Yup. You’ve read that right folks. The Batman Review is next for us, and it’s quite a treat. Both the movie and this review admittedly. And although we don’t have any DC Comics / Warner Bros titles (for the time being) we do have plenty of other games that have vigilantes as characters.
You might say Ezio Auditore da Firenze from the Assassin’s Creed series is one (check it out here). And some might add Raiden from the Metal Gear franchise in this bracket. Check out our Metal Gear offerings here. But who can forget Rayne from the BloodRayne series? Yes, we have it here at IndieGala too. Batman might be the most famous one, but there are plenty of others to add to the bunch.
But since we already announced the movie (in our COVID movie delays article). And in our list of most anticipated March releases (check them out here)… It’s only fair to tell you our impressions of it (some minor spoilers included). So why not start now?
The Batman Review: Out With The Old, and In With The New
Well, the old is the good old Gotham. And the new is pretty much every actor in Matt Reeve’s latest vision of the comic book. And it’s been a while since we’ve had a Batman film adaptation. About 10 years I’d say, but that’s not the point. Reeves delivered a solid (albeit flawed) rendition of the caped crusader, and there’s a lot to unpack in this mammoth 3 hours long movie. But let’s give it a shot.
And let’s start with the good!
The brand new actors are quite good. Led by Robert Pattinson (stay tuned for more on him) in the lead role, Matt Reeve’s Batman movie doesn’t disappoint in the acting department. Pattinson delivers a more solemn, moody and dare I say, rookie Batman. And speaking of, there’s a lot more of Batman than Bruce Wayne here. I don’t mind, but it’s a weird adjustment from Nolan’s vision, I gotta say. Zoe Kravitz is a solid Selina Kyle/Catwoman, while on the other hand, Paul Dano delivers a chilling and demented version of Edward Nashton / Riddler. I mean the only thing that differentiates Batman and the Riddler is their background. They’re both orphans, but one of them is filthy rich, while the other one is dirt poor and abandoned by the society around him. And I kept wondering throughout the movie if he’d become the demented killer that he is, if he wasn’t neglected. I guess that nature VS nurture theory here is really up for a debate.
But frankly, I wanted to see more of Colin Farrell’s Oswald “Oz” Cobblepot / Penguin and yes. Even from Andy Serkis’s Alfred Pennyworth. They have hyped a lot prior to the release, and not utilized enough in here I thought. What’s the point of going through so much trouble to get Farrell and use him in like 20 minutes or so? Serkis is even less in the movie, which is a crying shame really. But I digress.
Now Jeffrey Wright did a fantastic job as the commissioner Gordon, and I loved the Seven vibe I got from him and Batman. They’re a nice detective duo here, and I thought: Yes! Finally! Batman doing what he’s supposed to do! Solving crime through clues, evidence and riddles. Add the noir-like voice-over from the caped crusader himself and boom. It’s a new and improved approach to the same-old story.
The Batman Film Review: Is A Rookie Batman What We Need?
Turns out it is! Even in a movie that could use a bit of trimming in the last act. Let’s be clear the fantastic direction from Reeves and the beautiful cinematography Greig Fraser don’t allow for boredom to creep in. Almost! Although the run-time didn’t really bothered me, I kept thinking… Come on! Wrap this up, people! But yeah. Our eyes are invested in the story in a visceral way, while the noir-inspired screenplay from Reeves and Peter Craig paints a different Gotham. A more dark, gritty and hella corrupt. Its decaying state is only accelerated by neglect, crime and broken promises.
And we see a rather rookie, Batman in it. One that doesn’t have the confidence we all associate with Batman. And even the right tools for the job. Did you notice how even his Batmobile is not in such great shape? Let alone the Batman suit? And did you notice how he’s not that regarded in Gotham? Especially his meddling in the high-profile murder investigations? Not a bad starting point for a new Batman. One that doesn’t have the same origin story (thank God). No. He’s about 2 years in vigilantism and he’s not that big of a hot-shot. Hey! Even superheroes had to start somewhere, right?
Yup. And if you’re looking for the best possible depiction of character growth, then look no further than in Batman himself. Let me explain. Did you notice his three different attempts to enter the nightclub? First as Batman, then as Bruce Wayne and finally in a more stealth/ninja mode? Yeah. That should tell you about the character’s development. Done in a very simple, yet effective manner.
Batman is now more of a character. Not just an alter ego to a character. And I enjoyed that to be honest.
Great Chemistry, Great Story, Great CGI
Speaking of chemistry… I enjoyed the chemistry with Selina a lot more than I did in Nolan’s version. And I also liked the fact that she’s a rookie as well. She’s insecure at times and with plenty of flaws. Hey, even her costume needs work. But over here she has her own more personal motives, and I liked the scenes in which she and Batman had to work together.
However, in terms of the story, the voice-over helped a lot. Not only in terms of the noir-like vibe, but in the exposition as well. And when I saw the number of villains in this movie, I feared that I would be a new Spider-Man 3. Over-stuffed and over-crowded to the point of suffocating the story. But no. While some villains were given the right amount of time to shine, others were not so fortunate. I guess that brought back the balance a bit, but as I said… I wanted more of some of them. What’s the point of having them if you’re turning them into bench-warmers?
However, I did enjoy the CGI in Batman. Steeped in realism and mascaraed in practicality the CGI here is simple yet effective. You almost don’t notice it, and I like it. Speaking of liking things… I liked the movie as a whole as well.
The Batman Movie Review: Flawed But Great?
Yes, it is. It’s pretty damn great. Despite some questionable motivations, on the nose plot-armor and convoluted executions at times, it’s a nice step in the right direction for the characters. Not just for Batman but almost all of them as well (can’t quite say the same about Bruce Wayne). I am optimistic about the next two movies in the trilogy.
But what’s your take on the new Batman movie? Did you like it? And what do you think about our The Batman review. Let us know in the comment section. We’d love to know all about it!