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The Stylus

The Batman finally gets it right


For the first time in a decade we have a good Batman movie. A really, really good one.  

The Batman stars Robert Pattinson in the best live-action version of the caped crusader we have ever seen. He plays an isolated, insecure Bruce Wayne who has fallen off Gotham’s radar. Unlike other adaptations of the Batman comics, specifically the Christopher Nolan-helmed Dark Knight trilogy, Bruce Wayne isn’t in the limelight of the rich and famous. He hides out in his mansion, his only human interaction as Bruce Wayne being with his butler Alfred, played expertly by Andy Serkis.  

His other interactions are almost exclusively behind the mask. He spends a lot of the film working with Jim Gordon (Jeffrey Wright), a Gotham City Police lieutenant, investigating crimes in a detective-style narrative that is immersive and riveting for most of the film’s three-hour runtime.  

Paul Dano offers an incredibly disturbing performance as the Riddler. His character’s focus on puzzles and clues helps to soldify the detective-style movie director Matt Reeves envisioned for his contribution to the Batman saga. 

Zoe Kravitz delivers the best live-action portrayal we have seen of Catwoman thus far. She is a deeply conflicted, mysterious character, and is able to give the character far more depth and significance than any of the four previous live-action portrayals.  

The only criticism I have would be its length. I have seen very few movies that are near the three-hour mark that don’t feel a bit long winded. Although I thought this movie was excellent, there were a couple instances throughout the third hour where the movie could have been cut down a little and still have maintained its quality. Not to delve into spoilers, but there was one scene in particular that could have had a very strong impact if it was the final scene in the movie. If you’ve seen The Batman, you probably know what I mean.  

Overall, this is one of the best movies I have seen in years. Everything feels so deliberate, so specific and so important, with very little filler. It is a complete immersion, a mastery of filmmaking. Some of the cinematography is breathtaking, and worthy of analysis like an old western would be. No stupid overacting like the Zack Snyder nonsense, no generic backstory so common throughout the Batman franchise over the years. The movie is straight to the point. 

This may be controversial, especially to die-hard Dark Knight fans, but I will say it anyway. This is the best live-action Batman movie yet. I really am struggling to find any more criticism for this movie, the acting, the cinematography and the writing are all flawless. I can’t recommend this movie highly enough. 

It is the dark and gritty Batman movie fans have wanted for a long time; Warner Bros. avoided an R-rating due to its poor track record of R-rated superhero movies at the box office. Still, this is not The Lego Batman Movie. This is the real deal Batman, finally.  

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