“The Batman” puts the dark in the Dark Knight

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Robert Pattinson, left, is the Dark Knight, and Zoë Kravitz is Catwoman in “The Batman.” (Sony Pictures/TNS)

Ever since 1939, when the Dark Knight made his first appearance in Bob Kane’s “Detective Comics No. 27”, fans have loved the “world’s greatest detective.”  In the latest reincarnation of the caped crusader on the big screen, Matt Reeves’ “The Batman” provided a modern take on the timeless character.

Robert Pattinson played the caped crusader himself, which is a step away from the roles that Pattinson is familiar with in movies such as “Twilight” and “Harry Potter”.  Zoe Kravitz played Batman’s feline friend, Selina Kyle/Catwoman, and Paul Dano played the maniacal Riddler.  Other notable castings include Jeffrey Wright as Gotham cop Jim Gordon, Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth, and John Turturro as crime boss Carmine Falcone.

The plot followed a traumatized Bruce Wayne as he tried to gain experience at being Batman.  However, as the Riddler started to leave clues throughout the city for Wayne to uncover a secret involving corrupt politicians, cops, and crime bosses.

The movie felt mysterious, and kept me engaged as we got to see Batman’s detective skills be put to use.  Dano’s portrayal of the Riddler was immaculate, but I failed to enjoy Kravitz’s role as Catwoman.  The movie felt dragged out at times, especially when the film discussed unnecessary side plots with Kravitz’s character.

Reeves’ vision for Batman was different from his predecessors, Christopher Nolan (director of the Dark Knight trilogy) and Tim Burton (known for his work with Michael Keaton’s Batman.) Nolan and Burton both wanted Batman to stay close to his comic book roots, but Reeves broke that trend, and molded a darker Batman. This movie truly stood out against the previous iterations of Batman because of the ominous atmosphere that “Emo Batman” created.  Additionally, the film takes away from the traditional Wayne origin story, as we barely see socialite Bruce Wayne in his day-to-day activities.

There were many ways that this film created that atmosphere, but the most noticeable method was utilizing practical lights.  Even though most of the scenes were shot at night, (showing Batman’s nocturnal nature), the cinematographers of the movie got creative with lighting techniques.  For example, there was a fight scene in which you only see Batman when he was illuminated by enemy gunshots.  These scenes are complemented by Michael Giacchino’s theme song, complete with dark piano notes and suspenseful strings.

Warner Bros.’ latest PG-13 release is a film for the record books, as it has clocked in a domestic total of $300 million and a global total of $600 million.  I would recommend this movie to anybody who loves Batman, dramas, or even horror movies.  Follow the bat signal, and go to the theaters to watch this movie!

 

Rating: 4/5 stars