Film Review: The Batman (Matt Reeves, 2022)

Let's start this off with a declaration. The reason Matt Reeves' The Batman is the best of its genre (and it may well be just that) is because it refuses to act as if it's part of the genre at all, instead going far above and beyond the typical theme park tentpoles swarming theatres these days. The Batman may technically be a comic book and/or superhero movie, but it owes more to films like David Fincher's Se7en or Zodiac, or Polanski's Chinatown, or even the works of William Friedkin or Fritz Lang than it does to and comic book and/or superhero movie that came before.

The film, based primarily on the comic book Batman:Year Two, is a dark and brutal film, even by normal DCEU standards, which tend to be darker than their average MCU counterpart. This is a superhero movie, much like Zack Snyder's adaptation of Alan Moore's Watchmen, that deconstructs the genre and pretty much tears it apart. Is Batman, a masked vigilante who works above the law, really the hero he claims to be, or is he just an angry well-funded man child who seeks revenge in order to placate his own fractured mind stemming from the brutal murders of his parents right in front of his nine year old face? Other versions of the the character have done this. Christopher Nolan's trilogy certainly digs a bit into it, and in a lesser form, Ben Affleck's Batman from the Justice League's movies dwells on it as well. 

But Reeve's, along with Robert Pattinson as his caped crusader, have put together a brilliant thesis on the whole idea of the superhero and how they are not the black and white, good vs. evil that we were all told as kids. Playing out like a police procedural, searching for the serial killer and would be terrorist known as The Riddler (Paul Dano's take on the character is the farthest cry from Jim Carrey's as one can imagine), The Batman is the strangest and darkest superhero movie ever made. It's central theme is side by side with Todd Phillips' Joker, and Pattisnon's performance has a lot of the same nuance's as Joaquin Phoenix's in that film. Remember, Pattisnon is much more than just "that guy from Twilight." Check mout films like Cosmopolis or Good Time, the latter of which definitely had an influence on his performance in this film.

Also great in the film are Zoe Kravitz as the best Catwoman since Michelle Pfeiffer peeled on the skin tight leather, Jeffrey Wright as Jim Gordon, a good cop fighting his way upstream in a corrupt Gotham police force, and an unrecognizable Colin Farrell as Penguin - playing the part as if he were channeling Joe Pesci's Tommy DeVito from Goodfellas. But it is Pattinson's portrayal of Bruce Wayne, aka (spoiler alert) The Batman, and Reeve's direction (not to mention the cinematography and the editing, sound, production design departments) that make this better and deeper than anything the MCU or the DCEU have given us in this overly saturated comic book movie climate we have today. 

That's it gang. See you at the movies.


  1. This is the second great review F this film so I now truly want to see it.

  2. Great on many levels, and they left plenty of fertile ground for exploring many future arcs in this well created version of the Gotham-verse.


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