Newest Batman adaptation returns titular character to crime-fighting detective roots

Pattinson and Reeves shine as lead actor and director of new Gotham adventure


Photo by Jonathan Olley/ Warner Brothers.

Diego Blanco, Staff Reporter

Batman has been through many iterations through tv shows, movies, comics and probably more, but as the years went on Batman began to stray away from what he began as. The latest and possibly greatest Batman movie, “The Batman” directed by Matt Reeves, has returned the character to his humble beginnings of a crime fighting detective.

Although this is back to basics, The Batman is not an origin movie, instead the story takes place during Bruce Wayne’s second year as the caped crusader. “The Batman” focuses on the main villain Edward Nashton, or the Riddler. Matt Reeves decided change the Riddler by making him a psychopathic murderer who wants revenge on those who wronged him, because of this the story is much darker and Reeves wanted it to be clear every time he has spoken on the movie.  

“It’s so many things, obviously it’s a propulsive spectacle, it’s a horror movie but it’s also a very intricate detective story and I wanted to do the world’s greatest detective story for Batman,” said Reeves in an interview with

He perfectly succeeded in creating a unique look to Gotham, it’s disgusting and filthy in a way that works, along with that there’s a ton of close ups that show dirty hands, or close ups of eyes just to show pure reactions to this prison that is Gotham City.

After two years since the teaser, “The Batman” released and expectations were surpassed, the praise was immense and it is a great big blockbuster movie to start the year. Matt Reeves brought his vision of this universe perfectly. Like most things there was some backlash and criticism for his choices but it still turned out to be a beautiful piece of film. 

Without entering spoilers “The Batman” focuses on a series of riddles that are being left at crime scenes that Batman must solve, the Riddler is played by Paul Dano who despite the friendly face can pull off a psychopath perfectly and makes Riddler seem like a threat, but also a waste of someone’s time.

Along with Dano there’s also Colin Farrell as Oswald Cobblepot (The Penguin) and John Turturro as Carmine Falcone as some minor villains, both are in the movie for a very short time but every scene with them is a riot, especially Farrell. He stands out the most, he is unrecognizable in this movie and has the best comedic scenes without it feeling unnatural, every actor in this movie does a phenomenal job, but some performances shine more than others, which brings us to the main trio of the movie: Robert Pattinson as Batman, Jeffery Wright as James Gordon and Selina Kyle (Catwoman) played by Zoë Kravitz.

This trio have a great relationship with each other so when they work together and constantly talk to each other  it never comes off as pointless exposition instead it’s a conversation between friends. Something else done well is the relationship between Catwoman and Batman. It’s been shown before that it’s difficult to develop a realistic romance that doesn’t feel forced; however, ‘The Batman’ makes it better by showing how they got entangled and that’s really where their story together begins.

Apart from the writing and acting the best thing in this movie is the effects. Matt Reeves has discussed the use of visual effects used in the movie, for shots like a sunset or background but he has stated his thoughts on the use of CGI.

 “I think, when you’re doing CG stuff is the sense that you could do anything and then the first thing I do is make sure that we don’t do ‘anything’ because that means you could put the camera through wall, it could beat the bullet, you could do all those things and I’m not interested in those things,” said Reeves in an interview with Entertainmentie. 

Reeves wanted a lot of grounded shots and scenes and he accomplishes it perfectly with Cinematographer Greig Fraser who has worked on Dune, Rogue One and much more. Fraser and Reeves planned a lot of scenes that could be 100 percent practical, the scene when the Batmobile ramps off a truck through explosions and fire, it’s all real and according to Reeves “it’s very expensive.”

With a more grounded movie the possibilities are limited but what isn’t can be improved so it  looks ten times better and throughout the entire movie this is very evident especially with large and extended action scenes. 

To accompany these action scenes is music. The entire movie has an amazing soundtrack composed by Micheal Giacchino and every single one is amazing. Music is one of the most important factors to a show or movie because it makes viewers feel something more. Some great examples are previous movies like “Batman V Superman.” In BVS the main theme is heavy and loud, to show the two sides of the coin colliding. A theme for movie has to stick out and show what the character is like or represents. This new iteration has a theme that sticks out the most because it starts off hopeful and soft theme but nearing the end it explodes and gets louder. It sounds amazing and perfectly shows what this Batman is: a symbol of hope and fear.

Another amazing aspect is our menacing hero, the fight choreography. The action is something you’d see from the Batman Arkham games and it’s awesome. Pattinson also does a great voice for the character by simply speaking in a low tone and displaying a timid look, one of the best scenes that shows this is the opening, criminals are scared of the dark and when Batman reveals himself some criminals begin to cry at the sight of him.

It’s all so well crafted but not everything is perfect, if it was this would be the best Batman story told and there aren’t many but it’s things that affect the entire movie. The first problem is sound mixing. When there is a fight the sound effects are odd, someone will get punched and the sound effects sound like the caving in of a skull but in reality it’s a broken nose, it’s very distracting if you enjoy fight scenes.

Another issue is Bruce Wayne. Pattinson is amazing as Batman but his Bruce Wayne is not as good, which could be a story related thing but with dialogue like “You’re not my father” it seems like Bruce Wayne is written as a 13-year-old going through a phase not the playboy billionaire he is. It’s distracting but its only for a couple of minutes.

The final issue comes with the ending, right before the actual ending there is a scene that is not particularly good. The scene is with the Joker who is in Arkham Asylum and he is played by Barry Keoghan who is trying extremely hard to make the Joker sound insane and its very different from the rest of the actors, it made the ending feel odd but it was tolerable then Matt Reeves released the extended scene that was cut, and this scene would have ruined the entire movie. Batman is supposed to figure things out themselves in the movie but in this scene Joker tells Batman things like: 

  • “He likes puzzles doesn’t he, so ridiculous like he’s been planning this his whole life”
  • “He’s a nobody, wants to be somebody”
  • “He’s a fan of yours or maybe he’s got a grudge against you” 

These lines are just explaining the plot, the background of the characters and the motives, it spells out everything that has happened so far and not in a good way, it explains it as if the people watching the movie weren’t paying attention or forgot everything so far. 

It is just a deleted scene but five minutes would have entirely ruined what made “The Batman” a unique movie and take on Batman. Reeves did the right thing by cutting it out.

Matt Reeves and his crew deserves a ton of respect for what they accomplished because they created an absolute gem of a movie that will be talked about for a very very long time .