Sunday, March 20, 2022

The Batman

Movie Name:
The Batman
Year of Release: 2022
Director: Matt Reeves
Starring: Robert Pattinson, Zoe Kravitz, Paul Dano, Colin Farrell, Jeffrey Wright, John Turturro, Andy Serkis, Peter Sarsgaard, Barry Keoghan, Jayme Lawson, Gil Perez-Abraham, Peter MacDonald, Con O'Neill, Alex Ferns, Rupert Penry-Jones, Hana Hrzic, Stella Stocker, Sandra Dickinson, Joseph Balderrama
Genre: Action, Crime
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7
View Trailer

Synopsis and Review:
Writer, producer and director Matt Reeves is back, following his work on the "Planet of the Apes" franchise, where he tackled the last two films of that franchise, which was started by Rupert Wyatt. The film follows the story of Batman, who has become well known to Gotham City in the past two years. The city is in the middle of a mayor electoral race, and the crime is running rampant. One of the candidates and mayor elect gets murdered in a particularly grisly manner, and Batman is asked to come in and help the investigation, courtesy of Detective Jim Gordon, one of his greatest allies (most of the police force still thinks he is nothing but a vigilante). They soon find out the killer left a card for Batman, in the shape of a riddle, something he has to crack the code on, which he eventually does with the assistance of Alfred, his butler. Batman's investigation leads him to a club owned by Carmine Falcone, a mob boss in town, who has ties with everything taking place in the city. While there he gets information from one of Falcone's lieutenants, Oz/The Penguin, and also crosses paths with Selina Kyle, who is on a mission of her own. Soon Selina proves to be more than meets the eye, and in parallel, the amount of victims the killer goes after, keeps increasing, all of them characters of great prominence in Gotham. The more Batman investigates, the more he also realizes the ties and strands of corruption are everywhere in Gotham.
After the latest incarnations of Batman were met with somewhat of a tepid response, in all the films directed by Zack Snyder, Warner Brothers smartly decided to move in a different creative direction. Matt Reeves and Peter Craig have tackled the script for this latest iteration of the Batman, and craft this film as a thriller, one that has influences ranging from both Frank Miller's take on the character in graphic novels, but also from David Fincher's features, "Seven" and even "Zodiac". Matt Reeves, much like he did in his previous films, including the underrated remake of "Let The Right One In" which was titled "Let Me In", crafts a very thorough and meticulous context, this time around truly focusing on making Gotham feel like an additional character of the film itself. While in Christopher Nolan's films, Gotham took a progressively more muted backdrop to what was happening with the characters, Matt Reeves cleverly realizes that the terrain in which Batman moves, is one of the main propellors for what he does, not to mention, it also taints and influences who he is on a profound level. It's a film that plays itself as a procedural, with a somewhat inexperienced Batman trying to understand the motivations of this killer, and slowly realizing the extents of corruption and its role in the city he has been trying to save. It's a well written film, one that while epic and ambitious, fails to add some extra dimension to its central characters, something that could have helped ground the narrative a bit further. It's nonetheless an impeccably crafted film, with a strong cast led by Robert Pattinson, with strong support from the always terrific Colin Farrell, Paul Dano, John Turturro, Jeffrey Wright, and Peter Sarsgaard. The production team of the film is truly stellar, featuring the beautiful cinematography from Greig Fraser, score from Michael Giacchino, production design from James Chinlund and costumes from Jacqueline Durran, Glyn Dillon and David Crossman. While still playing in the comic book arena, there's much to be savored in this film. Very entertaining and worth watching.