Review: The Batman (2022): Pleasantly Surprised

(Mostly Spoiler Free)

DC movies have always failed to impress me. Ever since Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2016, if you ever catch me talking about movie from the company, you could bet that I was listing all of the ways that it failed my expectations.

Ben Afflek’s Batman in particular was a sore subject amongst comic book fans, as DC chose a dark, vengeance filled version of their beloved character to put upon the big screen.

Of course, when DC revealed that they were revamping the character with a brand new storyline and cast, I had a small amount of hope for what could be. When they announced Robert Pattison as the actor to bring to life this new film, all sense of hope vanished.

I had only ever seen Robert Pattison in one thing before. Thankfully, it was not one of the Twilight movies to which even he likes to forget he was in. No, the only character I have ever seen Robert Pattison play before was Cedric Diggory in the 2005 film, Harry Potter And The Goblet of Fire.

A role in which the most emotionally trying scenes consisted of Pattison playing a corpse.

So, here I was. Going to see a movie from a film studio that has never impressed me, about a character that I have never really connected with, played by an actor who’s most known project is a joke even to the actors who worked in it.

Needless to say, I walked in with very low expectations. However, I walked out of the theater completely blown away by what I saw.

Led by a talented cast, and capable writers, The Batman (2022) was a perfect combination of fast paced action, dry wit, and edge of your seat excitement.

The movie managed to take the best part of every previous Batman movie, tv show, and video game, and take out all of the things that did not work, and added them together into one 2 hour and 45 minute movie.

The cast brought a new and interesting spin to characters that I had previously thought done to death.

I can honestly tell you that Robert Pattison is incredibly good at frowning and speaking in a gruff voice. In all seriousness though, he added a layer of personality and pain to Bruce Wayne without the almost customary flashback sequence of his parents’ murder that viewers had almost begun to expect. Though Pattison was in his cape and cowl far longer than out, he conveyed quite a bit of emotion in the quarter of his face that was constantly shown.

Pattison was not the only gem of this movie, however. Zoe Kravitz’s Cat Woman reminded me of why I love this character so much, keeping her sarcastic wit, but adding layers of personality that the character is usually devoid of in her other incarnations. Jeffrey Wright’s James Gordon was like a breath of fresh air in the film, especially as a foil to the always serious Bruce Wayne. And, of course, I can’t forget Andy Serkis as Alfred. As the only other film I have seen him in, he was playing an armless, racist arms dealer, I could barely even remember that as he took over the role of the brilliant, father-figure to the main character.

Though, of course, we cannot forget what makes a Batman movie truly a Batman movie. Because, despite what you may assume, it is not the title character. No, what makes a Batman movie truly unforgettable is the wide array of iconic, and insane, villains that Batman constantly has to face. After all, there is a reason that The Joker (2019) was produced before The Batman.

Batman villains are a force to be reckoned with, and though he doesn’t appear in the green fedora that is usually customary to the character, Paul Dano’s Riddler was no exception to the rule. Dano easily played a smart, witty, and entirely insane outcast to society with a big question mark hung over his head. Dano’s Riddler easily takes the top five in my list of Batman villains.

The movie was so wonderfully done in the fact that unlike so many other Supherhero films, there was a sense of closure when you went found yourself to the end credits. It was a full circle moment, leaving the audience knowing that things would get better eventually.

The reason for this sense of closure, however, is because the movie continued on about thirty minutes longer than you would have expected. Nearly three hours long, there were at least that many times that I thought the movie would end, but it didn’t.

From a logical standpoint, I know that the reason they kept it as long as they did was to avoid leaving the movie on a cliffhanger, in case they were not able to bring back their cast for a sequel. However, if you have trouble sitting still for too long, then the false endings you notice will not help with that.

As most DC movies, there are definitely some points in which the lighting will not favor you. I am slightly photosensitive, and the strobe lights and effects were not my favorite parts of the movie.

If you are a DC fan, I can assure you that this movie was excellent and well worth the wait. If you are a superhero fan who has been burned by DC movies in the past, I advise you to keep an open mind. If you are someone who likes going to the movies, and can sit still for long periods of time and is okay with strobe lights, I recommend going to see this one. You might be pleasantly surprised. And, if you are none of the above, I thank you for reading this far.