Now, I don’t know if you know this, but like, I love Batman. If I had to choose, I’d say I’m more of a DC girl. Not that I don’t love Marvel but there’s something about DC that gets me. Batman is awesome. Who doesn’t love him? I have a Batman tattoo for goodness sakes. (See below.) I’ve seen every single live-action Batman movie and nearly all of the animated Batman movies. I share this love of Batman with my twelve year old brother, Camron. Now, he loves Batman so much that when he was like four, I walked into his room. He was sleeptalking. He said “No, Batman! It’s a trap. Joker!” For real. He also used to sleepwalk. I kind of thought he’d grow out of his obsession with Batman. You know, like kids do. But he hasn’t. Last week, he spent the entire week here in Arkansas (he lives in Oklahoma) and we took him to see The Batman. Below is the trailer for the movie.
Camron, my cousin Paul and I saw it in theatres last Tuesday, and I wasn’t disappointed. That’s not to say that it was a perfect Batman movie, but I enjoyed it.
Let’s discuss what I liked about it.
As cheesy and cringeworthy as the older Batman movies are (the less said about Jim Carrey’s Riddler or Arnold’s Mr. Freeze the better), I liked the style of them. I liked their Gotham. The gothic, grittiness. I mean it’s called Gotham for goodness sake. I felt like the Christopher Nolan missed on that. It was a bit too real. That Gotham was a usual city. I wanted that gothic, grittiness. I always pictured Gotham as like New York City or Chicago, a big city but cloaked with this perpetual darkness. And for some reason, I always imagined it was always raining in Gotham. Sunny days were rare. The city probably smelled gross too, to be honest.
I liked this. And you know what, The Batman brought back this. Modernized it, of course. But the city is dark and rainy. It feels like Gotham, rather than New York City 2.0 or Chicago 2.0. Instead this Gotham is a beautiful but dark city. Or a dark but beautiful. I liked how it was filmed with the low lightings. In some scenes you can hear the fighting but you can’t quite see it. I liked that.
We get to see Detective Batman! I feel like he’s never really been a detective in any of the live-action movies. In this movie, he’s at the crime scene, looking for clues. He has to solve riddles. He’s interacting with the cops who don’t like him and Gordon who has his back. We need more Detective Batman. He’s not just a vigilante who beats up street thugs. He works on cases that could take days or even months to close. Also, people tend to forget that Batman isn’t all brawn. He’s smart as hell and that’s barely shown in live-action. Here we see his smarts and I love it.
I think that honestly, rather than a movie, our boy Robert Pattinson deserves a show. I think his Batman could benefit from a show where he’s working cases, You know, like a procedural cop show but like, Batman. That would be awesome. I’d watch the hell out of that.
Speaking of Robert Pattinson, let’s talk about his Batman. First, everyone gives him so much shit because of Twilight. *hisses the name* Here’s the thing, he’s not a bad actor. I liked him as Cedric Diggory and the other movies whose names I’ve forgotten. He’s a good actor. But because of one franchise everyone gives him shit. He did the best he could with the trash he was giving. That’s not on him. That’s on the material and the director. (More more on that, check out this blog post on Twilight – The Movies.) I like Robert Pattinson’s Batman more than Ben Affleck’s. And again, that’s not Affleck’s fault. He needed a solo movie so we could connect to him. We couldn’t really connect to him in the other movies he’s been in, Batman v. Superman and Justice League. He was outshined by the other characters such as Jason Momoa’s Aquaman and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman. Could Affleck had been a good Batman? Maybe. But now we won’t know since we won’t be seeing him again. Pattinson’s Batman had the smarts. The angst. The kind of sadness that clings to Batman. The fact he wants to do this insane thing for justice and vengeance. He feels he has too. That’s the job and the mission. He has no room for anything else. I got that from Robert Pattinson’s Batman. Also, his Batman is a bit…awkward. I don’t know why I like that, but I do. He’s awkward. And it’s a bit adorable.
We didn’t see a lot of Pattinson’s Bruce Wayne but I’m not too upset about that. It wasn’t about Bruce Wayne. It’s about Batman. Hopefully we’ll see his Bruce Wayne, and how navigates being a billionaire playboy by day and a vigilante by night. I really hope we see that.
Now, let’s discuss about the things I wasn’t too fond of.
I like Zoë Kravitz. She’s wonderful as Leta Lestrange in Fantastic Beasts. I connected to her character. But in The Batman? Honestly, they underutilized the hell out of her. She didn’t really. . .do anything? Not towards the end at least. That’s how I felt anyways. The best scenes were when she was with Batman, and I don’t want that for her. I want her to be able to stand on her own. She’s a strong, independent woman and we didn’t see that. I feel like they weren’t too sure what to do with Catwoman in the movie and that was clear. I hope we see her again. She’s got the acting chops. They just need to figure out what to do with her. (Does anyone else want some Gotham City Sirens? Catwoman, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn? Yes, please!)
They underutilized Alfred, played by Andy Serkis, too. Now, I did like that Alfred was helping solve the crypts Riddler sent. I liked that a lot. I wanted more of that, but they blew him up and he was sidelined. I wanted more of his relationship with Bruce too. I am iffy on Andy Serkis’ Alfred. Do I like him? I’m not sure. It’s certainly a different role for him. I mean, he plays Ulysses Klaue in the MCU and he’s like nuts. I’m still trying to decide if I like his Alfred. That is TBD. We’ll see in the next movie if my thoughts are more solidified.
Collin Farrell plays Penguin, but like. . . .I didn’t even know it was Penguin until someone called him by his name. He didn’t look like Penguin to me. At all. So eh, on him. He did nothing really either. Does this (above) feel like Penguin to you? To me it’s like he’s trying to be that one dude from The Godfather or something. I don’t know.
The actor they got to play Carmine Falcone was interesting. John Turturro. You probably know him from Transformers. The crazy agent that gets stripped to his boxers by Meaghan Fox. That guy. His Carmine Falcone was somehow almost a caricature but also scary at the same time. He comes off as this easy going guy but there’s just something off about him. And I liked that. It worked for him, I think. Also there’s a twist that involves him and Selina Kyle and it works. I was like “Oh!”
Let’s talk about the Riddler. We’re ending with him because I both like and don’t like him. I got issues. This Riddler played Paul Dano, is batshit insane (see what I did there). He’s insane and smart. Definitely a narcissistic. And honestly, a bit scary and creepy. Riddler isn’t a Batman villain that you think as “scary.” He wants Gotham to pay. About typical for him, tbh. “No more lies” he proclaims. The legacy of Gotham, especially those of Thomas and Martha Wayne is built on lies. He wants to expose that. But like, this doesn’t read Riddler Riddler. This reads more like Riddler Hush. So calling him Riddler feels off? He doesn’t look like Riddler. He’s Hush. So call him Hush, thanks.
At the end there’s a scene where Paul, Camron and I argued about if the next villain is Two-Face or Joker. It wasn’t very clear. Either way the guy is telling Riddler, hey good job. (I think it’s been confirmed that it’s Joker but I could be wrong on that.)
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed The Batman. It perfectly blends the realism of Nolan but takes us back to the grittiness of Burton, and gives us a fresh take on Batman. If you haven’t seen it, you should do so.
P.S. The soundtrack is awesome!
Here’s some other posts on The Batman:
Robert Pattinson in ‘The Batman’: Film Review
The surprisingly hopeful note of The Batman
Now, to end this blog post, here’s my Batman tattoo.
My cousin Paige and I took Camron to the NWA Comic Con in Rogers, Arkansas. We all dressed up. Here’s us when we first arrived to the con.
And that’s all!
4 thoughts on “I Am Vengeance (The Batman Review)”
I really liked the world-building they did, the atmosphere they created. Gotham looked like…Gotham. Yes, it was a dark movie visually. Sometimes you couldn’t make out exactly what was going on…but that’s often what happens in the dark, isn’t it? Loved all the acting in this as well. I assume our brief visit with The Penguin is part of the world-building for the future. The one part of the film I did not like was The Riddler. I’m old enough to remember when Frank Gorshin played the role on the Sixties TV series. Now, I didn’t expect The Riddler to wear a green leotard with question marks on it, but I also didn’t expect him to look like Bane. I don’t know what I wanted him to look like, but it wasn’t how they made him out to be in this movie. I’m a Marvel person, but I am here for all The Batman sequels they want to make.
Calling him “The Riddler” didn’t make sense. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the storyline “Hush” but that’s who he was, not the Riddler. Riddler became Hush. His entire look is very Hush. And I mean they could’ve done a modern version of Riddler’s outfit.
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The lightbulb went on over my head when you re-stated it was really Hush. There was a Hush on Batwoman. I had forgotten the whole Hush background/history with Riddler, etc.
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Yeah. His entire persona and outfit was very Riddler Hush rather than Riddler Riddler (if that makes sense) so really he should’ve been called Hush. Maybe they went with that design because they didn’t know how to make Riddler’s costume more modern and less well, cartoon-y.
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