Robert Pattinson is the Dark Knight

“The Batman” is a fresh take on the renowned titular character, directed by Matt Reeves and released in theaters on March 4.  

The film was initially revealed in 2020 along with the announcement of Robert Pattinson taking on the role of Bruce Wayne. While there is an uproar every time a new actor is announced to play the character, it was particularly controversial when Pattinson was announced. Many fans of the comic book character were upset or nervous that he wouldn’t stand up to previous actors, due to him being most known for his role as Edward Cullen in the Twilight series.  

Fans can now be rest assured knowing Pattinson brings his own unique flavor to this darker, more reclused version of Batman, in arguably his best live-action depiction to date.  

“The Batman” is an even darker, almost truly gothic take on the famously gritty Batman movies taking place in the crime-infested Gotham City. Pattinson plays a younger, more violent version of Bruce Wayne who hasn’t fully adjusted to the tragedy of losing his parents. This Batman mostly avoids his public persona and spends his time striking true fear into the criminals of Gotham who see him as a monster more than a vigilante.  

He broods in his lair listening to Nirvana while investigating crimes and doesn’t refer to himself as Batman; he only declares himself as vengeance.  

This movie is much closer to a crime thriller/noir like “Se7en” than a traditional superhero movie. Batman is shown trying to solve the mystery behind the murders of several powerful figures in Gotham by the Riddler, who is portrayed by Paul Dano in a terrifying modern take on the character.  

The movie is beautifully shot with striking imagery mostly bathed in shadows and scenes lit by untraditional light sources like explosions and gunfire in a stunning hallway fight scene. Point of view shots are also used to great effect like in the heart-pounding batmobile chase scene. Aiding the beautiful visuals of the film are excellent performances from every actor.  

Personally, all the iconic characters from this movie gave their best live-action performances. Zoë Kravitz’s portrayal of Catwoman, a great partner-in-crime/love interest for Batman who serves as her own character with a story arc rather than just eye candy. Colin Farell and Jeffery Wright also shine in their roles as The Penguin and Commissioner Gordon, respectively. 

There is not much left to say without avoiding spoilers, but it gets a full recommendation. It’s an excellently paced and tightly written comic noir film that seems to fly through its three-hour runtime, slightly overstaying its welcome with a sluggish finish. New fans are in good hands with this iteration of Batman and veteran fans of the character are sure to be pleased with this depiction, capturing the spirit of the comics to date.