I’m not entirely sure what DC is doing. Hell, I’m not so sure they know what they’re doing either. They seem to have two separate universes going on at the same time. Either one that is a part of the DCCU or not, making a standalone movie that has nothing to do with what they’ve been setting up.
After the success of putting the Joker in Taxi Driver, they figured hey let’s try putting Batman in Se7en or Silence of the Lambs.
I’m not saying that doesn’t work, Batman is meant to be a genius detective, yet until now we have never actually seen him do any detective work.
That’s something I really enjoyed with this version of Batman, he wasn’t all punch you in the face and ask questions later. He actually made strides in trying to solve this mystery the way a police detective or private investigator would. Which also sometimes included delivering fists into faces.
It’s funny, at times I got Blade Runner vibes from this movie. What helped sell it was the new Batman suit design.
It’s kind of my favorite of the bunch, with Ben Affleck coming in second. His had that Frank Miller Batman comic book look.
The new look however has a sleeker feel, with the cape looking like a trenchcoat with the collar popped up. It fit perfectly with this noir detective story Batman is forced into.
I guess my main question is what does this mean for DC and the cinematic universe? They still seem to be putting effort into making movies for it like Black Adam, Aquaman 2, and that Flash movie which I’m pretty sure will never come out.
So what exactly are they doing with these standalone solo films?
If it was a lesser character, I could understand it. But this is Batman, their staple character next to Superman.
It’s very clear this isn’t in anyway part of the cinematic universe. At this point the DCCU doesn’t have either of the tentpole characters. Ben Affleck is done with Batman and Henry Cavill is done with Superman.
I guess I also have to ask, are we done with cinematic universes in films? Of course I ask this knowing how giant of a smash hit the last Spiderman movie was.
It just feels so ho hum these days. Great, another Spiderman movie. Great yet another Batman movie with someone new playing Batman.
Not to dismiss Robert Pattinson, as I think he did a great job stepping in. We get less Bruce Wayne this time around and more of “the suit”.
That’s actually why Val Kilmer only did one Batman film, as he couldn’t find much inspiration for that character while wearing the stuffy suit. He wants to be an actor and couldn’t find ways to act in something where he couldn’t even move his head.
You just kind of stand there and watch as others act around you.
This version of Batman has been roaming the streets at night for at least 2 years now. Long enough to start an urban legend about him, putting fear in some of the criminals of Gotham.
He even has his own signal now, to let him know when he is needed.
It’s Halloween night and there has been a murder. Someone has killed the Mayor of Gotham. And pretty dramatically too, as his thumb has been removed and his whole head wrapped in duct tape.
If that wasn’t bad enough, several clues have been spread about the crime scene, with a card addressed to Batman himself.
That’s right, it’s the calling card of The Riddler.
This isn’t your Jim Carrey’s Riddler, think more Buffalo Bill. Minus the lady skin suit.
His clues point Batman and his partner James Gordon to the widespread corruption in the Gotham government and police department.
The clues lead him to a nightclub run by The Penguin, played by Colin Farrell in heavy makeup. He looks and talks just like Robert De Niro. At this point, you might as well just have gotten Robert De Niro.
While at the club, Bats runs into Selina aka Catwoman. I guess her role is to serve drinks, but it also seems like her job is also to keep bigwigs “company”. I don’t know, a lot is kind of just implied with her.
Like for example, Batman is searching for a Russian woman seen with the mayor. Turns out Selina is hiding her in her apartment, the two planning on leaving the city together. She even refers to her as “baby”. So their relationship was slightly confusing.
Especially since they are focusing more on her relationship with Batman and her attraction to him.
Whatever, not really all that important. Anyway, Batman follows Selina to the crime scene where the mayor was murdered, catching her trying to steal back the Russian woman’s, whose name I don’t remember, passport.
The two strike a deal, after they get to her apartment and see the woman is missing.
Batman wants her to wear an eye contact that allows him to see what she sees. The plan is to go into the club within the club, a place where every dirty cop and politician can go to have fun and get high.
In the club, they run into Falcone, the head gangster in this city.
Batman wants Selina to stay with the drunk DA as he spills the beans on an informant or “rat”. As one of the clues The Riddler left was “El Ratta”.
But one of the girls working the club mentions the Russian girl, Selina is friends with that went missing.
Catwoman goes off doing her own thing, while Batman focuses on following the clues Riddler left for him.
Because of the clue El Ratta, Batman and Gordon think it is referring to Penguin, maybe he’s the informer.
After questioning him, he most likely isn’t the rat. But what else is like a rat that flies is a falcon. Maybe Falcone is the rat.
The Riddler leaves another clue, this time pointing to The Waynes. He claims that Thomas Wayne went to Falcone for help when a reporter went looking for dirt on him, grudging up info on Bruce’s mother Martha.
The implication is he had Falcone kill him.
Bruce decides to confront Falcone himself and get the truth, saying it was most likely Wayne’s political rival who had his family killed.
He quickly get that notion out of his head, when Alfred comes clean with the truth, knowing it was Falcone who was behind everything, knowing he has waited years to get Wayne under his thumb.
As of right now, the plot is getting slightly hard to follow, as it keeps leading to things that don’t really seem to connect. Eventually things do start to come together, but at a runtime over 3 hours long, I can’t help but wonder if some of this couldn’t have been cut or told better.
It feels at times like I’m watching two different movies, one dealing with Riddler and another dealing with Selina and the mob.
This movie is so damn long and it feels its runtime, too.
However, whenever it starts to drag its feet, something exciting does happen, almost knowing the right time to wake you up in case you stopped paying attention.
I think I might take a page out of their playbook and do the same. So skipping a few scenes, we get to the conclusion Falcone has everyone in his pocket. Duh.
Not only that but he is Selina’s father.
He had the Russian girl killed because she overheard that Falcone is the rat.
Skipping a few more scenes, Falcone is arrested and killed by Riddler, sniping him from his apartment right across from the club. Which I guess is how he figured all this out.
The police quickly track him down, but his plan is a bit more abstract, as he has several followers who plan on flooding the city and then assassinating the newly elected Mayor of Gotham.
This is actually where they seemed to speed things along to a point where I wasn’t sure if things were actually happening.
They flood the city, me thinking it was just something Batman needed to stop, but no, they already carried out the plan and the city was flooded.
Batman then tries to stop the Riddler followers from killing the Mayor, which he does.
Selina plans on leaving the city, but Bats needs to stay behind and protect the city.
So this was pretty good. Long. But good. Is it my favorite of the Batman films? No, I still like Dark Knight more, the Joker being the best selling point for that film.
The Riddler was just too meh as a villain. I did like the idea that he just wanted to do what Batman was doing, but trying to literally use a hammer to get things done.
There was a giant misstep they did that actually wasn’t in the film and that’s the deleted scene of Batman visiting Joker, asking him for help to find Riddler. It’s basically the scene of Clarice visiting Hannibal Lecter.
It didn’t really make any sense which I’m guessing is why it was deleted.
Since The Batman is now streaming on HBOMax, is this worth watching? I say so, the film does try to do something different with Batman and that’s always good to see in superhero movies where everything has kind of become boring and same-ish.
I’d say The Batman is a solid RENT.
Next week I’ll be back hopefully with a review for The Northman. I’m 0 for 2 with this director, so it will be interesting to see if the third times a charm.
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