By Abigail Mulonas
“The Batman” is overrated and complicated. Thinking it is bigger than what it is, the premise of director Matt Reeves’ dark and unhinged story needed to take a step back to see that he didn’t create a speechless cinematic product, only an empty and colorless one.
This film follows Batman as he is venturing 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, as he unmasks the culprit. He seeks to justify the abuse of power and corruption that has long plagued the metropolis.
Featuring a star-studded cast, “The Batman” is led by Robert Pattinson as Batman/Bruce Wayne, Zoe Kravitz as Selina Kyle/Catwoman, Jeffrey Wright as Lt. James Gordon, Colin Ferrell as The Penguin, and Paul Dano as The Riddler. It was directed by Reeves, who co-wrote the screenplay with Peter Craig.
Whether it was the utter hype this trailer delivered or the undying comic nerd in me who is ready for the latest adaptation of the character, there is no beating around the bush in the fact that this storyline was going nowhere fast.
This film begins upon Batman’s second year fighting crime and it makes it clear it is no origin story of Wayne. It actually speaks to the nature of the grim crime-fighter himself. Yet, the issue lies not with the lack of development – as we all know the character’s background – but choosing to showcase the most unmeaningful and non-villainous points.
While the direction is a clear and dark picture with impactful sound, the lighting and score truly depicts a quite eerie vibe. However, the nature of this presentation is forceful.
I mean this in the sense where the randomized angles in which we see Batman are unorganized, abnormal and even at one point, blurry – all telling the audience how to feel at every given second rather than letting the actors do the work.
Trying to be too artsy, “The Batman” takes itself too seriously and doesn’t hold itself up to what it really amounts to: a story full of nothingness.
A perfect example is the excess amount of comic characters (The Penguin, Catwoman and The Riddler), all who proved themselves irrelevant. While they feel undistinguished due to the tasteless writing behind the characters, the action of including them in the first place is the real problem at stake.
Not to mention the lack of an “it” moment, intimidating fighting, or the hard-hitting not-pulling-any-punches individual this was supposed to be an entire film about, no character had any of the brutal or harsh moments that were advertised and no events had any significance.
This normally wouldn’t amount to anything that’s too annoying, taking into consideration this was playing all its cards toward a remorseless, barbaric Batman that no one has ever seen before. When it’s not what was promised, it’s an even bigger let down.
Seeing more accomplished performances from Pattinson and Dano (both who were nerfed of their full potential), a more palatable plot that actually makes sense, and sequences that justify the action, it becomes a struggle to find a positive, which should never be the case within a superhero flick.
Though nothing can compare to Christian Bale and Chrsitopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight” trilogy, this heavily feels like Reeves is trying to outdo the sophistication of that legacy. Either standing alone or right along with the other expansive filmography of the character, this has no inviting action and its simple drama is unmemorable.
No matter how badly I wish that I liked this film, you can’t force yourself to enjoy something. And even more so, you can’t make three lengthy hours of exceedingly boring details amount to stellar cinema, no matter how cool the idea of liking this film may seem.