When the Riddler, a sadistic serial killer, begins murdering key political figures in Gotham, Batman is forced to investigate the city’s hidden corruption and question his family’s involvement.
- Superb performance by Robert Pattinson as The Batman.
- The movie gives a fresh feel to the well-known Batman story.
- The movie focuses more on the idea of Batman as a detective, an aspect of the character that has largely been underplayed or outright ignored by previous adaptations.
Batman: “Our scars can destroy us, even after the physical wounds have healed. But if we survive them, they can transform us. They can give us the power to endure, and the strength to fight.”
Batman: (Looking at Bat-signal)“Fear is a tool. When that light hits the sky, it’s not just a call. It’s a warning.”
Thug: “What the hell are you supposed to be?
[Batman beats down the thug]
Batman: I’m vengeance!”
Alfred: “If this continues, it won’t be long before you’ve nothing left.”
Batman: “I don’t care about that. Any of that.”
Alfred: “You don’t care about your family’s legacy?
Batman: “What I’m doing IS my family’s legacy.”
Upon the announcement that Robert Pattinson would be taking the role of Batman, there was a lot of skepticism on whether he would be able to live up to the high standards of Christian Bale’s Batman in the ‘Dark Knight’ trilogy. Rather than try to meet expectations, The Batman takes a somewhat fresh spin at the well-known Batman story, compelling twists and a strong point-of-view on who, exactly, the Caped Crusader is. By doing that ‘The Batman’ not only lives up to the hype surrounding it, but it turned out to be much better than most critics had expected.
Pattinson’s Batman, in my view, is more humanized and vulnerable. In the sense that we have come to know superheroes in the recent past, he is more of a vigilante than a true superhero. Most superhero films take place on a grand scale, but this one does so in a unique way. Those films are based on massive, world-shattering stakes, and the presentation is scaled proportionately. The stakes in this The Batman are significantly lower and more realistic. That’s not to imply they’re any less significant or effective; in fact, the lack of narrative bombast just enhances our capacity to connect with the story and characters.
The movie undeniably gave us the best onscreen version of the Riddler. Fans may remember the Jim Carrey portrayal being cartoony, but now we get a more, serious, Zodiac-serial-killer-inspired version. Paul Dano did an excellent job with this role using his eyes to provide us a doorway into the character’s fragmented psyche despite wearing a full-face mask and speaking in a digitally manipulated voice.
The Batman is a thrilling story that takes a darker look at Gotham City’s beloved hero as he realizes his place in a city that is just as damaged as he is.
4 out of 5
BY KAPA KAUMBA