The Batman

August 6, 2022

The Batman Review

Two years of nights have turned me into a nocturnal animal,” growls Robert Pattinson’s Batman to no one in particular. The streets of Gotham City are slick with rain and sleaze; defending them is weary work. Nirvana’s dirge-like Something in the Way plays to better illustrate the point. Back at the Batcave, he swaps his cape for a hoodie and dusts off his diary, pushing his greasy, Kurt Cobain-style curtains out of his eyes as he writes down his woes.

And that’s just the opening. Not to worry – there’s no shortage of brooding in Matt Reeves’s bloated three-hour take on the DC Comics superhero. Batman movies are usually goofy or dour; this film is in the latter camp, styled as a neo-noir revolving around rats, moles and the mob. In the run-up to the mayoral elections, the incumbent is brutally murdered by an empowered incel type who broadcasts his crimes on social media. When this killer leaves a perplexing note for the Batman, police lieutenant James Gordon (Jeffrey Wright) enlists the help of the city’s unofficial guardian angel to help solve the riddle. As a standalone police procedural, it works quite well, but as a franchise reboot it’s not enough of a reset.