The Batman's genius is setting it in year two of the Caped Crusader's career

Fans and critics have praised Matt Reeve's The Batman, for the right reasons with the film hitting the right tone without getting bogged down as a traditional origin story.


The Batman's release has received critical acclaim rarely shared by other DC affiliated films post-Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, and for good reason striking the right tone as a Batman movie without getting bogged down as a traditional origin story.

That isn't to say this is an experienced Batman, like Ben Affleck's or Michael Keaton's Batmans. Matt Reeves launches you into Batman's second year in the job establishing the sense of fear low-level thugs feel towards the caped crusader but still lacks the infamous Rogues Gallery that will grow the longer he continues to don the cowl.

Robert Pattinson faced criticism when the announcement of his casting came out, however, the fears and comparisons to his most infamous role as Edward Cullen in Twilight were wholly unnecessary concerns with Pattinson embracing the dual role of Bruce Wayne and Batman.

As a result, we got a character with genuine depth beyond just Bruce Wayne brooding and fighting crime to conquer one fear or another. Bruce Wayne is awkward, shirking responsibility for his family company, Wayne Enterprises, and wearing sunglasses indoors as though he is perpetually hungover.

There's a person in there but as Director Matt Reeves has described, being Batman is akin to a drug addiction for Bruce to the point that we rarely get to see him and what we do see isn't the billionaire playboy everyone is used to.

However, it makes sense for the film, which likes to remind you regularly that this Batman has some experience under his belt, but is going to make mistakes from not being in the job for long enough, from awkward landings to a Batcave that looks more like he's operating out of a garage you get the sense this is still the beginning of the journey.

Zoë Kravitz excels as the femme fatale Catwoman/Selina Kyle, further injecting grey morality into the film. She's not a hero or a villain, she's just getting by with motivations she doesn't need to clarify, but is one of the warmest characters in the film, giving Batman several wake up calls throughout the film.

Then of course there are the genuine villains in the film, with Collin Farrell as the Penguin and Paul Dano as the Riddler. Farrell's performance flies under the radar despite having some of the most entertaining scenes in the film and isn't a fully-fledged villain just yet but he's on the cusp of his crime empire. Dano on the other hand, has received the acclaim he is well and truly worthy of.

If you've seen Dano's Riddler described as a 'weird little freak' across Twitter and on various reviews of the film by fans then make no mistake that is a compliment. For a villain that is operating as a serial killer and stripped of the gaudy green unitard littered with question marks, the Riddler has all the camp a Batman movie deserves.

More often when he opens his mouth something will come out that will make you laugh be it because of dramatic shifts in vocal tone or the sheer absurdity of what he is saying and other actors with the same script likely would have struggled to embrace the humour that is written into the role.

Related Stories

Superhero movies have fallen into the trap of being formulaic and at times rather boring, as far as the aesthetics of the film, relying heavily on the dynamics of the characters and decent cinematography to distract you from the lacklustre sets and scores that hinge on a soundtrack of iconic songs.

The set design of the film is big but still understated, letting you feel how cold some of these environments are but also showing off how absurdly wealthy some characters are, for instance, the gothic architecture of the Wayne properties, whilst highlighting how others are struggling, like Selina Kyle's apartment.

There also isn't the same issues with sound and lighting design that many of the DCEU films have had, whilst it's often dark, you as the viewer aren't squinting to see what is going on and they play with shadows, creating several incredible action scenes that will end up being added to compilations of good batman fight scenes.

Meanwhile, you aren't straining to hear whispered exchanges between characters and then a minute later feeling like your eardrum is being blown out due to an overly loud heavy bass. Coupled with the fantastic score that features the familiar song Ave Maria, that proved Reeves found the perfect partner to collaborate with, in composer Michael Giacchino.

It's by no means a flawless film and there are moments that make you grit your teeth because a piece of CGI looked a little bit offputting or some fight choreography is a little bit clunky, it's generally forgivable because a moment later you're enthralled by an entertaining exchange or thinking about what is around the next corner.

The other major flaw of the film is the sheer runtime. It requires a significant portion of your day to see the 176-minute long film. Despite that, it isn't a film that feels like it drags like other films with similar runtimes can do.

It is certainly a movie worth seeing in cinemas but for those that find sitting in a cinema for so long the wait to watch it at home on a rainy night, it will be well worth it.

The Batman's critical acclaim hasn't been overstated and it does rank highly amongst the live-action Batman films with many considering it to be second to Nolan'sThe Dark Knightand with the series planned to be a trilogy, anticipation will be high as to what comes next.