Matt Reeves directs “The Batman”

Is this three hour movie worth your time?

Matt Reeves directs The Batman

Jacob Viele, Staff Writer

Warning: this review contains minor spoilers.

DC Films released The Batman on March 4th. Robert Pattinson plays the Caped Crusader alongside actors Zoe Kravitz, Paul Dano, and Jeffery Wright. 

Critics rated this movie 85% on Rotten Tomatoes. Some serious critics say that “we didn’t need another Batman movie” but such high reviews prove that audiences are still satisfied with these films.

Robert Pattinson is depicted as the darkest version of Batman. He is portrayed as a young man that is so committed to lurking in the shadows that whenever Bruce emerges in daytime, he looks like a ghost walking out of a coffin. 

He has become so nocturnal that in one of the few scenes that takes place during the daytime, he is shown squinting and put on sunglasses. 

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Unlike Clooney, Bale, and Affleck, the eyeshadow that Batman wears is shown worn by Bruce Wayne whether he is in his suit or not. This fits along with this movie’s recurring pattern where Batman is his true identity and Bruce Wayne is his alter ego. 

It is nearly impossible to follow up Christian Bale’s performance as the Dark Knight. Mark Feeney of The Boston Globe writes “There’s nothing extravagant about Pattinson’s acting here, and if an actor can’t be extravagant kitted out in cape and cowl, when can he?”

Paul Dano as the Riddler and Colin Farrell as the Penguin both continue the cycle of Batman villains stealing the spotlight during these films. Leading with Heath Ledger’s unforgettable performance as the Joker, Gotham’s villains have outshined our Dark Knight on numerous occasions. 

Paul Dano gives a horrifyingly accurate portrayal of a psychotic dweeb, similar to any other role he has: Prisoners, There Will Be Blood, Swiss Army Man – you name it. From his awkward live streams with his geeky fans, or his cheesy riddles exploiting his gruesome crime, this villain actually felt like an outcast. 

Aside from the classical music and Nirvana track “Something In The Way”, the score for the film was composed by Michael Giacchino who is one of the most highly appraised composers in film. He has produced the score to movies such as Up, Ratatouille, The Incredibles, Tom Holland’s Spider-Man trilogy, Inside Out, and the Jurassic World trilogy concluding in June 2022. The dramatic, heavy soundtrack contributes to the dark tone of the film.

Giacchino’s composition has influenced viewers to feel the Batman’s character within themselves. Matteo D’Anello, the most avid moviegoer at Sutton High, comments on his experience after viewing the movie for the first time: “Right as I got in my car, I immediately turned on the Batman soundtrack. The theme felt very grandiose and I listened to it the whole way home.”

The Batman is nearly three hours long, and during moments in the second and third act, it begins to feel three hours long. Letterbox reviewers regard the film as “a marathon to get through” and includes “scenes that felt completely unnecessary”

The Batman is unjustly rated PG-13. There is drug content, strong language, sadistic behavior, murder and corruption. The first scene alone immediately informs viewers that they are not watching a family-friendly Marvel movie. This film could have accomplished far more with an R-rating, but large budget franchise films will do whatever it takes to rake in cash. 

Cinematography is one aspect of film that is often neglected but adds tremendous value to the experience. Matt Reeves as director and Greig Fraser as the cinematographer constructed one of the most visually stunning superhero films. 

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Little details tremendously helped the viewer feel the gloomy atmosphere of Gotham. There are only two scenes that take place during the day, and every other day the town seems to be deluged in a rainstorm. DailyMail counted an exact “62 minutes and 40 seconds of rain.”

Matt Reeves decided to use practical effects for whatever he could while filming The Batman. Practical effects are defined by MasterClass as “real-world special effects created physically on set without the use of computer graphics.” Not only do they look impressive to the viewer, but they add a certain level of reality to these fictitious settings. 

The car chase scene which was first shown in the trailer is the most phenomenal use of practical effects. In the film, the Batmobile leaps through the air, emerging from an explosion behind. The shot of the Penguin driving away, celebrating his escape, as the explosions detonate in the background was entirely legitimate. 

Matt Reeves says himself, “So much of what you’re seeing in that thing is super, super grounded and real because we did it for real.”

This film sets the bar high for upcoming superhero movies and shows viewers how dark the DCEU can become. The Batman leaves theaters on April 18, so get to the theater while it is still available.