“The Batman” brings Gotham City to life

Simon Holland

With amazing acting, cinematography, and a very clear vision, “The Batman” made for a worthwhile trip to the theater. Unfortunately, inconsistent writing quality detracted from the overall experience.

“The Batman” follows vigilante Batman/Bruce Wayne, played by Twilight alum Robert Pattinson, two years into his stint as the legendary superhero. He must unravel a thread of grisly murders perpetrated by the mysterious Riddler, played by Paul Dano. In the process, he uncovers secrets about Gotham City and his family. 

The movie had a lot going for it. Compared to prior Batman movies, this adaptation is more consistent with the Batman comics. Overall, it was very enjoyable, with amazing dramatic highs, nail-biting moments of tension, riveting fight scenes, and one of the best car chases I’ve ever seen. Even someone who isn’t a fan of over-the-top comic book movies would be entertained by this movie. 

The cinematography was beautiful and director Matt Reeves used lighting in a stunning and effective fashion. Gotham City felt both familiar and fantastical, like it was lifted directly off of a comic panel, while also feeling realistic. 

Moreover, the acting was amazing. Zoë Kravitz, as Catwoman/Selina Kyle, was a real stand out, perfectly embodying the character. Pattinson made a great Batman, embracing the dramatic nature of his character. Dano played a terrifying and convincing villain, completely transforming a once-campy character into a believable serial killer. Every single actor gave a phenomenal performance and was able to make each role their own.

Unfortunately, the writing undermined all of these strengths. It was laughably cheesy at times and the dialogue frequently felt forced and unrealistic. Although not every scene was poorly written, many lacked nuance and the writing felt out of place in an otherwise polished movie. Better writing would have taken it further. All the other ingredients were there, it just needed to be brought together. 

Furthermore, the poor writing meant the movie wasted one of the strongest actors in it, Jeffrey Wright. He played Police Lieutenant Commissioner Gordon, a character who usually has considerable depth but was reduced to a two-dimensional cop sidekick for Batman.

Lackluster writing aside, “The Batman” was beautifully shot, exciting, and will be a joy to watch for comic fans and casual viewers alike. 7.5/10 •