“A film so dark, I had to put my sunglasses on when I left the cinema.” – TVTA
I rarely do reviews here at TVTA, but you know, I’m gonna make an exception today, because I’ve just had my all-senses blown away by the dark cinematic juggernaut that is The Batman, directed by Matt Reeves and starring Robert Pattinson as Batman/Bruce Wayne, Zoë Kravitz as Catwoman/Selina Kyle, Colin Farrell as Oswald Cobblepot/the Penguin, Jeffrey Wright as James Gordon, and Paul Dano as Edward Nashton/the Riddler.
Shoutouts too for the supporting cast of John Turturro, Peter Sarsgaard, Jayme Lawson and Andy Serkis among others. The acting dynamics behind this film is nothing short of chemical poetry.
At just shy of three hours running time, you might be put off by venturing to your cinema to see it – but don’t be… The Batman is a film that keeps you on the edge of your seat and caters for all your sensory needs. Before you know it, you’ll be wondering where those three hours went.
The film is pitched in the darkest noir tones you could imagine; from the brooding architecture of the almost non-stop rained-upon Gotham City, to wild and ornate gothic interiors that would have Tim Burton nodding in appreciation, to the dank and murky Batcave, to the pulsating nightclub, to gloomy apartment windows and helicopters patrolling a Bat-signalled black sky. Fellow blogger Paul Bowler pointed out that the film’s look has a certain Seven vibe to it, and I would agree with that. I would also add the film has a few Edward Hopper ambient moments, maybe too Metropolis.
Robert Pattinson in the role of The Batman is by far my favourite take on the Caped Crusader. A brooding, sullen and sympathetic figure who is clearly at odds with his persona as billionaire Bruce Wayne, and more keen to get on with some honest detective work. Zoë Kravitz as Selina Kyle/Catwoman is introduced to us at the seemingly entry level of her persona – a spirited and fearless would-be assassin. Watching her character grow in any further instalments is going to be a treat.
An unrecognisable Colin Farrell in the role of the Penguin is a joy to watch. As is Paul Dano who plays Edward Nashton/the Riddler – a villain completely unhinged from reality. In costume, the Riddler horrifies us, but it’s when he’s out of costume in his seemingly unassuming, bespectacled self that his creepiness factor truly comes into play. For me, I haven’t seen a creepier villain since Kevin in Sin City.
Let’s hear it for the sound! The soundtrack is just phenomenal; from Nirvana’s ‘Something In The Way’ to the classic ‘Ave Maria’ to the sound of Batman’s bootsteps sploshing in the rain-soaked sidewalks of Gotham City.
What else can I say… there are some cool Bat vehicles, a superb car chase, a hint of romance, violence and action galore, a delightful cameo by one of Batman’s arch foes, and black oodles upon black oodles of dark, twisty, black, shadowy noir to keep you feeling darkly noir-ish until next time…
Me, I can’t wait to see it again!
The Batman is released by Warner Brothers in March 2022. All images in this post courtesy of Warner Brothers and DC Comics.