Tuesday, 3 May 2022
Pros: clever plot, interesting characters, Batman is a detective, good special effects and cinematography
Cons: Cat Woman’s knit mask wasn’t the best costume design choice, some overly heavy gothic architecture
As the Gotham PD celebrate their biggest bust, taking down a drug kingpin, a series of murders by ‘the Riddler’ forces Batman to investigate corruption in the city.
I’ll admit, when I heard they were making another Batman film, I thought ‘why?’. It feels like Batman’s been done to death at this point. Similarly the casting seemed bizarre, though I hadn’t seen the actors in much. But let me tell you, this is an incredible film. This feels very much like an old comic book Batman, when he was a detective, rather than a superhero.
This is a believable, gritty, corrupt Gotham where Batman has been operating for 2 years. He has no extreme equipment beyond a souped up car. It was awesome seeing him solve puzzles and try to figure out what’s going on.
The Riddler has always been one of my favourite Batman villains, and he’s portrayed brilliantly here. The plot is clever and the puzzles complex. I loved that all of the characters had real motivations and their own goals for their actions. That includes the Penguin and Cat Woman. I’ve always thought that superhero films do themselves a disservice by trying to shoehorn in too many bad guys. It works here because there are no long backstory sequences. The characters are just living their lives in the city.
Robert Pattinson is an excellent Batman. He’s clearly been through trauma. I appreciated the personal growth he goes through during the film and the revelation about being The Batman he makes at the end.
There are some great action sequences and some amazing cinematography.
While I can understand why they used it (it’s something a real person could easily get a hold of) Cat Woman’s knit hat/mask combo looked odd with her leather catsuit. I also wasn’t a fan of the rather over the top gothic flourishes in Bruce’s house/apartment? (Wayne manor? it kind of looked like he lived in the office tower so I wasn’t quite sure where this was). The architectural details made doorways weirdly narrow and looked so impractical and out of place.
The film ends with a message of hope that’s been missing from other recent DC movies. Yes, there are still problems, but they can be fixed if people work for the common good.
I didn’t think it was possible for me to like a Batman film more than The Dark Knight, but this has done it. It’s excellent, go see it.