THE HIGHLY ANTICIPATED FILM IS IN THEATERS NOW
The March 4 release date couldn’t come soon enough for Battinson fans. Matt Reeves’ rendition of the DC superhero story has been years in the making, prompting loads of speculation as to what would commence. While Bat-rankings have been taking place worldwide (whether by actor or director), discussions about who did it best: Burton, Schumacher, Snyder, Nolan, or Reeves have had the cinema world buzzing.
Some fans had hoped for that coveted R-rated cut; instead, Reeves pushed the limits in a PG-13 film that played out more like a classic detective noir than a big-budget, modern-day superhero flick – minus a few scene-specific cinematic masterpieces by genius cinematographer, Greig Fraser. “I knew that I wanted to take this iteration of a younger Batman who was early in his arc,” Reeves said during the film’s press conference. “There was room for growth for Bruce, room for an awakening, and it put him at the center of this mystery that would pull us into the path of all of these characters.”
Reeves said he initially imagined the opening shot of the movie. “I love that idea of putting the audience in this empathic relationship with characters so that they can experience this with this kind of immersion into somebody else’s perspective, and I thought that there’s a kind of dialogue I want to start the movie with.” It was that idea that led to the visual.
While it is visually stunning, Michael Giacchino’s score is undeniably one of the grandest aspects of the film. The composer beautifully wove his music into scenes, almost creating another character in the sound. The visceral quality of the film is subjective, but this “Batman,” as a classic noir, is nuanced by the score. Every transition allows for sound design that is subtle and intimate, creating an immersive experience. Giacchino provides an emotional landscape that recognizes the melancholy, beauty, and twisted character developments.
The onscreen chemistry between Robert Pattinson’s Batman and Zoë Kravitz’s Catwoman is palpable, giving even more dimension to the film. The two have known each other for a long time, and it plays well. They used the script to bring out the emotional states and the connection between the characters. It’s clear that they’ve both felt alone their entire lives. Here, they meet somebody who has a similar way of thinking. It grabs you the same way that they grab each other. That is essentially the heart of their story.
Jeffrey Wright adds yet another level of depth as Lieutenant James Gordon. The desperation and isolation of both Gordon and Batman (aka Bruce Wayne), coupled with the mistrust of Gotham, drive forth an honest relationship between the two. It’s something to be admired. As Wright pointed out during the conference, it’s early on in the relationship leaving the development something to anticipate. “I think what was wonderful about the relationship,” Wright said, “in the way we introduced it, is that we don’t make assumptions, and Matt didn’t make assumptions about the level of trust and about what the Batman is.”
All of the characters in Reeves’ version have an intricate makeup. They each delicately reveal their layers throughout the fast-moving two hours and 56 minutes on screen. Paul Dano serves up The Riddler with his own unique, unstable, sociopathic twist. Colin Farrell is masterful as Oz/The Penguin. Farrell is unrecognizable in his role, reluctantly evoking empathy for a classically villainous character. And Andy Serkis as Alfred is utterly dynamic, crafting an entirely different iteration of Pennyworth than anyone has seen since Bill Finger and artist Bob Kane first created the comic strip in 1939.
John Turturro, who plays the ultimate bad guy in this rendition, Carmine Falcone, is so honest in his performance that you almost question his true intentions throughout most of this movie. Turturro says that he narrowed in on the character’s glasses, which reminded him of someone from his childhood, and that played a large part in bringing Falcone to life.
Each character pops off the screen in a way that’s different from every other “Batman” film. Gotham has never been done like this before. Under Matt Reeves’ direction, fantasy and reality cross in a familiar world full of debatable morals, drawing an invisible line between good and evil. It’s hard to imagine a world that has been created so many times being so distinct in its own right.
“The Batman” does all of that and more. It puts a new spin on a classic tale and opens a varied world filled with complicated, colorful characters. The film is a glorious display of mind-blowing madness where mayhem meets mastery. Vengeance never looked so enticing.
“The Batman” has come to our rescue giving us the superhero film that the world has always needed.
Published with Hollywood First Look