Riddle me this – is The Batman worth watching?

Published on Mar 09, 2022 at 2:15 PM (UTC+4)
by Thiemo Albers-Daly

Last updated on Jan 02, 2023 at 12:07 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Kate Bain

Riddle me this – is The Batman worth watching?

Batman is one of the most well known fictional characters in all of history. With 83 years of comic book history and numerous adaptations over the decades, can the latest film live up to the hype?

Yes. Yes it can. Just don’t take your young kids unless you want them to have nightmares.

Starring: Robert Pattinson, Zoe Kravitz, Paul Dano, Jeffrey Wright, Andy Serkis and Colin Farrell

Directed by Matt Reeves

The plot follows Batman as he ventures into Gotham City’s underworld when a sadistic killer leaves behind a trail of cryptic clues.

As the evidence begins to lead closer to home and the scale of the perpetrator’s plans become clear, he must forge new relationships, unmask the culprit and bring justice to the abuse of power and corruption that has long plagued the metropolis.

Following the success of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy, many were sceptical of whether Matt Reeves could successfully launch a new Bat-Verse.

There was also a lot of debate around Robert Pattinson’s casting as the Caped Crusader. But none of these worries were warranted.

The Good

‘The Batman’ will leave you in no doubt that Pattinson is one of the best (if not the best) Batman to date.

Dark, brooding and still in his early years of fighting crime, this Batman is on a level we’ve not seen before.

Pattinson nails the role and leaves you wanting to see more. Crucially, this is the case for both how he plays Bruce Wayne and Batman.

Gotham City too feels like its own distinct character. The sheer amount of rain present throughout reminds you of Blade Runner – and that’s a good thing.

While watching the film you feel as if the city is a living, breathing organism. This adds an extra layer of complexity to the film that makes it a treat to watch.

Jeffrey Wright and Andy Serkis are also great additions. Both bring something fresh to their respective roles as Gordon and Alfred.

They also help to bring some subtle humour to an otherwise gritty film which helps to elevate it to a gorgeous level of cinema.

Colin Farrell is completely unrecognizable is his role as the Penguin. It also gets you excited for his upcoming spin-off show on HBO Max and fully justifies why he deserves one.

The Great

Zoe Kravitz was inspired casting for the role of Catwoman.

Sharp, witty and full of depth that is central to the plot, and she’s the most comic-book version of the character we’ve seen on film.

Her chemistry with Pattinson is sublime and she risks stealing every scene she’s in.

Paul Dano’s sinister and disturbing Riddler is what makes DC stand out from Marvel when it comes to villains.

Like Joaquin Phoenix in ‘Joker’ before him, Dano puts on a masterclass performance. This is even more impressive when you don’t actually see his face for the majority of the film.

The plot too treats the audience with respect.

It’s complex enough that if you’re not paying attention, you could get lost. But it’s also straightforward to follow and pulls you further into the film until you’re completely immersed in it.

You want to figure out the next clue before Batman does.

Most importantly, all of the characters feel like they need to be there. None of them are shoe horned in to satisfy fans or set up sequels. The third act also delivers so that the film doesn’t run out of steam – which says a lot considering it’s a 3-hour long film.

Last but not least, Michael Giacchino composes a beautifully haunting score that couldn’t be further from Zimmer’s score for the Dark Knight trilogy.

However, it fits this new Batman and his dark world perfectly. The addition of Nirvana into the parts of the film was such a good choice that were it food, it would deserve a chef’s kiss.

Final Thoughts

Is ‘The Batman’ better than ‘The Dark Knight’? To compare the two is not fair at all. Both are outstanding products of their time.

Instead, ‘The Batman’ brings something truly original to the comic book genre while remaining loyal to its roots.

As a non-comic book fan, you’ll love it. As a comic-book die hard, there’s plenty of Easter eggs and other hidden gems to satisfy you. There really is something in it for everyone.

There’s so much more that good be said about this film. But instead, you should just get yourself to your nearest cinema and watch it for yourself. It’s phenomenal.

Five Stars

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Thiemo Albers-Daly

Thiemo is a motorsports writer and podcast producer for ‘On the Kerbs’. A film connoisseur, he can easily give a two hour long dissertation on why Skyfall is the best Bond film. Like ever.