The Batman (review): the expected rebirth of the Dark Knight?

It was ten years that we had no right to a single player batman adventure. After the era Ben Affleckand in particular the unequal Batman v Superman and Justice Leaguethe costume of the Dark Knight is now taken over and endorsed by Robert Pattinson (tenet, Good Time) in The Batmannew rereading of the famous vigilante.

A directed reboot Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, The Planet of the Apes) and which promises to be decidedly darker and more brutal than the previous adaptations. We had the chance to see the film in preview, and here is our review, guaranteed without spoilers.

The synopsis of the movie

A young Batman has been walking the streets of Gotham City for two years, instilling fear in the city’s criminals. With his few allies, he tries to bring justice to a corrupt city. But a psychopathic killer named Riddler unleashes his killing spree on Gotham’s elite, with plenty of riddles and cryptic clues. His madness will lead the vigilante to an investigation into the heart of the underworld and the secrets of the Wayne family, and bring him to rub shoulders with the formidable Oswald Cobblepot, alias The Penguin, and Carmine Falcone.

Should we go see The Batman?

It must be admitted, the image of the Dark Knight has taken a big hit in the wing for ten years. The wanderings of the DCEU (the DC Extended Universe), the hiccups behind the scenes and films far from being evidence of quality had somewhat brought down the vigilante from the throne of pop culture where he was installed. It took no less than a 180 degree turn and a radical reboot to put Batman back at the top. And it’s no less than that that Matt Reeves manages to accomplish with The Batman.

The director of the last two films The Planet of the Apes makes this new adaptation a true detective and investigation film, returning to the detective roots of the character, in a plot that borrows a lot from David Fincher’s cinema, and we often have the impression of watching Seven Where Zodiac. If this dimension had been proposed in the trilogy of games Arkham from Rocksteady Studios, it had not been pushed to this point in the cinema, and brings a refreshing dimension to this rereading of the vigilante.

Matt Reeves and his co-writer Peter Craig (The Town, Bad Boys for Life) definitely know their universe and their hero well, portraying a monster among humans, ravaged by trauma and equal to those he hunts. The Dark Knight has never been so dark and brutal, and an impressive Robert Pattinson gives him unparalleled chest and power, capable of convincing the most skeptical spectators. Also note the beautiful dynamic duo with Selina Kyle (aka Catwoman), and the performance of Zoë Kravitz, whom we would like to see more often.

In The Batman, The Dark Knight analyzes, studies, seeks and (sometimes) finds, in a sticky game of cat and mouse. As such, the artistic direction and the general atmosphere play essential roles, and the sublime music of Michael Giacchino, summoning the harp or a deliciously Gothic piano, and this is undoubtedly the finest achievement of the film. We assure you, its main theme will be remembered. Gotham City has never been so oozing, gangrenous, blistered with misshapen layers, which make it a creature in its own right.

Matt Reeves abandons the heights a bit and bogs down his hero in the bowels of the city, like a metaphor for his own history of deep-seated corruption. As such, he succeeds in putting in place brilliant ideas around fear, especially at the start of the film, and plays wonderfully with the icon that is his main character and what he represents. Matt Reeves is an excellent shaper of images and there are countless inspired sequences and shots to die for.

But if there is not much to say visually speaking, the weaknesses of The Batman appear fairly quickly in the very writing of the film, and its duration (2h55 all the same) betrays its good intentions. The Batman thus seems to want to be many (and too many) things, and after a promising start, it gets bogged down in a worn-out political-gangster story, with an all too expected twist.

The film thus gets lost along the way and spoils a few characters along the way (including an Oswald Cobblepot posed there for a sequel) and especially its main villain, who never manages to rise to the height of expectations. The Batman thus gives the impression of scattering and doing a good half hour too long. It’s a shame, as the impressive finale somehow manages to tie up the wagons of a distended story. But nothing helps, the bitterness is there.

Do not let this last paragraph filled with small flats demoralize you: The Batman is indeed the expected slap. The film is a radical, brutal and masterful proposition. A real visual gem with a strong atmosphere, which sticks to the body. The experience turns out to be crazy, and if the story loses its rigor along the way, it is an exciting and brilliant re-reading of the hero of Bob Kane and Bill Finger. Robert Pattinson is a magnificent evidence in Batman, and the film puts the vigilante at the top.

  • Watch the movie trailer:

Where to see other Batman movies?

Since its creation in 1939the vigilante of Gotham City is one of the superheroes most suited to cinema, but not all of his films are available streaming SVoD. Do you prefer Ben Affleck? You can find Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League on the Netflix platform.

Rather fan of Christian Bale? The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises are equally viewable on Netflix. On the other hand, the Batman films with Michael Keaton are only available on VoD, just like batman forever (with Val Kilmer) and batman and robin (with George Clooney).

Read also :

The Batman (review): the expected rebirth of the Dark Knight? – CNET France