The Batman starring Robert Pattinson, Zoe Kravitz, Paul Dano, Jeffrey Wright, John Tuturro, Colin Farrell

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Movie: The Batman

Production Companies: DC Films, 6th and Idaho, Dylan Clark Productions

Director: Matt Reeves

Producers: Matt Reeves, Dylan Clark

Scriptwriters: Matt Reeves, Peter Craig

Main Cast: Robert Pattinson, Zoe Kravitz, Paul Dano, Jeffrey Wright, John Tuturro, Colin Farrell, Andy Serkis, Peter Sarsgaard

Release Date: March 4th 2022 (US)

Running Time: 176 minutes

Certificate: 15


Wow, what a film… So, it turns out casting Cedric Diggory as the Caped Crusader was a good idea after all. All jokes aside, the Batman is a gritty, rain soaked noir thriller which manages to deliver on just about everything it promised. Though it may have overstayed its welcome at nearly 3 hours. There will be heavy SPOILERS ahead so go and watch the Batman before reading this. So, without further ado here is my review of the film.


The film opens with Gotham’s mayor, Don Mitchell Jr, who Riddler kills on Halloween (Dano). Batman (Pattinson) has been active for two years and arrives at the crime scene with Lieutenant James Gordon (Wright). Unsurprisingly, Riddler left a message for Batman at the crime scene. However, because the film needs more conflict Commissioner Savage berates Gordon and makes Batman leave. Then, shockingly Riddler murders Savage and leaves another note. The mystery thickens (unless you’ve read the comics)…..

The Problem with Mob Bosses

Soon after, Batman and Gordon find a thumb drive (literally) in Mitchell’s car, with photos of him and a girl, Annika, on it. A politician not being faithful, stop me if you’ve heard that before. These photos lead Batman to the Iceberg Lounge where he confronts Penguin (Farrell) and meets Anneka’s girlfriend, Selina Kyle (Kravitz) who works there. After Penguin pleads ignorance, Batman sends Selina back undercover in the Iceberg lounge. Here, she meets mob boss Carmine Falcone (Tuturro) and Gotham DA Gil Colson (Sarsgaard). In a shocking twist, Savage and Colson are both on Falcone’s payroll. If you’ve been paying attention to what happened to Savage, you can guess what is going to happen to Colson…

A car crash of a hostage situation

So what does happen to Colson? Well, rather than killing him immediately, Riddler straps a bomb around his neck and sends him to crash (literally) Mitchell’s funeral. Damn, Riddler really isn’t making things a puzzle… yet. Anyway, when Batman arrives Riddler makes Colson answer a series of riddles to save his life. Aw, what a generous serial killer. Whilst he answers the first two, Colson refuses to answer the third, who was the rat in the Sal Moroni drug bust, so dies.

Is it a bird? Nope, it not’s the rat

Suspecting it was the Penguin, Batman and Gordon go to investigate. Only, they find an active drug deal and that Moroni’s operation was never shut down. Even worse, Kyle turns up and exposes them as she tries to steal money. Remember this detail for later. As Penguin flees, Kyle finds Annika’s head in a car boot. Despite his best efforts to flee, Batman tracks down Penguin in the Batmobile but swerve! Batman and Gordon learn he isn’t the informant. Who else could it be….

The sins of Bruce’s father

Batman and Gordon go to an orphanage owned by the Waynes. Here, they discover Riddler was a resident. He also conveniently holds a justified grudge against the Waynes for their renewal fund. Riddler then releases a video of how Thomas Wayne used Falcone to intimidate a journalist who dug dirt up on him and his wife. A politician intimidating journalists, stop me if you’ve heard that one before…. Alfred then opens a letter bomb intended for Bruce and is hospitalised.

Bruce then confronts Alfred as he thought his father was morally upstanding. So was he? Well, no. Alfred confirms Thomas asked Falcone to intimidate the journalist but didn’t expect him to kill the journalist instead. Shaken by his actions, Thomas planned to confess everything to the police. Unfortunately, Thomas and Martha are both killed because of their plan to turn Falcone over.

The race to save and/or kill Falcone

Get ready for a shocking revelation: Kyle tells Batman Falcone is her neglectful father. Damn. She also learns that Mitchell told Annika that Falcone was the rat so Falcone had her killed. That’s two big reveals in the space of five minutes… While Batman and Gordon arrive at the Iceberg Lounge in time to stop Kyle, they can’t stop Riddler shooting Falcone. Speaking of Riddler, he is unmasked as Edward Nashton and sent to Arkham State Hospital. He was envious of all the sympathy Bruce Wayne got while he had none. This leads him to idolise Batman, who inspired him to target the corrupt, and even offers a partnership. However, Batman angrily turns him down. After searching his apartment again, Batman learns Riddler has planted car bombs along the seawall in order to kill mayor-elect Bella Real.

An explosive finale

When the bombs destroy the seawall, Gotham begins to flood. The city uses an indoor arena as a shelter where Nashton’s followers shoot Real. But, they are then stopped by Batman and Kyle. Back at Arkham, Riddler makes a new acquaintance who is a real joker. I wonder who it could be…. Meanwhile, Kyle deems Gotham beyond saving and leaves. This is in contrast to Batman staying and aiding relief efforts as he vows to inspire hope in Gotham.


The Batman’s Runtime

So, to begin my analysis it’s going to be the very obvious thing to discuss: the runtime. Now, I like Batman and Robert Pattinson but any film that is 3 hours long will struggle to keep audience engagement sometimes. Here’s looking at you, Endgame. Back on topic however and I think the film justified it’s runtime. How? Well, look at the three acts across the three hours. The first sees the introduction of Riddler’s plan, Selina Kyle and Penguin. The second sees Riddler’s plan in motion and the finale introduces a certain clown, sees Riddler’s plan foiled and sets up a sequel.

This makes Riddler’s plan feel all encompassing, like Hugo Strange’s plan in Arkham City, with nearly every character involved in some way. That being said a lot of it relies on Batman and the audience missing very obvious details like a falcon being a bird. That point makes sense when you see the film. Damn, I’m really conflicted about this runtime.

Batfleck vs Battinson

The next part of my analysis on the Batman is Battinson’s (clever play on Pattinson and Batman from the internet there) performance and how it stacks up against his predecessor: Batfleck (Affleck and Batman). As I alluded to in the introduction, who could have seen Cedric Diggory being such a good Batman? Well, Matt Reeves obviously but that’s not the point. Pattinson plays Bruce Wayne with the sort of conflicted guilt and emotion expected from a more noir based film. However, what really elevates the performance is the lack of dialogue at times. While this is a staple of Bruce Wayne, you don’t see an emo billionaire ninja all of the time with Pattinson, rather a boy lashing out at a corrupt crime ridden society as a coping mechanism. Damn, that got deep.

So, how does he compare to Batfleck? I’m sorry Batfleck fans but Battinson is a superior Batman. Why? Presentation of the ‘no-kill’ rule. While Battinson does start suspending Riddler goons like Christmas decorations, he doesn’t say have machine guns in the Batmobile. Also, Battinson feels more nuanced with multiple layers of grief, anguish and trauma whereas Batfleck feels more over the top extreme non-level violence. Honestly, Battinson combines the grounded nature of Bale (a batarang over the logo) with the gritty violence of Batfleck in Batman V Superman. Long may Battinson reign….

Gordon and Batman as Good Cop/Bat Cop

So, how to end my analysis of the film? Well, the good cop/bat cop (sorry couldn’t resist) relationship between Gordon and Batman. Unlike most other Batman films, Reeves makes the decision not to use Robin, Nightwing, Red Robin, Batwoman or Batgirl but instead partners Gordon and the Caped Crusader. So, does it work? Obviously, yes. Wright and Pattinson have great chemistry as demonstrated by the scene where they interrogate the Penguin. And Penguin sums it up best ‘What is this? Good Cop/ Bats*** cop?’

On a more serious note, this really feels like a proper partnership with Gordon helping Batman escape the GCPD and with them investigating all of Riddler’s clues together. I didn’t know I needed a Gordon and Batman buddy cop film but now I want one more than ever. Also, this partnership feels like Arkham Knight with Gordon joining Batman in the hunt for the villain. God, Jeffrey Wright was great in the film…


To conclude, the Batman is a gritty, rain filled, noir film with an emotional core (which just about justifies its runtime) held together by Robert Pattinson which sets up a whole universe’s worth of spin off, sequels and TV shows. Long may Battinson grace our screens.

Overall Rating: 8.5/10 – Excellent

Content Warning: Severe Frightening and Intense Scenes, Moderate bad language, moderate violence and gore, mild sexual references

Target Audience: 15+

Recommendation: Yes