DKN Round Table Review: ‘The Batman’

by Eric Lee
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Riddle me this. What does Dark Knight News Team think of The Batman? Here are three answers!

Steve J Ray– DKN Editor in Chief

Not everyone’s been reading Batman comics for close to 50 years like I have. Sadly, most people’s expectations for these films come from other movies, TV shows, or video games. I love the Batman from the comics.

 

The Batman isn’t a bubble gum Marvel movie (thank goodness) but it IS a comic book film, something the Christopher Nolan films weren’t. It’s got more right about Batman than any of its predecessors, including Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. I always thought those were good films, but not great Batman films, and with the exception of The Dark Knight Rises, not particularly good comic-book movies, either.

 

What I love about this film is that it’s managed to marry the grim and gritty, that a lot of people are expecting, with some true comics moments. In this movie the Dark Knight’s FINALLY a detective, he’s still only a couple of years into his mission, and being Batman is all he cares about at this point in his life. No, there’s barely any Bruce Wayne in this film, but the same is true about all the comics based on this period of the character’s life. Almost losing Alfred is a catalyst for embracing the fact that he’s both Bruce AND Batman, and we’ll probably see that in the next two movies.

Paul Dano is The Riddler

 

Paul Dano’s Riddler is a radical departure from the comics version, but for once I can forgive that, largely due to Dano’s incredible performance. He goes fromĀ  bloodcurdling terrifying, to pitiful, to downright disturbing. I actually don’t know if I find him scarier when he’s The Riddler, or after he’s unmasked.

 

Other highlights include the way Selina fights. It’s awesome! She moves just like a cat! Tiger style. Little touches like that really make me happy. Zoe Kravitz was a revelation in this film, and I love her portrayal.

 

Oh… and Colin Farrel’s Penguin is fantastic. He’s unrecognizable and incredible!

 

The car is a BEAST. You feel and hear it as much as your blown away by its speed, and its power. Gotham City, as brought to life by Glasgow and Liverpool are Gothic and magnificent.

 

The score is sublime, and the film is both beautiful and atmospheric. Perhaps a bit more Bruce Wayne may have been welcome, but because of the point in Batman’s crime-fighting career when the film is set, I can live with his absence, and the way his character will develop in later films.

 

The Batman gives us a hero, a protector, a detective, and a Dark Knight; something we’ve not had in any other live-action Batman film. Mask Of The Phantasm and Batman: The Animated Series finally have a rival for best portrayal of the World’s Greatest Detective outside of the comics.

James Attias– DKN Comics Reviewer

A wonderful dark detective story, that illustrates comic books can be shown on screen in a realistic gritty way and still be compelling and amazing.

Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman

Eric Lee- DKN Staff Writer

On the one hand, it feels like it could easily fit into one of Christopher Nolan’s ‘Dark Knight‘ trilogy. They share a lot of the same DNA: dark, ultra-realism, and psychologically complex characters. However, director Matt Reeves is elevates the the gritty realism with a stylistic flair.

 

Gotham City is unique. It certainly visually looks more special and different than ‘The Dark Knight’s generic use of a Chicago or Pittsburgh skyline. The Batman shows a deeply disturbing Gotham City that is full of life and personality.

GQ Interview Dark Knight News Greig Fraser

 

What to say about Robert Pattinson’s performance? He’s dark, contemplative, and emotional vulnerable. I love how he’s always aloof; not because he’s trying to be a creature of the night, but because he’s examining every detail of a crime scene. Pattinson’s best scene is the one in Arkham. We can see a myriad of feelings in his eyes, but he’s also trying to suppress them for the sake of maintaining his Batman persona. It works so well.

 

Paul Dano definitely gives a memorable performance as The Riddler, and while it’s not my personal favorite iteration of the character, it’s easy to forgive as Dano gives 110% in all his scenes. The film is arguably a little too long and, in my opinion, spent too much time away from the Riddler’s plot, but overall it’s great. Easily the best Batman movie in 10 years.

The Batman is now playing in theaters everywhere.

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