“The Batman” provides a dark, fresh look at a classic hero

Spanning around three hours, the long awaited film, “The Batman,” is finally in theaters and is being highly praised.


Photo by Sophia Novelo

Robert Pattinson and Zoe Kravitz portray Batman and Catwoman in the new gritty action thriller film.

In August 2020, the annual DC FanDome showed a number of trailers and announcements of new series and films, but one of them held the internet’s attention for days. Showing something darker, more mysterious, and surprisingly noir: ‘The Batman.’ One and a half years later, the film was finally released in theaters.
‘The Batman’ is a new take on the long-standing superhero. Set in his second year of crime-fighting, the film focuses on a younger Bruce Wayne as he meets the Riddler, Catwoman, and the Penguin, all the while uncovering a conspiracy in Gotham City. However, the film puts a darker spin on the hero, combining the realism of Christopher Nolan’s ‘Dark Knight’ trilogy with the noir grittiness of Batman comics like ‘Year One’ and ‘The Long Halloween.’
“I don’t have much experience watching Batman movies, but it is definitely a lot more serious than other Batman films, taking up a lot of darker themes and a new perspective on this world,” said junior Devlin Smith.
The film stars Robert Pattinson, which concerned some due to his infamous role as Edward in the ‘Twilight’ films. However, he has gained significant acclaim over the last few years through movies like the psychological horror film ‘The Lighthouse’ and Christopher Nolan’s mind-bending action film ‘Tenet.’ In ‘The Batman,’ he plays the role of a younger, angrier, less experienced Batman, one who is still figuring out his role in Gotham and the kind of figure he should be.
“I really like Robert Pattinson as Batman, because I think he is an amazing actor, and you could tell in interviews that he was excited for this role. I’m also just a Robert Pattinson fan in general,” said senior Emily Sotelo.
Matt Reeves is the director of the film, known for the surprisingly well-made ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ and ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ films. With this film being unconnected to the larger DC Expanded Universe, it is allowed to have a distinct artistic style unlike most superhero movies, having a unique noir atmosphere with a gripping thriller plot paying homage to films like ‘All the President’s Men’ and ‘Se7en,’ enhanced by the the music of legendary composer Michael Giacchino.
“I think [the detective focus] does [benefit the film], because, you know, Batman’s always had the title of ‘The World’s Greatest Detective’, and I think taking that title into actual character and meaning is a really good thing, because that’s what he does. Not only is he a good crime fighter, but he’s very intellectual and very smart, and they did a good job with that,” said senior Andrew Barnett.
Reeves intends to continue his new franchise for two more films, with potential in exploring other Batman characters. ‘The Batman’ managed to take the Riddler, an often campy character with silly death traps, and turn him into a legitimately intimidating serial killer. Who knows how Reeves could make someone like Calendar Man a serious threat, or bring to life the grand conspiracy that is the Court of Owls? With the film grossing $318 million, the future looks bright for this version of Gotham’s Dark Knight.