Film Review – THE BATMAN (2022)

THE BATMAN (2022, USA, 175m, 15) ****
Action, Crime
dist. Warner Bros.; pr co. Warner Bros. / 6th & Idaho Productions / DC Entertainment; d. Matt Reeves; w. Matt Reeves, Peter Craig (based on the comic book by Bill Finger & Bob Kane); pr. Dylan Clark, Matt Reeves; ph. Greig Fraser (Colour | 2.39:1); m. Michael Giacchino; ed. William Hoy, Tyler Nelson; pd. James Chinlund; ad. Grant Armstrong.
cast: Robert Pattinson (Bruce Wayne / The Batman), Zoë Kravitz (Selina Kyle), Jeffrey Wright (Lt. James Gordon), Colin Farrell (Oz / The Penguin), Paul Dano (The Riddler), John Turturro (Carmine Falcone), Andy Serkis (Alfred), Peter Sarsgaard (District Attorney Gil Colson), Barry Keoghan (Unseen Arkham Prisoner), Jayme Lawson (Bella Reál), Gil Perez-Abraham (Officer Martinez), Peter McDonald (Kenzie), Con O’Neill (Chief Mackenzie Bock), Alex Ferns (Commissioner Pete Savage), Rupert Penry-Jones (Mayor Don Mitchell, Jr), Kosha Engler (Mrs. Mitchell), Archie Barnes (Mitchell’s Son), Janine Harouni (Carla), Hana Hrzic (Annika), Joseph Walker (Young Riddler).
Dark, violent and noirish take on the DC comic book hero exceptionally well directed by Reeves. Here, The Riddler is a sadistic serial killer who begins murdering key political figures in Gotham City thereby uncovering corruption. Batman helps Lt. Gordon of the Gotham Police Department investigate, but questions arise about his family’s involvement in the city’s dark dealings. Long, but not rambling, the story’s mystery plays out well with the Riddler’s clues joining the dots. Pattinson is a brooding Batman and Dano gives a wonderfully unhinged performance as The Riddler. Along the way, there is a re-invention of other villains from the series too. The action scenes are well-staged and excitingly punctuate the plot. The running time is excessive but there is enough psychological drama and story development on the screen to sustain interest. Only in the grandiose finale does the story drop in quality and follow convention.