“The Batman” Review


Max Christopher

The Batman (2022) poster.

Review Rating: 4.5 Knight Heads Out of 5

The Dark Knight has risen. For the first time in over a decade, Batman returns for a solo outing and latest reboot of the Caped Crusader in the Matt Reeves’ directed, 3-hour crime noir film The Batman

The Batman is neither an origin story, nor a sequel, but a hard reboot of the Batman franchise picking up two years since Bruce Wayne’s emergence as Gotham’s spirit of vengeance. Starting out on Halloween night, Batman is called to action via Lt. Jim Gordon’s Bat-Signal to investigate a recent murder… conducted by the Riddler. The police, still wary of a rogue vigilante’s involvement with legitimate investigations, berade Gordon and his “freak” friend, before Batman ultimately solves Riddler’s first of many riddles. From here, the movie takes twists and turns down every dark and grimy street corner of Gotham City to “unmask the truth” of the Riddler and the deeply embedded corruption within the city’s DNA. 

Along the way, Batman encounters a number of familiar friends and foes, such as the flamboyant gangster, the Penguin, old-school mob boss Carmine Falcone, and thief frenemy/love interest, Catwoman. Accompanied by trusty British butler Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce Wayne starts to unravel the truth about Gotham’s history, while fighting the city’s institutional corruption and putting an end to the Riddler’s killing spree.

Early access screenings of The Batman at the Cinemark XD theater in Monroeville were treated to a widescreen countdown, featuring movie trivia and cast interviews (with no trailers). (Max Christopher)

The Batman is simply amazing. “Awesome” is actually the best word to describe it. Aside from some third act qualms, there is very little to gripe about with The Batman. Matt Reeves’ direction, Greig Fraser’s cinematography, and Michael Giacchino’s symphonic score culminate in one of the most mesmerizing superhero films to date. 

Every shot is gorgeous. The latest Batman theme is on par, or even exceeds, Danny Elfman’s classic score from 1989’s Batman. The city of Gotham just oozes seedy, underground comic book criminal activity; and Matt Reeves’ commitment to creating a completely original version of Batman’s mythos and lore pays off in spades. This new addition to the wider DC film multiverse feels lived in, like the history of it’s world has yet to be revealed, and will unfold over the coming installments in the franchise.

The Batman is the first film in what Warner Brothers and DC hope to be a long and fruitful series, with many spin-offs being announced before the film’s release. A prequel series centered around Jim Gordon and the rest of the Gotham PD in Batman’s first year, as well as sequel series for both the Penguin and (allegedly) Catwoman, are all set to release exclusively on HBO Max within the next few years.

The film often suffers at points, however, because it seems the primary goal was to set up future installments, much in the same vein as The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Avengers: Age of Ultron, or even Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. The Batman makes the smart move to leave these teases and open ends at the tail end of the movie, though, as opposed to sprinkling these needless Easter eggs and teases throughout.

Star studded performances by Robert Pattinson, Paul Dano, Jeffrey Wright, Zoë Kravitz, and Colin Farrell are not to be understated either. Truly some of the best performances in superhero film history must be pointed to as a large focal point of what makes The Batman truly special.

The COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on the greater film industry has led many skeptics to believe that only studio produced blockbusters will survive in the current market. The Batman not only proves these skeptics wrong, but also proves that the future of big budget films lies in the hands of artists with specific visions for their films.

Go see The Batman.