“The Batman” takes the character in a brand new direction

Despite the amount of preexisting content, Matt Reeves’ “The Batman” explores a never before seen aspect to the iconic character.

There is no doubt that the “Batman” character requires big shoes to fill. With the number of installments and notable actors leaving their mark on the iconic role, the release of Matt Reeves’ “The Batman” has been more anticipated than ever. 

Following Christopher Nolan’s critically acclaimed “Batman” trilogy which includes talents such as Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Gary Oldman and Morgan Freeman, the bar is set higher than ever for Reeves’ version.

Casting Robert Pattinson in the titular role, some critics voiced their skepticism due to his involvement in the “Twilight” franchise early in his career. Despite this concern, Reeves felt sure in his decision, saying he and co-writer Peter Craig were inspired by Pattinson’s recent work while reconstructing the character.

Delving deep into the “Batman” roots, the film focuses on Bruce Wayne’s early days as the masked vigilante, so he is still honing his craft when it comes to his alter ego. Unlike previous installments, the focal point of the film centers around Wayne’s internal struggles with crime-fighting and his personal need to make a difference in Gotham City.

Pattinson’s portrayal of Wayne was unlike any other, exhibiting an investigative side that has never been explored before with this character. Often opting to remain in the background, he can observe his surroundings in great detail, gathering clues and information the police do not pick up on. Pattinson’s performance captures the audience’s attention with his gritty and reclusive take on the orphaned billionaire, delivering an incredible acting range, many times only needing to use facial expressions.

Taking place during just his second year as the masked vigilante, Batman finds himself caught playing an enigmatic game of cat and mouse with the Riddler, played by actor Paul Dano, who wants to rid the city of corruption. Dano’s version of the Riddler takes a different angle than previous adaptations, drawing inspiration from real-life serial killer, the Zodiac Killer. Mastering the deranged, psychopathic aspect of the notorious villain, Dano displays the character’s intense motive, bordering on delusional at times in his determination to receive vengeance and reveal duplicit individuals in Gotham City.   

The film is studded with several other notable characters, including Catwoman (Zoë Kravitz), Commissioner Gordon (Jeffrey Wright) and the Penguin (Colin Farrell), all of who perfectly match the intensity set by Reeves and Pattinson. The inclusion of multiple classic villains in different aspects of the story adds a level of complexity to the film, making for a more interesting plot while also further digging into Wayne’s troubled past and psyche. 

The film’s cinematography stood out the most. The attention to detail in the setting was insane, which paired with Reeves’ direction made for some beautiful shots. The version of Gotham City depicted in the film is very elaborate, making it more realistic and easier to visualize.

This movie is a must-see, and in my opinion, should be watched in a movie theater to get the full effect. Although this is an action film, the plot and direction broaden its reach, making it suitable for more than just superhero fans. All in all, Matt Reeves’ “The Batman” is an excellent addition to its iconic collection of films, further lamenting the character’s eminence in film history.