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This could be the dark knight you’ve been waiting for

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Image: Warner Brazzers.

Batman movies are a bit like seasons Doctor Who. From time to time, a new season will appear with a new Doctor that will provide a glimpse of a classic character that will appeal to a new group of fans. In a similar way, Batman uses a new pool of creative talent to give us a version of the DC comic book hero we haven’t seen on screen before.

While he may not be everyone’s favorite, for some it will definitely be the Batman they’ve been waiting for.

Batman, director Matt Reeves (War for the Planet of the Apes) takes place during the early years of the Dark Knight’s crusade. For those worried about playing through Bruce Wayne’s origin story for the hundredth time, there’s no need to do so. Batman jumps straight into a grim image of Gotham City, where the world’s greatest detective isn’t all that great yet, and tries to unravel a series of clues left behind by the masked serial killer known as the Riddler.

One of the main things that sets Batman Also, it moves away from a simple superhero movie. The story is familiar, but instead of blockbuster brilliance, it prefers to build on neo-noir and detective genres.

From the use of a reflective voice-over to the choice of camera shot, this movie almost feels like Seven Meets Batman.

This is a huge tonal shift from previous Batman films but not unwanted. Batman simultaneously manages to be far more down to earth than Burton’s films, yet more stylish than Nolan’s blockbusters. Might not tip over The Dark Knightbut Batman is a prime example of how different takes on the same character can be good.

As you probably noticed from Batman marketing, this movie is synonymous with the term “dark” and really takes it to the next level. Well, as far as possible with the M-rating.

Raindrops hit camera lenses, dim neon lights glow in the haze, and dance music blares as Batman beats up thugs in the gloomy Ice Club Lounge. Every aspect of this film is designed to draw you into the harsh underworld of Gotham City. One that is often physically and metaphorically devoid of light.

Batman however, gives plenty of excuses for why his Batman is so dark and brooding.

We quickly learn that he was not only influenced by the character’s tragic backstory, but also the result of months of psychological trauma due to his obsession with getting revenge on a corrupt city. This is an approach that doesn’t work.

With two years of fighting crime under his belt, this isn’t the story of Bruce Wayne’s quest to put on the hood. This is the story of Batman’s quest to cross the line from avenger to hero – and it’s a surprisingly poignant arc.

To support such an arc, Reeves chose Robert Pattinson, who we can now call an emo superhero rather than a teenage heartthrob. He may seem like an unlikely choice, but there’s no denying that he’s Batman.

Pattinson spends most of Batman the runtime is unrecognizable behind the hood. Far from being a charismatic billionaire playboy, his Bruce Wayne is instead a quiet contemplative with seething resentment and turmoil just beneath the surface. Tutorial emo kid.

Bruce Wayne is Pattinson’s mask in this movie. When he puts on the hood, he can communicate a lot with the little one and brings a look to the Dark Knight that seems comic. (Also, his Batman voice is damn easy to understand.)

Reeves isn’t afraid to interpret these classic characters in his own way. In particular, the Riddler is a villain who feels right at home in this downtrodden version of Gotham City. He is a mastermind and terrorist with a penchant for duct tape and bloody metaphors.

Paul Dano’s performance stands out in that he brings to the screen an unexpectedly upset Riddler who manages to capture the character’s inherent narcissism along with its more psychotic aspects.

Selina Kyle, played by Zoë Kravitz, is another long-awaited recurring character in the film. Her role in the story isn’t far from that of a femme fatale in classic detective stories, but the validity of Kravitz’s role makes it clear she’s not just here to serve as Batman’s love interest. Kravitz’s performance brings both slyness and vulnerability to Catwoman, helping her steal every scene she’s in.

Colin Farrell’s penguin is taken straight from the pages of Batman comics in one of the film’s most stereotypical images. Farrell is completely unrecognizable in this role, but clearly spends time in his life as Gotham’s most enigmatic mobster.

On the Other Side of the Law, Jeffrey Wright’s Jim Gordon has always been a good cop for Batman’s Dark Knight. The partnership between the two gives us more camaraderie than we’ve seen in previous Batman films. Gordon Wright isn’t afraid to comment on the weirdness of his new partner, who dresses like a bat but just as easily refers to him as a mouthpiece.

This is just one of many partnerships in the film that highlight Batman’s superb cast. The scenes between Pattinson and Kravitz are filled with chemistry, and when Batman and the Riddler finally meet, it’s nothing short of electric.

There is no shortage of aesthetically pleasing scenes in Batman which are professionally designed by Greg Fraser. The sequences play out like the pages of a graphic novel, and are equally supported by Michael Giacchino’s music that switches between grandiose epic themes and haunting melodies.

All this, as they say, Batman not without problems. The film is 2 hours and 56 minutes long, and while it rarely gets boring, it’s hard to leave its gloomy mood behind when you walk out of the theater.

Some people will also no doubt be disappointed that Batman not such a heavy blockbuster with its action sequences. The film focuses more on mystery than violence, but when it comes to action, it’s good and genuinely enjoyable. From high-octane car chases to brutal hand-to-hand combat. Batman It has a lot of adrenaline-pumping moments that deserve to be seen on the big screen.

Speaking of mystery Batman the plot is a compelling but sometimes overly complicated story as it tries to tie all of its different storylines together.

In a series of Zodiac-inspired puzzles, the Riddler’s wit and intelligence and comic book Batman’s detective skills finally find justice on screen. Reeves isn’t afraid to experiment with Batman comics, and the story is filled with intriguing twists and character development that transcends tradition.

Unfortunately, like many superhero films before it, Batman also suffers from problems with the third act, where the ending can’t quite live up to everything the film was built to.

Long and short is that if you loved what Batman promised with his sullen mystery trailersyou will love this movie.

Batman fulfills all its promises. Realistic, rugged Gotham City? Verify. A mundane, comic book-style detective story that keeps you guessing? Verify. “Something in the Way” by Nirvana? Double check.

Batman strives to achieve a lot, and for the most part, he is able to deftly combine horror, thriller and noir to create an original story. Reeves’ take on Batman is an infusion of life into the character’s story and promising things for a new franchise. (Things that tease at the end of the movie, of course).

Whether Keaton, Batfleck or Bale is your Dark Knight, Batman makes a strong case for it to be your new favorite Batman movie.

Batman: The Verdict

Pros: Don’t waste time on Batman’s origin story, great acting, unique style, intriguing mystery, much needed tonal shift.

Minuses: Long running time, disappointing third act.

Watch if you want: Se7en, Zodiac and Batman movies (obviously)

Batman is in theaters March 4th.

This article has been reprinted from Kotaku Australia. Read the article here.


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