Film Review: The Batman

Film Review: The Batman

Hannah Gebert

The first Batman movie came out in 1960 and since then, the Caped Crusader has worn many faces. The Batman (2022), starring Robert Pattinson (former annoying vampire) as the lead, has created a Batman in a new, low light using a team of several accomplished artists.


 Even though many question the casting choices (Pattinson, Zoe Kravitz as Cat Women, Paul Dano as The Riddler and  Jeffery Wright as Detective James Gordon), these casting choices fit well into the aesthetic and have provided wonderful acting. The production was rounded out by the film’s acting director,  Matt Reeves, who directed The Planet of the Apes series, and the crew director was Greig Fraiser, an award winning cinematographer. The music was composed by Michael Giacchino, who has worked on several Disney movies and Spiderman: No Way Home


The Batman starts by focusing on the film’s villain, The Riddler. The Riddler shows us the world through his eyes, as he spies on the mayor, waiting for his opportunity to murder him. When this moment happens, the audience is introduced to the classic Batman angst and noir of the film (noir films are a style of film that embrace cynicism, low lighting, and existential philosophy) through a monologue accompanied by dark images of Gotham City. Throughout the rest of the movie, Bruce Wayne, with his dysfunctional partner Selina Kyle (Cat Woman) and Detective Gordon, pursues The Riddler while piecing together his family history.


With skeptics casting doubts about Batman being presented through a psychological thriller lens, it is safe to say that their doubts have been blown out of the water. The Batman, like Joker, brings new substance to DC that almost anyone can appreciate. The industrial, noir setting of Gotham combined with the psychological thriller elements turns a childhood favorite into a mature work of art. The plot was as solemn as the visuals and often started to wind down just to come back bigger. The writing of the characters had the greatest impact, with James Gordon (the detective) as the everyman just trying to help, and Selina Kyle (Cat Woman) as the broken city girl; the characters alone draw the viewer in. The camera angles and sound design were not complicated but not underdone. The music specifically was present in every scene and I must applaud Michael Giacchino for the majestic compositions. However, Batman’s theme felt overused as it was present in almost all of his scenes.


 Lastly, the acting was masterful, all the characters had subtleties that speak volumes. Riddler’s behavior implied that he has more than your cliche psychopathy, and Bruce Wayne was socially awkward and reclusive. In general, The Batman is beautifully directed.


I would recommend The Batman to anyone who isn’t sensitive to violence (I mean, why would you be interested in Batman if you are sensitive to that?) or physically can’t stand watching a 3 hour movie (yes, you read correctly, 3 hours). The Batman is  not an action movie but it gives the audience something better than a simple childhood favorite, it gives us an emotional experience. What The Batman represents is empathy and societal issues, whether you are willing to admit feelings to those things or not. I highly recommend The Batman, it is truly an incredible film.