The realest Batman yet

Reeves’ Batman portrays a more realistic and troubled caped crusader


When theaters announced this film, I was really skeptical about it. There have been a lot of Batman movies, so how would this one be unique or different? To my surprise, the 2 hour and 56 minute movie was amazing. The casting was perfect for this slow-paced, mysterious, detective film. Not only was the casting spectacular, but the cinematography was incredible. It was so well done that the explosions and choreographed fighting scenes looked epic. Finally, the storyline and the timeline that took place in Batman’s life, which were hard to film well, were amazingly done.

The film starts with a politician, who was running for Gotham’s mayor, gets murdered the night after his debate with the other candidate. Letters and riddles are left everywhere in the apartment the candidate was murdered in and James Gordon, played by Jeffrey Wright, invites Batman into the crime scene because the letters and riddles were clues for Batman. The film takes place when Batman, Robert Pattison, had only been Batman for two years, and in a transition point in Bruce’s life. Throughout the movie we see Bruce Wayne, and Batman, figure out each clue and discover his family’s history and all the sketchiness behind what his past family has done. 

Alfred, played by Andy Serkis, is a huge part in assisting Bruce and being there for him in times of trouble. He is alongside him throughout the whole movie in piecing together the puzzle pieces that were left for Batman. We see the father-like figure Alfred is to Bruce and we also see the complicated and loving relationship they have.

Catwoman, played by Zoe Kravitz, partners with Batman in finding out not only who murdered the candidate for mayor, but other people in close relation within this story that were murdered. These two characters relate to each other a lot and it helps them form this bond of protectiveness towards each other. They meet after Catwoman has lost a close friend, and Bruce, in his own way, comforts her in understanding of that loss. The directors do a great job of creating Catwoman, making her sleek and cat-like with the fighting techniques they chose for her, to the costume design, and behavior towards other people and the outside world.

Penguin is also revealed to us, played by Colin Farrell, and Carmine Falcon, played by John Turturro. Both are amazing actors that were perfectly fit for their respective roles. Through the connections of the Penguin and Carmine Falcon, clues are found and the murderer’s identity is slowly discovered. The journey unravels and we find the Riddler to be the main instigator of all of the chaos and crimes. The Riddler comes close to killing everyone in Gotham City through his followers and great plans with exploding buildings and folding the city. Yet, fails and is arrested and defeated by Batman, with the help of Catwoman and James Gordon. Saving all of Gotham City from further dangerous situations.

It feels a bit slow overall, but never boring. If you are paying attention to what’s going on, you see all the pieces form and fall into place throughout the story. That slow pace helped create more of a realistic timeline with unraveling situations and  solving issues that come up abruptly.

With many moments of silence throughout the movie, we sat in the emotions that Bruce Wayne was experiencing. Revealing the depressing tone of this movie that makes this specific Batman different from the other Batmans. A reference to better describe this movie is that I see it as the equivalent to the newest Joker movie with Juaquin Phoenix, compared with the other interpretations of the Joker in other movies. 2022’s “The Batman” is the most dark and realistic one out of all the other movie Batmans, mirroring his 2019 counterpart from, “Joker”.

Particular moments in the film, especially when Bruce pieces together his family’s history with being involved in shady business, shows the true corruption of an imperfect government. Him being exposed to the reality of his family’s history later on in his life, brings out the sad tone because the truth was hidden away from him. Knowing how everything happened reveals the unfairness in his parents death, knowing it was his family’s history and not anything his parents did specifically, shows you he is still mourning his parents and the unhappiness in his life. He relies on Batman and not Bruce Wayne to not just make the world a better place, but to keep anyone else from ending up like him and having the sad life he has now.

We also see Bruce as a very awkward person and not the best at talking with people. He chooses, and wants to stay away from the outside world and instead stay cooped up in his cave, disconnecting him from social interaction. When he shows up to the funeral in the film, everyone’s shocked and surprised. You don’t all of a sudden gain amazing social skills with being locked in your own home, and those social struggles are what makes this Batman real and relatable. With Bruce investing so much time, money, and effort into Batman, we see that he really knows how to be Batman, and not Bruce. This is highlighted in one of the final scenes in the film when Batman confronts the main villain, the Riddler. In that scene, Riddler points out the fact that the real mask he wears, is not the metaphorical mask that he uses. In reflection, Bruce uses Bruce Wayne as the identity to cover his true self, Batman. 

I love that the directors chose a different villain other than Joker. The Riddler was absolutely fantastic and I think is one of the scariest villains in the Batman universe. Not because he looks scary, because he really didn’t, or the voice filter he uses, but how realistic he is. The fact that he gains his followers on a website and people are crazy enough to follow him and his plans can happen, sets the realistic tone through the situations presented. This creates more fear because it makes it seem that really anyone can be a villain. The Riddler also didn’t have a super power or a crazy costume, and without the mask, he looked like an average guy. As the brokenness is explained and why the Riddler is causing all of this trouble in Gotham City, you see the darkness that festered inside of him, creating a ripple effect of danger, brokenness, and influence.

The downside of this film is just how long it is and for some personality types and preferences, the idea of a puzzle being put together from clues and evidence can be boring. Some people don’t like that type of structure in a movie and some people can’t sit that long in a film. I personally love films that involve puzzle pieces like structure, I believe I’m not the only one. Other than that, it was a great movie and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who hasn’t seen it. Would I recommend watching it again? I honestly don’t think this type of film is something that you can binge over and over again. I would say if you’ve seen it once and sucked in everything, then you are pretty satisfied. I would only watch it if I felt like watching an action/mystery movie, but that shouldn’t stop you from watching it anyway.