“The Batman” exceeds expectations

Evie Klepp ’22, Associate Editor

What’s black and white and red all over?…

The answer is the latest DC Comics film, The Batman, starring Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne, Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman and Paul Dano as the Riddler. It follows the conflict that occurs as Batman attempts to string together the cryptic murders of the Riddler. Wayne is put to the test, fighting Gotham’s criminals, the elites and (as cliche as it may be) himself.

I had no expectations for this movie. My knowledge of the DC Comic universe is limited to watching The Dark Knight, closing my eyes in fear when Two Face was on screen. My trust in Robert Pattinson to be able to pull off the role of Bruce Wayne was equally as limited; all I could imagine Pattinson as was the pale, corny vampire he portrayed in Twilight.

This film was nothing short of stunning. It was a masterclass in cinematography, proof of the remarkable capabilities of Matt Reeves. I have no doubt that shots such as the upside down view of the Batman walking towards the Penguin after a car chase or Batman quite literally being a beacon of light leading the citizens of Gotham will become iconic. The attention to detail is impressive, too: the black eye makeup Batman wears under his mask to hide the skin around his eyes appropriately streams down his face when he takes off his costume, Wayne having to put on sunglasses when he walks into a well-lit room as he is so accustomed to the darkness. These small details allow the viewers to be fully immersed into the universe of Gotham.

And while the cinematography is beautiful, many have criticized this movie for being very dark. It’s true, it is a dark film, both in content and visually. But I believe the darkness only aids in the plot. The idea that in every shadow, every dark corner or alley, Batman could be waiting is a tool used to develop the underlying fear in the movie. We as the audience don’t know if Batman will come out of the shadows and stop the crime we see happening. We become equally as nervous and on-edge.

Re-doing a character that has been done so many times is tricky. I was worried I was going to be seeing the same guy I’ve seen before: the billionaire playboy with perfect parents whose superpower is his money. But this movie was different– it was the story of a flawed man from a flawed family trying to grapple with his personal trauma. Beyond just being a classic action-packed superhero movie, we get to see Wayne’s character develop as he tries to figure out his own morals and goals.

My main critique of this movie comes from its longevity. It is a three hour movie that feels like a three hour movie. I had to stop myself from checking the clock, trying to see how much time was left. That isn’t to say it was boring, but the time spent on exposition can make the movie feel very slow.

Even if you aren’t a big DC Comic fan, I highly recommend you see this movie. While it isn’t exactly a watch-it-with-the-whole-family type, the experience of watching it in theaters cannot be replicated at home. It is truly black and white and red all over: dark, bloody, and a breath of light into the DC movie franchise. I rate it 7/10 bats.