“The Batman” for the film-bros is a riddle to decipher

By Riley Dauber
Elm Staff Writer

The 2022 reboot of “The Batman,” released on March 4, sees Robert Pattinson taking on the moody role of playboy billionaire Bruce Wayne.

Fans of Pattinson have been gearing up for the film since it was originally announced that he would be playing the titular role.

In a 2019 interview with The Guardian, Pattinson explained that he sought out ‘The Batman’ because ‘I felt a connection to it, I don’t know why. I just really wanted it. [The role has a] power, which is why everyone is attracted to it. It’s an unidentifiable thing.’”

Directed by Matt Reeves, “The Batman” follows Bruce Wayne in his second year as the vigilante Batman.

The film picks up when Mayor Don Mitchell, Jr. is murdered by a mysterious killer known as The Riddler, who is leaving clues and cyphers around the city specifically for Batman to find.

He must investigate the murders and mystery, and along the way, he meets cast of different characters, including Catwoman and The Penguin.

From the first shot of the film, it is clear that Reeves is a talented director.

The film is visually appealing, if a little male gaze-y, what with the lingering shots on Catwoman played by Zoë Kravitz.

Scenes are framed as if Bruce Wayne is looking in on the people of Gotham, showing his detachment from them despite his goal of saving them.

The beginning of the movie held a lot of promise, with angsty dialogue from Bruce Wayne and an interesting mystery. It is very entertaining with plenty of suspense, thanks to the music from Michael Giacchino. Paired with the visually interesting direction, I was hopeful.

But then the car chase scene happened and the film went downhill.

Following a car chase between Batman and The Penguin, the film’s flaws were on full display.

Many plot points were left unresolved by the end of the film, and everything seemed out of order and messy.

Overall, the film is very overstuffed. Reeves is trying to do too many things in this first installment.

One major hanging thread came from the lack of Kravitz. If they had decided to spend more time on her relationship with Batman, I would not have complained.

Her backstory is interesting, but at times it feels less important compared to the main mystery and The Riddler’s goal of exposing the corruption in the city.

The Riddler, played by Paul Dano, is campy and fun. Every time he is on-screen and doing his live streams, you are sure to laugh.

“I saw the movie as a comedy instead of whatever it was supposed to be,” freshman Lucy Verlaque, who saw the film twice in theaters, said.

The film has a huge tonal issue, along with its many unnecessary plotlines.

If it had stuck to the main storyline with The Riddler — which made the first hour of the movie very entertaining and enjoyable to watch — it would have been 10-times better.

But then there is the question of what would the film cut in order to make its three-hour runtime shorter?

The Penguin is admittedly a very funny character to watch on-screen, and Colin Farrell does a great job of disappearing into the character and becoming him. So, he must stay.

Some of the character development scenes are a snooze fest. One scene in particular of Alfred and Bruce Wayne discussing his family history is yawn-inducing.

The writing is another major issue of the film. Written by Reeves and Peter Craig, the dialogue is clunky and generic at times.

Every line that comes out of Lieutenant James Gordon’s mouth — played by Jeffrey Wright — belongs in a cheesy cop movie. His character is poorly written and very dumb, relying on Batman to tell him everything.

I was very disappointed in “The Batman,” considering the generally positive reviews from the public. But the film is the epitome of a “film-bro” movie: not enough women characters, but plenty of angst and moody lighting, along with too many unresolved plotlines and character arcs.

The film seems to be setting itself up for a sequel, but I would have liked to see a complete story in this first installment.

The three-hour runtime seems unnecessary, and the film is a chore to get through. With such a promising first act, the rest of the film cannot live up to its beginning. Pattinson is attempting to play Batman/Bruce Wayne, but I just see him as Edward Cullen.

You might like this movie. But I did not.

Photo Courtesy of Flickr

Featured Photo Caption: Best known for his role as Edward Cullen in the “Twilight” series, Robert Pattinson added the Caped Crusader to his bat-themed resume.

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