‘The Batman’ (2022) soars above expectations

‘The Batman’ (2022) is directed by Matt Reeves and features the titular character battling against Riddler in a game of wit and will, while the fate of Gotham City hangs in the balance. One of many bright spots in the film is its cast, headlined by Robert Pattinson’s Batman. Pattinson’s Batman is early in his career, and is solely focused on bringing vengeance to the criminals in Gotham. As his face is mostly covered by a mask for the majority of the film, Pattinson uses his eyes to great effect in conveying his character’s feelings, adding depth to his performance.

The film’s antagonist, the Riddler, is portrayed by Paul Dano. Dano’s Riddler is unnerving, as his calm nature is often interrupted by outbursts of anger, causing the character to be unpredictable. Helping Batman uncover the Riddler’s plan is Jeffrey Wright’s Jim Gordon. A key difference between the other portrayals of the character and Wright’s Gordon is that he plays a more active role in the film, often accompanying Batman on his mission, and comes across as a true partner to Batman. 

In their crusade, Batman and Gordon must also tangle with the crime bosses of Gotham, Colin Farrell’s Penguin and John Turturro’s Carmine Falcone. Farrell’s Penguin is a definite highlight of the film, giving the movie many of its rare yet effective comedic moments, and Turturro delivers an intimidating performance as Falcone.

The cast is also serviced by a great plot, which balances its dark slow-burn mystery with plenty of action and reveals throughout the film that keep audiences on the edge of their seat. This causes the film’s nearly three-hour runtime to go by quickly, and for the film to stand amongst the best Batman stories of any medium.  

All of the previously mentioned positives are aided by the film’s cinematography. Thanks to cinematographer Greig Frasier, the film is visually stunning, delivering stand-out shots throughout the entire film. The film’s focus on rich and dynamic shots is rarely seen in comic book movies, and truly causes ‘The Batman’ (2022) to stand out.

by Ryan Abraham