He Soars Again
Stars: Robert Pattison, Paul Dano, Jeffrey Wright, John Turturro, Peter Sarsgaard, Andy Sarkis, Colin Farrell and Zoe Kravitz
Director: Matt Reeves
Scriptwriters: Matt Reeves and Peter Craig based on DC Comic Characters
Composer: Michael Giacchino
Cinematography: Greig Fraser
DC Films/Warner Brothers Pictures
Rating: PG 13 for violence and themed material
Running Length: 177 Minutes
And here we go again, the world is introduced to another "Batman." This time, Robert Pattison (remember the “Twilight” series of vampires and Kristin Stewart) is The One. Forging ahead after Michael Keaton (still my favorite), George Clooney, Val Kilmer, Christian Bale and ……. comes Pattison. Director Matt Reeves (the last two “Planet of The Apes” films) gives us a good story about “Batman”, who has been fighting the bad guys for two years now. Be forewarned, that this film is the first in this variety of “Batman” films, so your favorite characters from times past may have short screen time here in deference to a second film that continues this story. This includes “Catwoman”. The production and opening of “The Batman” were stalled because of the Pandemic and finally, in the spring of 2022, along with the Basketball Tournaments, is the opening. World-wide and it is a hit, why? For one reason, at three hours long, there is plenty of; time for trips to the concession stand, which makes theater managers happy. For another, maybe the audience isn’t into sports now that the Olympics is over, and just because the world likes comic books and comic book heroes. Period.
The story here revolves around Gotham City (and I miss the television series “Gotham”) and a killer who murders a popular figure. “Batman” (Robert Pattison/Batman) arrives to help with the investigation that involves going to a night club with “Penguin” (Colin Farrell) as the manager for more information and meets Selina (Zoe Kravitz/Catwoman). He tries to get information on a mobster named Falcone (John Turturro). They have to leave because of a kidnapping done by “The Riddler” (Paul Dano). Riddles are tossed out and cannot be answered, so there is mayhem. Following “The Riddler” becomes “Batman’s” journey into his own past with the help of the faithful butler, Alfred (none other than Andy Serkis from “The Hobbit” films). By this time the audience is closing in on three hours and before you know it, just like “Dune,” you want more, but it will be in a second film. So, film fans will be waiting for “Dune 2” and “The Batman 2.” Take vitamins, be healthy for the wait until more films come along.
Robert Pattison does a good “Batman.” When he was in the “Twilight” films, he was a thinner man, but now, with several years behind him, there is a maturity that comes through and you can go with his characterization. The rasp in his voice seems to come from deep within the turmoil of his life. Zoe Kravitz as “Catwoman” will shine in the second film, but not that noticeable here. When she is on screen, all eyes are on her, though. Kravitz is the third woman of color to portray “Catwoman,” Eartha Kitt and Halle Berry were the other actors. Paul Dano goes a bit over the top as “The Riddler”. Jeffrey Wright does the role of James Gordon, quite well. In this film, he is part of the police force, but future films will have him advancing in the department.
“The Batman” is another film where the lead character delves into his past, which was concerned with death of parents and lots of wealth. Even though you may have read the story in comic books, the television series, and many movies, the theme still can be something to explore. The need to find out what happened years ago and is revenge the way to go now? So many “what ifs”, so many “why did I?” or “why did they?” It will take several films to explore, just as “Dune” with a similar theme, will have much to explore and both have come to film audiences from captivating literature.
As for special effects, they are very good, and Greig Fraser’s cinematography is epic. Danny Elfman’s “Batman” themes from previous films are in the back of your mind, but Michael Giacchino has his own touch here. The audience is in a new world.
Copyright 2022 Marie Asner