With the amount of superhero content coming out at the moment both in games, TV and in theatres you’d be forgiven for getting a bit fed up with it all. Many of the shows from Disney+ have ranged from a mixed bag to sometimes downright mediocre and the last few years have seen their fair share of terrible superhero outings in cinema as well.
The Batman however breathes new life into the genre. Much like the previous Nolan trilogy, The Batman, directed by Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) stands out from the rest of major superhero media as being a phenomenal movie in its own right that just so happens to revolve around a superhero. A stark contrast to the usual Marvel properties of late, The Batman is more of a noir-crime thriller that delivers on almost every beat.
With the style of noir-thriller comes the expectation of dark yet visually intriguing camera work. The Batman is filled with beautiful imagery and shots that really help to sell the overall tone of the film. The use of red and black that fans will have become accustomed to during the trailers is out in full force during major moments in the film and the shot of Batman walking through the flames seen through the upsidedown perspective of Oswald Cobblepot is as amazing on the big screen as it was when initially shown in the film’s trailer.
The film’s cast does an amazing job throughout the three-hour runtime and each motivation and character felt believable for the world the film takes place in. A special mention has to go out to the costume and make up team however for their work on Colin Farrell as Penguin. I had to keep reminding myself that this was the same guy I’d seen in films like The Gentlemen and In Bruges. Alongside this, the three main standout performances of the film have to go to Robert Pattinson (Batman), Zoë Kravitz (Selina Kyle) and Paul Dano (Riddler).
Someone who seems to be making their way all over the superhero world is Michael Giacchino. The man is his own walking multiverse because despite scoring Doctor Strange and the Spider-Man films still has time to grace us with his amazing musical capabilities for his The Batman score. Whilst I’m generally not a huge fan of licenced music in films bar when it’s necessary (like Baby Driver) I have to say the inclusion of Nirvana’s Something in the Way flowed really well with Giacchino’s score. It’s also just a really good song.
It will surprise no one after I mentioned this film is three hours long that this seems like an absurd amount of time to spend with a film and honestly, I found myself straying off at times in scenes that either could have been wrapped up quicker or were just generally dragged out. That’s not to say this is a major fault of the film as some people will relish in the opportunity to see as much Batman as possible and that’s totally fine.
There are a number of questionable pieces of dialogue that had me either laughing when I wasn’t meant to at points or cringing beyond belief but again these were few and far between and honestly there was some humour needed at points to alleviate the tension so they were welcome when they came.
Overall, The Batman is a really interesting one. I came out of the theatre super happy with the experience but as I continue to think about it I can definitely see a few flaws here and there but if you’re someone whose a fan of Batman and have liked what you’ve seen in the trailers I’m sure this won’t disappoint you. If you’ve never seen a Batman film then I’d say this is a great place to start. It takes the Spider-Man: Homecoming approach to storytelling in the fact that we don’t need to see Uncle Ben, in this case, the Wayne parents, die on screen again because everyone has seen it and knows how it happened. Instead, it skips straight into Wayne’s second year as the capped crusader and it’s all the better for it.
If you’d like to discuss The Batman with me a little bit more and talk some spoilers, you can do so over on my Twitter @OdhranJohnson! If you’re interested in indie based games news, reviews and more you can check me and the team at Gaming Sandbox out over on gaming-sandbox.com.
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