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  • Writer's pictureRua Fay

The Superhero Movie You've Been Waiting For

Despite the near impossible task of landing opening-night tickets to a superhero movie, I managed to see Matt Reeve's The Batman on March 4th. Needless to say, with DC's track record of movies did not leave me with the highest hopes for their latest project, and the mammoth three hour runtime was intimidating. However, by the time the credits rolled, I knew I'd just witnessed something extraordinary, a new era for DC comics, and most of all, one of the best superhero movies to ever grace the silver screen.

It seems like ages since the world first caught wind of the myterious upcoming Batman movie. To say the rollout was extensive would be an understatement. The cast was revealed in June of 2019, and opinions were split on Robert Pattinson playing Gotham's dark knight. Most were skeptical, solely thinking of him as "the Twilight guy," however it's now clear that his latest role has put that part of his reputation to rest. A teaser trailer was released before even 25% of the filming had taken place. So needless to say, people have been waiting for this movie forever, especially since the last Batman movies had the iconic character being controversially played by Ben Affleck.

You can tell just how eager people were to see The Batman because it has already grossed nearly $260 million dollars mere days after its release. And unlike the last several DC movies, it boasts a score of 85% on Rotten Tomatoes, and it's easy to see why. The Batman is clearly the most ambitious DC movie since The Dark Knight trilogy a decade ago. Having a budget of $180-200 million dollars makes it potentially one of the most expensive films ever made, and it looks like it. The Batman truly is one of the most exciting and enjoyable films of the year so far.

I was initially skeptical of Matt Reeves directing the next Batman movie since the only work of his I was familiar with were the Planet of the Apes and Cloverfield franchises, but I can pleasantly say I was proven wrong. After watching the entire film, it's abundantly clear just how much Matt Reeves loves the source material. There are so many little details present throughout the movie that prove he's a true comic book nerd, exactly the kind of director the franchise needed. The Batman has the grandiose scale that you'd expect from a Batman movie, with stellar production design, amazing costumes, a larger-than-life villain, and a cast full of A-list actors. It's clearly ambitious, but is it good?

The short answer is "absolutely." There's an almost danger to releasing a movie as hyped-up as The Batman because it sets expectation sky high, especially when the source material is as well known as the iconic vigilante. However, Matt Reeves and company take all of those expectations into account to make arguably the greatest screen portrayal of Batman ever.

Perhaps one of the most notable aspects of The Batman are the performances. The film boasts a star-studded cast consisting of Robert Pattinson, Zoë Kravitz, Colin Farrell, Paul Dano, John Turturro, and many others. Despite the film coming out less than a week ago, thousands of people online have begun stating that Robert Pattinson is their favorite Batman, and his performance truly is the crown jewel of the movie. Pattinson brings a unique, flawed, vulnerability to the dark knight. The Batman provides a different view of the character because he is not seen as a godlike superhero, but more like a mysterious, strange, morally-ambiguous nuisance. In Matt Reeves' Gotham, one's view on Batman can be as divisive as politics. In a way, this makes the character so much more interesting, it's easier to view Batman as a human being with his own problems and flaws. Another changed aspect of the story is the relationship between Bruce Wayne and Selena Kyle aka Catwoman. In most iterations of Batman, Bruce and Selena are portrayed as childhood friends and occasional romantic partners in adulthood while she works as a jewel thief and he vows to protect the city from crime. This makes for a very interesting dynamic that was not present in The Batman because in this universe, they do not know each other, we watch them meet for the first time on-screen. While many people prefer this version, I can't help but miss the character dynamic that's present in so many other iterations.

I simply cannot write about this film without bringing up Paul Dano's portrayal of The Riddler in quite possibly the biggest aesthetic left turn the character has ever gone through. The once dorky, green and purple-clad villain has been transformed into a truly terrifying psychotic monster. The iconic costume was replaced by an army-green leather outfit and a winter combat mask with a zipper over the mouth. His crimes are more akin to The Joker than The Riddler with how he wraps his victims faces in duct tape after murdering them, all while still leaving his signature riddles behind as clues. His motive is very similar to that of Screen Slaver from Incredibles 2. His plans are to expose the secrets of Gotham's corrupt government, which eventually culminates in him putting the whole city under water by the end of the film. The climactic fight scene inside of the flooded Gotham Square Garden has got to be one of the best combat scenes DC has to offer. Needless to say, I enjoyed the conflict in this movie a lot more than I thought I would.

Not only is The Batman a good movie overall, it's also a fantastic Batman movie. There's no doubting that it does justice to the iconic character and it'll make a great addition to the DC catalogue. I sincerely hope this is a sign that the DC Cinematic Universe will be making a change for the better. Until the next installment, I'll be eagerly waiting to see what Matt Reeves and company do next!

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