By Matt Pascarella
Runtime: 2 hours, 56 minutes
Gotham is crime-stricken and only getting worse. When current Gotham mayor Don Mitchell Jr. is murdered in his home, what – or who – will it take to get this city back on track?
There is already a vigilante trying to clean up the city. This retelling of the famous caped crusader is not a continuation of other Batman movies. It stands alone and starts more in the middle of Bruce Wayne’s story.
Spoiler alert: Wayne becomes an orphan after his parents are murdered. However, in this version, the antagonist is out to paint Wayne’s father, Thomas, as more of a bad guy and less of a victim.
Batman mentions in the beginning of the movie he must choose his targets carefully; it’s a big city and he can’t be everywhere all the time.
With such a long runtime, “The Batman” dragged a bit in the middle but had solid action. This movie stars Robert Pattinson, Zoe Kravitz, Jeffrey Wright, Colin Farrell, Paul Dano, John Turturro, Andy Serkis, Jayme Lawson and Peter Sarsgaard.
“I am the shadows, I am vengeance,” Batman says in the very beginning.
Another spoiler: Batman is Bruce Wayne (Pattinson). Wayne is talking with Alfred (Serkis) who wants him to attend a financial meeting. Wayne tells him he cares more about the city than maintaining his fortune or legacy.
After the mayor is murdered, Batman goes to a club where he meets the Penguin (Farrell) in order to find out who killed the mayor. Here he meets Selina Kyle (Kravitz). Later on, we learn how she is linked to mob boss Carmine Falcone (Tuturro).
Another murder occurs and clues are left behind directed at Batman.
The District Attorney makes an appearance at the governor’s memorial, courtesy of the Riddler (Dano).
Gotham residents are understandably unsettled, and police are not a fan of Batman’s vigilante work, but Commissioner Gordon (Wright) tells him he’s the only one he trusts.
Batman and Selina agree to work together to catch the Riddler. The Riddler continues to find ways to make Gotham worse, like flood it.
Batman says things will get worse before they get better. Gotham loves a comeback story.
In this version Batman is very brooding, which I found annoying. Large parts of the movie are very dark, both in subtext and physically, making it hard to see what was happening.
However, the last 30 minutes are visually excellent. I think it helps to know a bit of Batman’s backstory and the villains that terrorize Gotham, but it is not required to enjoy this movie.
It’s by no means my favorite Batman as “The Dark Knight” is hard to beat, also Michael Keaton’s version is quite good. I would recommend seeing this in the theater to get the full effect, but you could also pass on this one, as I believe there are better versions out there. I give this one bat lasso up.
Now playing in theaters and streaming on HBO Max. <