If you are depressed and love journaling and eye makeup, then you’re either my girlfriend, or the Matt Reeves version of Batman, whom I am convinced she is. Going into this movie, I knew it was going to be the darkest Batman film to have surfaced, and, in many ways, The Batman is the darkest one we have seen. This new take on the Caped Crusader, portrayed by Robert Pattinson, is unique and memorable, which makes me believe that this universe has potential.
You may think we didn’t really need another Batman and/or Batman film; however if you have seen this version, we very much did. In most Batman films, there is so much action that we just see Bruce Wayne as Batman. However, in this version, we get to understand Bruce Wayne and Batman separately; and comprehend that Bruce has his own struggles beyond the struggles of Batman. He has to be two completely different people and we see that very evidently.
The commentary this film makes on government corruption and policing is extraordinary in that we get to go beyond policing from what the eye can see, into a corrupt system, and how the city of Gotham has to deal with this issue. The Riddler is perfect in this film because he knows what goes on with the corruption. His unique way of crime helps Batman to discover this truth and it is something we very much have to deal with today in the real world with the police getting away with crime.
Same goes for a critique on the rich, which is shown through minor dialogue and visual storytelling. It gives us the understanding that he is rich but he doesn’t understand how to live in a world where everyone relies on him. He is extremely young and we can understand why he hasn’t lived up to his parents name as a philanthropist. Given his previous roles, we gave Pattinson a typecast that made us believe that this film was not going to live up to what it was brought up to be; however, he kicked butt and proved us wrong because he gave us a Batman that I hope lives on for a while.
While this film is not as dark as Todd Phillips’ Joker, this film is quite dark in tone. A lot of shots and angles in this film are very cliche and it takes away from the dark element and commentary this film brings to the table. Sometimes I couldn’t help but giggle at these cliche moments of the film. It made them off-putting for what the tone was supposed to be. There is even a certain villainous character we have seen many times (even if for a brief moment) that we could have gotten away without. Eternals star Barry Keoghan did a very nice job portraying this new take on said character regardless and I hope to understand more about this version in later films.
Reeves nonetheless does an excellent job bringing back another version of Batman, and proved to us why we needed another version of the Caped Crusader. It proves how he can be more relatable to our world instead of having action scenes with a story. This film left us with a few questions that I hope get answered in possible sequels. What we can note is that this is very different from other Batmans we have seen before, and while he won’t be the only Batman on screen in the next few years, he certainly could prove to be one of the best.
TJ Bogart is a Sophomore Film, Photo and Visual Arts major who’s favorite hobby is wearing a cape and jumping off of tables saying “I Am Batman.” They can be reached at [email protected].
Art by Adam Dee.