The Batman Review: My Favorite Batman Movie Yet


This review contains minor spoilers for The Batman (2022) starring Robert Pattinson and directed by Matt Reeves.

I’m a big fan of Batman. The character has such an interesting history and there are so many aspects to enjoy. Unfortunately, I’ve found that recent films have failed to capture this. In fact, I don’t think I’ve actually enjoyed a Batman movie since Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy from 2012. Going into The Batman (2022), I have to admit I was skeptical. I tend not to like overtly dark and gritty reboots, and some of the casting seemed odd. However, the trailers looked promising, so I decided to see it anyway and form my own opinion before judging it too harshly.

Robert Pattinson as The Batman

Holy. Crap.

This movie shocked me with how good it was. It was the kind of movie that you keep thinking about a week after you’ve seen it. Practically every aspect of it was amazing, from the acting, to the visuals, to all the fun easter eggs included for fans.

This movie wastes no time, jumping straight into the action. It assumes that you already know the basics (Bruce Wayne’s rich parents were murdered, he survives and becomes Batman), so it doesn’t spend any time showing or directly explaining them. However, his origin is referenced throughout the movie, enough that you can understand if you’ve never heard the story before. I very much appreciated this speed, because even though the movie clocks in at a whopping 2 hours and 56 minutes, there are practically no dull moments.

The movie also has a killer soundtrack, headlined by Nirvana’s Something In The Way. The sound design perfectly adds to the tension and hits at all the right moments.

I was somewhat concerned going into this movie that it could be overly gory. I always find an overuse of blood and violence to be a cheap way of providing tension. Plus, I have a weak stomach. Thankfully, this wasn’t an issue at all. Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of violence and dark themes, but much of it is implied or off-screen.

Another big concern I had is that this movie would be over-stuffed. The trailers showcased three separate villains, those being The Riddler (Paul Dano), The Penguin (Colin Farrell), and Catwoman (Zoe Kravitz), rather than the one or two that are usual for superhero films. However, I think the characters and plot points were evenly balanced.

Paul Dano as the Riddler

Many of these characters are somewhat changed from their original comic book versions, but I find that these changes work. The most notable difference is the appearance of The Riddler, trading in his neon green spandex for a more tactical outfit. He’s also much more brutal than his comics counterpart, being heavily inspired by the Zodiac Killer. I wasn’t sure how to feel about this change going into the movie, but it ended up growing on me. It can be hard to keep a character true to the original while also modernizing them and making them somewhat more realistic, but I think this was overall a good change. This is definitely enhanced by Paul Dano’s performance, giving the Riddler a menacing air that is necessary to make the character work. I have to say that this is one of my favorite portrayals of the character.

The best thing about this movie is that it is fundamentally a detective story. You could take away all the references to Batman and change all the characters, and it would still be a solid mystery. The movie also goes out of its way to show us how good of a detective Batman is, something that many previous films have forgotten. Past films have had too many gadgets and too much action, removing one of the main things that makes the character unique. Batman’s talent as a detective is the true power of the character, and makes him more grounded and human than other characters.

That human element is one of the best parts of this story. We are reminded time and time again that Batman isn’t a superpowered alien or a god, he’s just a human like the rest of us. He makes mistakes, he gets beat up, and he’s a flawed person. And those aspects make him such an interesting character, as well as making the conclusion of the film so impactful.

My biggest complaint is that while Robert Pattinson is a great Batman, he isn’t the best Bruce Wayne. This version of Wayne is more of a recluse, rather than the socialite he is in the comics. I feel like this fact kind of undermines the idea that Bruce Wayne is the mask and fake persona rather than Batman. The two blur together too much for my liking. However, I could see this be expanded upon or changed in a sequel.

All in all, I loved this movie and would highly recommend it, even if you aren’t very familiar with Batman as a character. This feels like a turning point for the DC cinematic universe as a whole, and I’m very excited to see where the story goes from here.