By: Justin Hopkins
My intrigue level was rivaling my excitement going into the newest installment of Batman. Beyond the point of getting upset over casting of the Dark Knight. Proving the doubters wrong over and over when it comes to who wears the cape and cowl and willing to see what Robert can do with the character Liked the idea of this being an inexperienced Batman who is learning the ropes. Throw in Riddler, Penguin and Catwoman and they had the making of something good. Now, that it is in the books, let’s discuss.
Movie kicks off, with Riddler watching the Mayor. Who after sees his family off, they are going trick-or-treating, turns on the debate. Talking to someone on the phone. Not happy his opponent is in a dead heap with him. Riddler attacks him when he gets off the phone, and begins to set the scene. From there, we jump to various ongoing crimes and a voice over from Bruce. Talking about how he has been doing this for two years and isn’t sure what kind of impact, if any, he has been having. That when Bat Signal comes on, it is not just a call, but spreads fear in those, that at any moment, he will seep out of the shadows and get them. And we see, most of the criminals flee at the sight. Staying clear of the dark, except for a gang at the train station, and sure enough, Batman comes out of the shadows. Taking the fight to them and putting the fear of god, in the guy they were attacking. Making his way to the Mayors. Being let into the crime scene, by Gordon. To the chagrin of most of the cops on the scene. Evaluating the scene. Seeing that a card had been left behind for him specifically, before the commissioner chases him out. Back at the cave, Bruce has removed the contact with the camera inside. Going back through what he saw at the scene. Printing out images of the riddle and sypher. Writing in his journal everything that transpired during the night. When we met Alfred. Where they get into an argument over Alfred needing Bruce to be Bruce and do things for the company and Bruce having no time for any of that. Telling him he is not his Dad, as he walks away. Catching back up with Alfred after a shower. Who has been working on the sypher. Together they come up with the word drive. With Gordon, they go to the Mayor’s Garage. Finding a thumb drive in one, with the Mayors thumb attached to it. Inside, were pictures of the Mayor, with another woman outside of the Iceberg Lounge. A mafia club run by the Penguin. Batman makes his way over and brawls his way to a conversation. Penguin denies knowing anything about knowing the girl, but the bartender, Selina takes interest in it. Batman noticing her watching and when he recognizes her boots from a pair in the photo. Follows her out of the club and back to her apartment. Finding the girl there. Only he doesn’t go in. Watching Selina get into gear of her own and sneak out. Following her to the Mayor’s where he catches he busting in the safe. Stealing a passport. After a brief scuffle, learns that the Mayor had stolen the women’s passport and she is to traumatized to say what she knows, but he gets her to agree to take her back so he could talk to her. Only, when they get back. Find the apartment is trashed and she is gone. On the TV, the news is reporting the body of Commissioner had been found. Video had gone viral of The Riddler introducing himself, with Commissioner strapped to a rat maze. Adding to the mystery that would only get deeper from here, but where I leave it for now.
I adored the story so much. The mystery was laid out exactly right. Pacing and rising tension was perfect and climax that was well told and seeing the aftermath of everything after, was chef’s kiss. How a mistranslation was able to create so much confusion. Misleading you to consider Penguin, Batman and then finally, Falcone.
Riddler’s motivation was well told. Growing up in dilapidated orphanages with promises never kept. Showing how a corrupt Gotham create this villain and even how from his perspective, Thomas Wayne would appear guilty. Since he never got to explain what happened with the reporter and it was his foundation that was being pillaged by the corrupt officials.
Loved how the Batman was used here. Being early into his Crime Fighting, he had tech and detective abilities, but hasn’t quite put it all together. But did have the reputation, of something to be feared. When the Bat signal came out and everything would get tense and people were afraid. How he would rush into fights and tank damage, but would overwhelm his opponents with overall brutality. Putting the fear into not just bad guys but those he is trying to save as well, and all of this brutality and anger is starting to bleed through to when he was Bruce.
As much as I loved the portrayal as Batman, think Robert Pattinson may have shined his brightest as Bruce Wayne. Spending all his time, as Batman. Being around the violence and misery. All the while not seeing the positive impact he set out for, was making him miserable. Making him want to put on the mask and get back to it, and miserable even having to pretend to care about anything related to Bruce. By the end, learning that he was in fact making an impact just not the one he wanted. That the lesson he was preaching was one of vengeance and people gluing to that. That he would have to change and be better and I am really looking forward to seeing where they go from here on that note.
The fight scenes were great and cinematography was gorgeous. The score they had for batman was interesting in a good way. While The Batmobile was incredible.
Had already droned on about Robert Pattinson, he was great at the role. Lets take a moment to shine a light on the rest. Jeffery Wright was the perfect choice for Gordon. Him and Robert had some really good chemistry together. A lot of fun seeing them working together on the screen. Same with Andy Serkis’s Alfred, who I want to see much more of in the sequel. Paul Dano was incredible as Riddler. Bringing out the arrogance in the highly intelligent villain. Who seemed like someone who you’d encounter in the real world. Collin Farrell was perfect on making Penguin an interesting character. John Turturro was a surprise to see as Falcone, and knocked it out of the park, especially with Zoe Kravitz’s Selina Kyle. Who played a good Catwoman. She had the moves, looked great, and left me wanting to see more of her in this world as well.
This is very much a mixed aspect of the movie. While I loved the cinematography. There were a few rough spots, where things were to dark for their own. Example, is toward the end at Falcone’s, when Batman was fighting through the hall. Only light from gun flashes. Which, is great, but the flashes were so rapid, that I was pretty much blind through most of it. This might have just been a my eyes kind of deal or might not be there when I watch at home, but for now. It’s in the mixed category.
But that is all I got for you. This was a thrilling, psychological ride, with a ton of good action and horror themed moments. Actors and actresses did a ton to flesh their characters out and left them with places to grow and move forward from here. Go forth and check it out. Keep the Joker in the asylum and bring me the Court of Owls. Final Grade – S
As always, I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading!