I must preface this review by saying that I am not a big fan of DC Comics, so I did not come into the movie theater with high expectations. In all honesty, I only watched the film because I had major FOMO, and it was a trending topic. I did, however, know that Robert Pattinson and Zoë Kravitz are indeed very talented (and very attractive together) and that the trailer was actually quite good.
Directed by Matt Reeves, “The Batman” stars Batman, a.k.a Bruce Wayne (Robert Pattinson), and Catwoman, a.k.a Selina Kyle (Zoë Kravitz), who, beyond being his love interest, has a depth of her own with strong character and conviction. The film has almost a three-hour runtime, which I was surprised about because I did not expect it to be that long. It really doesn’t feel like much once you’re watching it; it really does a great job of sucking you into the plot so much you don’t even want to get up (which happened to me twice when I needed to use the bathroom). In this film, the audience watches as Batman works alongside Catwoman through several murders done by The Riddler (Paul Dano) who is the film’s main villain… The Riddler himself is such a great character. I think his plans are very clever and the riddles left behind to make the film engaging as the audience itself tries to solve them. I enjoyed The Riddler going after the corrupt instead of harming innocent citizens… up until the last scenes of the film where he tries to wipe out the entire city of Gotham with a giant flood.
What I liked
I really enjoyed the film’s structure; it was very different and not cliche at all like I have seen most superhero movies be. The first couple of minutes of the film really solidified the difference to me as it jumps right into a murder scene. After that, it has so many elements to it: horror, thrill, mystery and even romance. The Riddler is unique and uncovers a darker truth about our society: the corruption and shady business that people in power can often have.
I absolutely loved Catwoman’s character. I like that she has a strong mind and doesn’t hesitate to take things into her own hands. I think the film industry lacks a lot of strong female characters, especially when their sole purpose is to be a love interest to male leads or to sexualize them. The chemistry between Pattinson and Kravitz was honestly so good. I particularly liked the ending. Catwoman is determined to leave Gotham and tries to convince Batman to do the same and explore life beyond the city. With his role as a vigilante and strong sense of duty, Batman declines. I thought she would feel compelled to stay with him for a moment, except she doesn’t. Just as she planned, she drives off. I love her straightforward nature and the fact that she doesn’t allow anyone to change her mind, even the man she may have feelings for. She’s stronger than her feelings, and we see it repeatedly throughout the film.
I appreciated that the film gave enough context to what was happening; someone who had no clue about Batman or previous films could watch this and not miss a lot. This is in comparison to Marvel films in which you have to watch previous movies to understand what’s going on. In other words, it’s a simple enough watch for a non-fan like me!
What I didn’t like
Controversial, but in certain scenes, I wouldn’t say I liked Pattinson’s acting style. At times it seemed very disconnected and nonchalant. But, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt- Bruce Wayne’s character might just honestly be like that.
This is such a minor detail, but I was underwhelmed after hearing so much about THE iconic Batmobile. I expected it to fly and be super high-tech. I know it’s supposed to have a retro look but I expected a highly modified version. It doesn’t take away from the film, but I was looking forward to seeing a super decked-out car.
My final complaint is about not enough focus on Catwoman. I hope that we get more of Catwoman in any future series or films with this particular Batman. I think her character is so good and would love to see it explored more.
I think it’s a great movie; there’s a lot to it that keeps you on the edge of your seat and even makes you anticipate a sequel. So, if you have a spare 3 hours and $20 (because let’s be honest, movie snacks are expensive these days), I definitely recommend you all to indulge in this thriller-meets horror-meets romance film!
Four bat wings out of 5! Definitely NOT a flop!
Featured Image by Sharon Lobo