The Batman (review)

So, what did I think of The Batman? It was.........okay.

I thought it was just........okay. Nothing I saw was bad, and nothing I saw really wowed me. It was worth the money to go see, but I don't need to see it again anytime soon. Literally every person that I have talked to has said the exact same thing about this movie. I'm not even exaggerating. Even people that I have just met on my Twitch streams have said the same thing and others told them the same thing. Definitely a pattern here. No one that I know of personally or any review I have seen online says the movie was "bad." The consensus that I have gathered is that people either thought it was alright, or fantastic. I have noticed something interesting.

The people that are singing the praises of this film all seem to have something in common. They give the usual.... "This movie had great cinematography"

"This movie had great acting"

"This movie had a great-plot"

......without any explanation or context as to what they mean by that. What do you mean by great cinematography? What shots in particular are you talking about? What about the acting stood out to you the most? What did the actors specifically do that you thought was great? What about the plot was so great? What details? I'll be honest. A lot of people just use those terms to try and sound like they are giving an intelligence-synopsis when in reality they are trying to convince themselves that a film is something that it isn't. Now if you CAN give detailed explanations in those categories, then you aren't in that group. Obviously everyone is entitled to their opinion and there is no right or wrong. Everyone is allowed to enjoy whatever they want, but when you can't explain as to WHY you like something it does raise a red-flag and is fair to give the side-eye to that take. Maybe you cannot full-articulate exactly why you like something in the way you would want to which is understandable (especially if you've just watched it,) but you can give me something to work with.

It is also suspect when you have to use Ad-Hominems when praising a film. If you have to "put down" the Nolan films in order to praise this film, that pretty much exposes you right there. I can praise the fabulous-job that Joaquin Phoenix did in Joker without putting down or even comparing it to Heath Ledger's Joker in The Dark Knight, or Jack Nicholson's Joker in the 1989 Batman film. Here is my explanation of what I liked about the film. PROS I thought that Robert Pattinson did a solid-job as Batman. He had good on-screen presence. He was believable. He respected the role, and I was able to lose myself in the character and believe he was "Batman." Kudos to him because a lot of people (including myself) were skeptical that he could do it. Well, he did and a good job to boot. I liked Zoe Kravitz' performance as Selina Kyle/Catwoman. She did a great-job of portraying Selina Kyle's personality of having a sense of purpose to where NOTHING will stand in the way of getting what she wants, but at the same time a warmer-side that you can understand why she makes the decisions she does even though you don't agree with her methods. This is the hallmark of a great villain or heel character. Being bad for the sake of being bad just doesn't work. People are too sophisticated for that these days. There needs to be a reason why villains do what they do and it has to be a relatable-reason which creates a connection with the viewer and an underlined-path of possible future redemption. You find yourself hoping, cheering that one day they will see the light and turn good. I liked Colin Farrell's portrayal as the Penguin. Definitely different than any incarnation I have seen thus-far. If no one had told me ahead of time, I would never have guessed that it was Colin Farrell. You can tell that Penguin is still building his empire which for the time-frame of this movie makes sense. While he does come across as just another mobster at times, there is a part in the movie where he is handcuffed and shackled and he does like a shuffle-step, waddle, Penguin-like walk for a few seconds. It's on a wide-shot but you can clearly see that. I thought that was cute. I liked the crime-noir style of the film. This was not a "super-hero" movie at all. This is NOT DCEU or MCU-esque. The style of this movie is more like and mash-up of Joker and The Watchmen. Batman is supposed to be the world's greatest detective and this movie allowed him to be just that. It was dark and gritty which I like. To be honest, this style in my opinion would work better as a TV-series, but that is drifting into the "con" territory which I will deal with in a minute. The cinematography was good but there wasn't anything that I can point out as being better than what I've already seen in other Batman films. It does have a similar-feel to that of Joker in the way it was shot. Set-design I would say was more impressive and creative. They really did a good job to make this look and feel like Gotham. They also definitely did away with all ambiguity on what city Gotham was based-on. It's definitely based on New York City. They made sure of that not only involving the Atlantic Ocean into the plot, but having Gotham Square Garden as well. Here are the things I didn't like about the movie. CONS

As I said before, Robert Pattinson did a solid-job as Batman. He makes his first on-screen appearance in the film as Batman............and he remained Batman for the rest of the film. He never stopped being Batman. Not in his personality. Not in his mannerisms. Not in his voice or inflections. He was literally the same character for all of the movie whether he was Batman, or Bruce Wayne. It didn't bother me per-se, but it was noticeable and when I reflect on this, I say to myself...

"If I was even a mid-tier criminal, it would be pretty easy for me to put two and two together to ascertain that Bruce Wayne is Batman." The only push back that I could offer to that stance is that this Bruce Wayne is extremely-reclusive and rarely made public-appearances which again goes back to how there was little to no difference between Bruce Wayne and Batman. Now this isn't a problem right now. It is still very early in his quest of being the masked-vigilante. He is still "learning-on-the-job" as it were. Maybe in future films his character will learn to camouflage his personality more while he is in public and not just resort to being introverted and reclusive. It can become problematic if there is no change or growth in this character going forward. The combat. While I like the idea of Batman's combat being a more rugged fighting-style and that the scenes are not over-choreographed, I'm a little confused on his abilities. To the best of my knowledge, the Batman character has always known several martial-arts. How many and what types has varied throughout the years. This Batman just seems like a brawler and it was said that Alfred was the one that taught Bruce how to fight.

So, if that is the case, that does make this incarnation of Batman weaker because one of the things that makes Batman so deadly was his extensive-training and various martial-arts which both from a physical and mental standpoint made him nearly impossible to beat (or even touched) in combat from anyone without superpowers. Sure, he could learn more martial-arts in the future, but they would have to do a pretty significant time-skip to the next film in order for him to get to the level we have known Batman to be to this point. Also, It's clear that Batman had on bullet-proof armor because he got shot at A LOT, yet not a single bullet penetrated his armor that I can remember unless I missed something. He even got shot at point-blank range with what looked like a elephant-gun. It rightfully knocked him on his tail, but again he survived. For him to have armor this effective, his suit would have to be extremely heavy even if it was some type of Kevlar-material underneath the armor itself. That was the only thing in the movie I felt was "unrealistic." With so much attention to detail in this movie to ground it in realism, that kinda feels like a gross oversight. The Riddler. I did not like the Riddler AT ALL. The Riddler is supposed to be someone that is so intelligent that he feels all of humanity is beneath him, and his criminal-activities were just a means-to-an-end to showcase to the world his brilliance. The Riddler in this movie seems more emotionally-disturbed than anything else and he is using his brilliance to make society pay for what in his mind was a hard-life. A cliche' toupe of someone that doesn't understand what responsibility is or means.

Everything is everyone else' fault but my own. I have gifts that I can use to make the world a better place, but because I can't get what I want WHEN I want it, to hell with everyone else. I'm gonna make everyone else suffer as much and I am making myself suffer.

It's definitely a completely-different take on the Riddler, but I'm not a fan of this change. He seems like someone who can very easily be manipulated, which we saw a glimpse of at the end of the film. Lastly. This movie was WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY too-long. Kinda like this review! :)

I guess we should be used to this because over the past 20 years if you count the run-times of every Batman film the average is 2 hours and 30 minutes. However, because of the heavy leaning on detective-work and dialogue where not a lot is happening, it's tough to sit in a movie theater for 3 hours plus (counting movie-trailer times, advertisements, etc.) This is why I say this style would work better as a TV series or a streaming-series where you can bite off small chunks of it that you can handle at the time. If you want to binge through the whole thing, it's easy to do that in the comfort of your own home. Other than that, the movie was pretty okay. Nothing mind-blowing. A good first-film. A nice start. Not every franchise or trilogy can explode out of the gate, or needs to. I am intrigued to see where this goes next.

7 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

In 2009 I had a serious accident at work. I fell off of a ladder which was about 15 feet off the ground. I remember that day because it was an easy day. I only had 4 jobs to do. It was not raining