The Batman feels like a nice culmination of a lot of things. Sometimes I felt as if this was an animated Batman movie done in live-action while sometimes I got memories of Arkham Knight flashing in my head by the way Batman was running all over Gotham to solve Riddler’s riddles. But the most happiness I felt while watching Matt Reeves’ The Batman was how much it felt like a classic Batman story.
The Nostalgia of a Bat-Fan
Full disclosure I still like the versions of Batmen in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy and Zack Snyder’s Batman Vs Superman and Justice League (the Snyder Cut) better than The Batman, but each has its own beauty.
My first introduction to Batman was in Batman Begins and it blew me away. I had never been interested in Superhero movies because their superpowers mean they usually find a convenient superpower/plothole to save the day, but Batman had something different about him.
Bale’s Batman was full of charisma and his villains are timeless, the movies still have amazing rewatch value and will always be the definitive Batman movie for me. The way Nolan and Bale managed to take Batman to such heights in The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises I never felt DC could make Batman interesting again.
But then came Zack Snyder. I had never seen a movie like 300. Never had I felt like a comic book came to life in live-action. His way of shooting action with his trademark slow-mo was very intriguing. Almost anime-like. So when Nolan said he trusts no one better than Snyder to take us on a new journey for these DC characters, I had to believe him. And I’m glad I did.
Man of Steel had the most mind-blowing action scenes and so much heart. So when they announced Batman Vs Superman, I was a bit sceptical as to how they could even try to do Batman when Bale’s Batman was so amazing but still excited. Then Ben Affleck gave a performance of a lifetime as Batman. It felt like Frank Miller’s Batman come to life and he still is the most comic book accurate version of the caped crusader for me.
Affleck’s Batman had a genuine arc- from losing faith in humanity to leading the Justice League against Darkseid, it felt surreal. Zack Snyder once again nailed the Batman comics coming to life with his rendition. Watching all this still made me yearn for the Batman vs Deathstroke movie Affleck had planned to make, so I did feel a bit resentful at this new Batman movie which was in essence a replacement for Affleck’s project.
About The Batman
And to be honest all the trailers for The Batman didn’t do much to change my mind either. It felt like yet another origin story but even less style and budget. But then I saw the movie. And it changed my mind completely.
The Batman is phenomenal.
It felt like such an instant Batman classic. Batman just has one mission and that is to save Gotham and it felt like a real ode to the many animated movies and Arkham games we have gotten over the years. The way Matt Reeves combined elements of a classic mob-thriller into a Batman story is truly special. Batman finally feels like a detective in this movie, solving Riddler’s riddles and figuring out his plans. And in many classic Batman tales, it is all about a superhuman effort from Batman and Gordon to save Gotham and this is exactly that.
The way we slowly get to learn how Carmine Falcone is actually the man controlling the strings is genuinely exciting and straight out of a mob-flick. The story of a corrupt Gotham eating itself from the inside is so masterfully written. We truly feel that if it wasn’t for Batman and Gordon the city would collapse soon. While the story was perfect, so were the visuals. Reeves managed to ground Batman but with the help of Greg Fraiser somehow elevated the levels of what a Batman movie can achieve. The action feels intense and especially that Batmobile scene- which is literally the most adrenaline-charged shot I have seen in years.
Lastly, let’s discuss how good of a performance Robert Pattinson gave. The man was just Batman. The movie is completely his from start to finish and he gave a phenomenal performance as Batman. His voice, the fights and his cold but hyper-focused version of Batman were really impressive, and the best part is this is just the beginning, I cant wait to see where he takes it in the sequels.
What made me really happy was how much effort Matt Reeves and his crew put in. Batman is a truly special character and it is encouraging to see new directors coming in and giving their 200 per cent. It is amazing how much the character keeps getting more interesting as we view it through different lenses of these amazing filmmakers.