Nerdlocker Movie Review: THE BATMAN


“I’m vengeance.” – Batman

When they moved John Wick 4 to 2023 The Batman officially became my most anticipated of 2022. I couldn’t wait to see what Matt Reeves could do with the character and the city of Gotham and its inhabitants. I was so excited to see a new but long awaited perspective of the Dark Knight. But this particular trip to Gotham also left me excited for an entirely different reason – the so-called fanboys were going to eat their know-it-all words they’ve been spewing blindly for the last three years or so. These same idiots swore up and down that Tobey Maguire couldn’t pull off Spider-Man and Peter Parker. The same dipshits that said Matt Damon couldn’t be an action star or Robert Downey Jr. was terrible casting for Iron Man. Apparently they have short term memory loss so the process of them pretending to know better than everyone in the room continued here. Robert Pattinson is an awful choice for Batman/Bruce Wayne. This movie is going to suck, yada yada yada. You know the utter bullshit they spew so I’ll leave it at this – they were wrong again. The Batman is an absolute triumph. It is the Batman we have been waiting for and has been delivered tenfold.

I try to remain reticent about upcoming movies until I’ve seen them and then form my opinion. (What a concept huh?! Giving something a chance before pretending to know everything about it.) But dammit I’m shoving that humility aside just this once when I say I knew this movie was going to be a game changer. There was simply too much going for it to fail.

Matt Reeves in my opinion has so far never made a bad film. Deny Cloverfield all you want, it altered pop culture forever. The Apes trilogy is one of the most underrated trilogies in cinematic history. It is as close to perfect storytelling as humanly possible. Let Me In is the perfect example of retelling a story that is familiar but stands completely on its own. I knew when he was announced as director of the next Batman film that the character was in great hands. And you know something? I was right god dammit.

Okay so Matt Reeves is a great storyteller but all the storytelling abilities in the world can’t make a subpar actor carry the franchise. If you’re still hung up on Pattinson being in Twilight you clearly haven’t been paying attention to his career after those abysmal movies mercifully ended. He is a phenomenal actor and has been proving it repeatedly for nearly a decade now. The Rover, The Lighthouse, Good Time, The Devil All the Time and so on. And now with The Batman it simply solidifies the fact that if you’re still giving this man crap for Twilight you’re the asshole in this equation. He is the embodiment of the caped crusader. He is intimidating as his footsteps emanate from the darkness creating a sense of pure fear in his enemies. He stands tall and stoic, always watching, always listening as the masked detective formulates and theorizes. Batman is supposed to be the world’s greatest detective and while he shows gaps in this title, as he is only two years into this endeavor, he shows signs that he is well on his way to earning that title.

The Batman runs at a lengthy 176 minutes, just four minutes shy of three hours. It is a welcome runtime allowing for the noir identity that makes Batman such a brilliant, vibrant character to truly shine even when entirely doused in shadow and despair. The movie is able to breathe, to take its time but is rarely ever slow or dragging. You can feel the weight of his decisions with enough time for every scene to allow for total examination. He is meticulous in conduct and evaluation and the film’s runtime allows the story to play out much like David Fincher’s brilliant Zodiac. While many of us may have been waiting for an R rated Batman adventure, don’t worry yourself as this particular PG-13 rating is pushed to its absolute limits. Much like Christopher Nolan’s Batman interpretation, this version is meant to be grounded in a kind of almost magical realism. The idea of a lone vigilante with so much skill and technology at their disposal is the fantastical part but so often his enemies are mobsters and mentally deranged psychopaths. Unfortunately for you and I those last two things are very real parts of our world. In many ways Batman is a clash of fantasy and reality making for its own concoction of what a world with superheroes might look like should the harsh realities of our planet still apply.

So often a movie comes together in such a way that it’s hard to imagine any part of it differently than it’s ultimate outcome. If the cinematography was captured by someone else or the musical score was conducted by a different musician how would it all shake out? Would it feel the same? Would it all still work as well as it does? The cinematography, by master Greig Fraser, is gloomy but undeniably gorgeous. Combined with an eerie, ominous score from Michael Giacchino and The Batman’s otherworldly realism is already well underway.

Tremendous performances bring to life a version of the Bat we’ve only ever seen on page or in animated form. So many previous versions, while commendable, never fully flesh out his techniques as a detective and his effect on the citizens of Gotham. This story is from the perspective of a city on edge about a vigilante taking matters into their own hands. There is an obvious desire to want to believe in the Batman but as his main weapon has always been fear it brings about questions of where his allegiances lie and just where his limits begin and end.

The Batman is a detective story about a serial killer’s rampage not only on the physical well-being of Gotham but its already fragile collective psyche. As evil as he may be, his actions for better or worse are creating a mirror reflecting the ugliness of Gotham’s inhabitants; even the ones many believed to be at one time its potential savior. Batman must wrestle with the idea that maybe the lines of good and evil aren’t so obvious. It is a blurring of the lines he governs himself by and how he will portray Batman to the world going forward. He must figure himself out all the while hunt down a murderous adversary who approaches his own tendencies like it’s all a big game.

The Batman is everything we were hoping it was going to be. It is a brutal, noir detective film that just happens to feature a guy in a batsuit. It is meticulous and brilliant while never losing sight of the more visceral side of a vigilante with seemingly nothing to lose and a propensity for unadulterated violence. It’s a fantastic stand alone story with so much room for expansion should the opportunity present itself. Everyone involved from Pattinson as the Dark Knight, Kravitz as the cunning Catwoman, Dano as the maniacal Riddler and the masterful direction of Matt Reeves make this one of the best films of the year. The Batman is masterful from beginning to end.

Rated PG-13 For: strong violent and disturbing content, drug content, strong language, and some suggestive material
Runtime: 176 minutes
After Credits Scene: No
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama
Starring: Robert Pattinson, Zoë Kravitz, Paul Dano, Andy Serkis, Jeffrey Wright
Directed By: Matt Reeves

Out of 10 Nerdskulls
Story: 10/ Acting: 10/ Directing: 10/ Visuals: 10
OVERALL: 10 Nerdskulls

Buy to Own: Yes.

Check out the trailer below:


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Chase Gifford

http://www.nerdlocker.com

"Cinema is the most beautiful fraud in the world"-Jean-Luc Godard