. This is the level of noir/gumshoe/crooked gotham that delivers more for its story than its special effects…speaking of which…
Action Elements/Special Effects
Starting with Batman’s fight scenes, they give us just enough Cape Crusader dealing out the hands for everyone who wishes to do wrong in his city…but also a reminder that this Batman is human and he WILL get hit if he is caught slippin…and boy did he get hit (shotgun to the chest, explosion of a bomb in his face, you name it). The Car Chase Scene with the Batmobile, it was a great balance between realistic yet “edge of your seat“ action. Even though anyone who has seen it’s commercials play over and over again, the Batmobile bursting out of the flames to catch his prey still delivered an A1 Chase Scene Finish. It didn’t over or under deliver in this department and I am thankful for that.
Robert Pattinson delivered quite a convincing early career Bruce Wayne, still trying to find his purpose in the fight, his mission in the madness. Zoe Kravitz’ delivery of a modern day Selina Kyle was well done, focusing more on Selina herself than her alter ego as Kravitz herself stated. Pattinson and Kravitz’ chemistry as the Bat/Cat Will They/Won’t They was a great tease. Not overdone but not absent. Maybe in the next movie, she will meet Bruce Wayne and sparks will fly there as well. Jeffrey Wright’s portrayal of Lieutenant James Gordon is spot on! Gordon takes no mess and always shows why he is the best fit to be the next Police Commissioner of Gotham City. Pattinson and Wright have that clear chemistry between Batman and Gordon that we love to see. The trust is there but it’s clear that there is still growth to be had between this buddy cop duo. Andy Serkis delivered a caring but stern Alfred and I’m here for it. Paul Dano’s Riddler has a more realistic feel to his obsessions with riddles and application to his crimes. Colin Farrell delivers Oswald Cobblepot to the same level in my opinion that John Leguizamo delivers the Clown in the 1997 superhero film adaptation of Spawn (if you haven’t seen it, you need to)…spoiler alert, that’s a good thing in my book! Shout out to the rest of the cast. There were no “unnecessary” characters in this film.
There were a lot of eyes on this movie to deliver since Batman movies are as “go-to” for a theater seat filler as Spider-Man's films are. Past Batman portrayals and movies have been analyzed and dissected to kingdom come but this film definitely falls amongst one of the greats. Outside of follow up sequels for this movie, we can definitely chill on the Batman movies for a while though. Oh, and my mom called earlier today before I wrote this article, she loves Batman and gave this movie high praise…that’s saying quite a bit.
Opening Scene: 4/5
Overall Story: 5/5
Action Elements/Special Effects: 5/5
Character Portrayals: 5/5
Final Score: 4.5 out of 5
“The Batman” is in theaters now. Check your local listings. Follow @Phucaname across social media for our daily posts and weekly IG lives, and follow me, @frostyphenix, across social media for my every so often posts.