6 Thoughts on The Batman (Review)
It’s Batman’s world, we’re just living in it. After several years of delays, The Batman has finally arrived in theaters and delivered a Batman movie we can all love and embrace. It may be 3 hours long, but it’s a heck of a ride and I had a blast with this big, fun Batman adventure.
Movie Rating: 9/10 – Great
I love Batman as much as the next person, and The Batman was probably my most anticipated movie of this year. I liked what I saw with each of the trailers, I liked how this world was forming, and it lived up to all my hype and expectations. The actors, the characters, the designs, the choices, the score; everything worked for me with this film and I can’t wait for all the sequels and spin-offs we’re going to be getting.
Join me after the jump for my full review/thoughts on The Batman. Expect FULL SPOILERS for the movie. And please share your own thoughts in the comments!
6. Just a big, fun Batman adventure
What struck me most uniquely about The Batman is that it doesn’t feel like a traditional movie. I look back on something like Batman Begins, where we start with young Bruce losing his parents and we explore, through a typical 3-act structure, how that affected him and how he grows as a character. With The Batman coming in at nearly 3 hours, and the story being what it is, this just didn’t feel like a typical movie. This felt like a big Batman adventure, full of Batman doing cool stuff and full of Batman’s classic characters. I liked that feeling.
And a big, fun Batman adventure is exactly what we got. The filmmakers didn’t bother with the classic origin — thank god — they didn’t introduce how he got his costume or his gadgets or anything. They didn’t really explore the Batman’s deep trauma. They just put Batman on an adventure against one of his classic villains, with a couple of supporting villains and allies along for the ride. Again, I liked that. I definitely never need to see Thomas and Martha Wayne shot in an alley again to understand Batman. I get it. We get it. Everybody gets it.
I loved that the world of this Batman was fully formed and we just plunk down into it to watch this particular caper. There’s a cool Batmobile car chase. Great use of gadgets. Exploration of Batman’s effect on the city, especially the police. So many fun nooks and crannies in this world.
5. Everybody was perfect
I have zero complaints about anyone in the cast. Everybody was equally great, as far as I’m concerned. A lot of people were willing to decry Robert Pattinson because of his work in Twilight, but I’ve never seen those movies, and I’ve heard plenty of people talking about how he’s been great in indie films the past few years. So I was more than willing to give him the chance. Zoe Kravitz was awesome as Catwoman, fitting the character very well into this world. Colin Farrell disappeared into the Penguin. Jeffrey Wright more than lived up to the hype of him playing Commissioner Gordon. He’s off to a great start.
I loved Paul Dano’s Riddler, especially once we saw him out of costume. That brief interrogation scene towards the end of the film, where we really get a taste of the Riddler, was pitch perfect. He’s crazy, he’s wild and he’s smart. I watched that scene and thought to myself about how Riddler is unique, how he’s different from the Joker, and I think Dano nailed it.
4. Quality mystery
I also really enjoyed the mystery part of the film, and how they put care into the step-by-step nature of the Riddler’s puzzles. They worked exactly how they’re supposed to work, slowly leading Batman and Gordon to the next step in the master plan. It was fun and clever and, again, made a point to be specific to the Riddler. The whole thing easily works to carry the story and the movie through all 3 hours.
3. I have little interest in more Joker
So yeah, the Joker was teased there at the very end as being in Arkham. And he’s played by Barry Keoghan, a real actor who had a major role in Eternals this past fall, so it wasn’t just some stand-in to tease the character. I wish this hadn’t been spoiled for me, but it was. Boo hoo. Anyway, it’s a fine Easter Egg to throw at the end of The Batman but I really hope it doesn’t lead to a Joker sequel. We have enough cinematic Jokers. I realize that playing the Joker has now won two Oscars, but leave the character be. There are so many more options for sequel villains, from Mr. Freeze to the Court of Owls to the Mad Hatter to anybody! If you’ve gotta do Joker, save him for the threequel.
Also, in my head canon, I think Joker already came and went in Batman’s first year or so. That’s why he’s already in Arkham.
2. Robin would definitely fit
Longtime readers of this site will know that I’m a huge Robin fan. I’m a bigger fan of Robin than I am of Batman. And as far as I’m concerned, a live action, dark and gritty Robin can and will work in the movies. To take it a step further and to stay on topic, I think The Batman absolutely sets up the potential for Robin in the future. The very nature of Batman’s character arc is that he goes from being a beacon of fear to a beacon of hope. He’s on the journey from Dark Knight to Caped Crusader. Likewise, there’s a ton in the movie about Bruce Wayne needing to open up and lighten up. Then there’s the part where the failure of the Gotham City Orphanage system caused the Riddler, so that should be avoided.
All of this leads to Bruce Wayne adopting Dick Grayson after the boy sees his parents die in the circus. And we go the classic story route, like in Dark Victory. He’s not recruiting Dick to become Robin and become a soldier. He’s adopting Dick because he thinks he can help this kid…only to completely drop the ball as a father figure. Then through character growth and storytelling, Dick and Bruce come to work with and help one another. And in time, Dick joins him in his fight against crime.
Director Matt Reeves has been careful about how he talks about a potential Robin, and Robert Pattinson has mentioned wanting to do A Death in the Family. So I suppose even if I do get a quality, live action Robin then he’s likely not going to last. Still, I’m going to keep hoping.
1. Bring on an entire The Batman universe!
The other unique feeling I got about The Batman is that this movie definitely feels like it wants to be part of a larger Batman connected universe. We already know that the Penguin is going to get a spin-off show, about his rise in crime. And there was talk of a GCPD show, but I guess that’s morphed into a show about Arkham (which sucks, because Gotham Central remains an amazing comic). And there’s even talk of giving Zoe Kravitz a Catwoman show. All of this is to say that I think Warner Bros wants to turn The Batman into their own miniature Cinematic Universe.
The DCEU failed. Simple as that. They took their shot, made lots of mistakes, and now it’s all spinning off in weird directions. I don’t even really know what The Flash movie is going to be. But if Warner Bros knows anything, they know that Batman is popular and can handle anything. That’s why there are so many spin-offs — though obviously none of them actually star Batman as a character. But between those shows and some upcoming sequels, which I’m sure will also follow a big, fun Batman adventure movie style, I get the feeling this is the start of a mini cinematic universe. Marvel is doing TV shows that tie into the MCU, so this is Warner Bros and DC doing the same…only they’re going to stick to a contained universe around The Batman instead of the wider DCEU, like with Peacemaker.
And I’m all for it! I love the character of Batman and his world. I loved The Batman movie. I am fully in favor of a whole media universe in this world. I’m disappointed that I still won’t get my Gotham Central police procedural, but imagine a future where not only is Robin introduced in a movie, but then gets his own TV show?!
A man can dream.