A little after the fact, sure, but let’s talk about The Batman.
It’s difficult to understate how unenthused I was by yet another “dark, gritty Batman film.” How many times can we go through this? Every single time that a new iteration of Batman arrives, it’s described as “darker, grittier.” Hell, they even put The Riddler in a gimp mask this time around! Why.
Now, I didn’t write it off. I knew the director, Matt Reeves, was talented. And nothing in the trailer seemed particularly unappealing. (Though, the “I am vengeance” line didn’t help anything) And I’m no purist, I’m open to new interpretations and stories that don’t follow previous lore, so I was more than willing to give this new version a chance.
And lemme tell ya, it doesn’t disappoint.
- All the actors did an exceptional job in their role, even though some were underwritten a little, like Alfred.
- The feel of Gotham hit the spot for a contemporary Batman movie. Felt seedy, dangerous, of a different time but also modern. Really liked it.
- The third act was a little over-the-top and the setup wasn’t enough for what they wound up doing. That said, it was still enjoyable if for nothing else than there was no beam of light to the sky or macguffin of that sort.
- Catwoman. Great character & performance. Highlight of the film.
- Most visceral Batmobile chase we’ve ever had. You really feel it. The complaints about the dark rain are warranted, it was hard to see at points, though the look was intentional.
- It was definitely the most slow-paced Batman movie I think I’ve ever seen, but it was not lacking in action at all.
- Really liked the suit. It felt cobbled-together but extremely functional. The cowel was a little dodgy, looks-wise, though not enough to really bother me.
- Could probably have cut a half an hour, easily, and the movie would have been better for it. But, it never dragged, in my opinion.
- The music was fantastic. It played a big part in the film and rose to the occasion. Been listening to the soundtrack regularly since seeing the movie.
- Would recommend the movie, for sure. Had a really good time watching it.
SPOILER thoughts below:
- The Riddler’s exploding vans really came out of nowhere. I don’t think that a seawall was ever mentioned once in the movie, or I missed it the one time that I went to the bathroom (it was a long movie); so when suddenly Gotham is flooding because of a few bombs, it felt completely out of left field.
- The Riddler’s meeting with Batman was a really great scene. Paul Dano did a fantastic job morphing between believing Batman is his accomplice and disappointment realizing he’s not and bemusement realizing that his plan will still work. Just a great performance.
- Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman was great. And her pushing back against Batman’s position of privilege was also great. If they have a sequel, I hope they bring her character back. She could really be a great foil for Batman, moreso than just because she’s a “criminal.” Having someone calling out Batman for all the right reasons would be the best thing for the character in a long time.
- I also hope for a sequel to explore more of the idea that Batman is a source of hope for the people suffering. That he is a scourge for those who prey on the disadvantaged, the marginalized, the weak, more than he is a source of pain for those who don’t have been put in a terrible situation and are doing what they must to survive. They touched on it, but the next movie could really turn around the unfortunate, if accurate, notion that Batman is a rich kid who beats up poor people indiscriminately if they are commiting a crime. They could make Batman and Bruce Wayne more interesting than his villains, for once.
- The best, the BEST part of the movie was when Gordon and Batman are interrogating Penguin and he just tears into them for being stupid dummies. Then they get mad and leave him tied up, so he starts cussing at them like Sweet Dee from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. *chef’s kiss*
So, of course, those aren’t all my thoughts, but they are the most pertinent ones, I think. I hope that everyone else enjoyed this movie as much as I did! Here’s hoping we get to explore this Batman and his Gotham some more.