The Batman: this film is AWESOME

By Andrew McManus and Bethany Nielson - Contributing Columnists

This week we get back into the superhero genre with….THE BATMAN. This film was HIGHLY anticipated for 2022 and both Beth and I (ok just me) were beyond excited to see it. We bought tickets about six weeks in advance for the biggest screen we could find. AMC’s IMAX. That won’t have any bearing on our ratings but it was incredibly cool to watch on a BIG SCREEN.

I am still working out the format of our “new” reviews. Beth had such a great time writing last week I want to continue to have her give her thoughts. You will now get insight from a “movie nerd” in me and someone who albeit loves movies, is a more casual viewer. She IS still the best co-reviewer though!

Ok so back to Batman. If you are a fan or even a casual viewer you’ll know how big Batman has been since 1939. Originally, the character started out in comic book form in 1939 with DC Comics. Batman’s debut was in the 27th issue of Detective Comics for a little bit of trivia. Eventually, we saw iterations with a TV show in the 60s starring Adam West and then onto the films both animated and live-action.

I grew up with Michael Keaton’s Batman and remember fondly the first film from him as well as the sequel, Batman Begins. I think every boy around that time had a crush on Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman, I definitely did. We then saw Batman played by Val Kilmer (Batman Forever) and George Clooney (Batman & Robin) but then there was a hiatus. Batman & Robin bombed.

Eight years went by and then Christopher Nolan released Batman Begins with Christian Bale and the trilogy which many feel/felt were some of the best superhero films ever made. I agree. That version of Batman was no more and we had Ben Affleck show up for cameos and films with Superman but NOW there is another reboot and a whole new cast. So, how would Robert Pattinson hold up in this version? He is far removed from Twilight and quite the actor now. I was cautiously optimistic.

Onto the film.

We open from the viewpoint of the Riddler (Dano) and immediately the tension fills the room. I instantly thought of the film Se7en and how creepy “John Doe” was in it as he committed murders and this version of the Riddler (Dano) is reminiscent of him. He is unhinged. Riddler (Dano) kills the mayor and the film begins. Batman (Pattinson) is more of an actual detective in this film which varies from the previous adaptions and I liked this

change. The score is amazing and adds tension and excitement throughout and truly the ENTIRE cast is perfect. When you see the Penguin (Farrell) he is unrecognizable. Beth and I were both blown away. What we see throughout this LONG journey is Batman (Pattinson) hunting for the Riddler (Dano) and trying to solve the murders before the next one happens. Meanwhile, he meets Catwoman (Kravitz) who is dazzlingly throughout. I won’t give any more away. Let’s cut to Bethany’s take on THE BATMAN.

Hey everyone! This is Bethany. I am not a big fan of DC Comics or Batman, but I really enjoyed this film. I know a little about Batman because I took a college English class that was Batman-themed. In that class, I learned about Batman/Bruce Wayne’s character and background. I am glad that I knew the main character’s origin story because the film focused on the second year of Batman’s career and did not retell his background.

I do need to make it known that I did like Robert Pattinson as Batman, but he did not play a good Bruce Wayne. Thankfully Bruce Wayne is given little screen time. I do have to admit that I do not know much about all the backstories of each character. I do wish that I had this knowledge; I believe that I would have gotten even more from the film. Even though I did not know everything about the characters, there was a good amount of character development.

This is what led to this film being close to three hours long. I do feel that Reeves should have considered not committing so much time to develop the Penguin’s character (even though Colin Farrell was exceptional in that role) and spent more time on Alfred Pennyworth, Batman’s butler and mentor, and told viewers how Batman and Selina Kyle/Catwoman got connected.

Let’s move on from what I wanted to know more about in the film. The cinematography and the score were incredible. Andrew and I both agree that the best scene in the movie is a car chase involving Batman and Penguin. There was so much thought put into the shots and camera angles. My favorite part of this was that there were shots where it felt like the viewer was sitting in different seats in the car.

The only drawback is that the airbags did not deploy in the car, I felt that this was unrealistic. Quick side note and PSA: Please do not disable your airbags. They save lives. Okay back to it, throughout this entire car chase, I was captivated by the score. The Batman theme booms intermittently with moments of near silence. The music makes this scene downright chilling and enthralling. It was one of the best car chase sequences that I have ever seen. It ends with an iconic upside-down shot of the silhouette of the Dark Knight walking amongst the flames of burning cars, using another great camera angle by putting the camera in the point of view of the Penguin.

I am giving the film a 4.5 out of 5 stars. I would highly recommend seeing this film in theatres, but please be advised that it is extremely dark. I would like the readers to know that Andrew has a spot on Batman impression and I am surprised he has not lost his voice yet after performing it so much. (She is just jealous.)

Again, Beth is spot on. Her take on that car scene is perfect. I did laugh during the film because as we watched this scene unfold I was drawn in and in awe and then she leans over and asked why the airbag didn’t deploy. Haha! I feel this was also unrealistic but it was needed to film the shot in the car which looked fantastic.

Ok. So she feels 4 and a half stars out of 5. I will have to agree with her. I usually love long films but this was too much at times. I would have liked for Reeves (the director) to cut Penguin (Farrell) and set him up for the sequel, maybe tease him at the end. The entire cast works perfectly, but Robert Pattinson does come off a little whiney at times. I get it…it’s year 2 as Batman, but still a little cringe worthy at times.

Some of the cinematography really shines and the use of dark colors and especially red tones play into the themes of revenge and the anger the Riddler has for his targets. This doesn’t change the fact that this film is AWESOME. We now have an artistic version of Batman, and honestly it feels like Batman in a horror film, but don’t tell Beth! She hates them. Go watch this and go watch it soon. 4 and a half stars out of 5. I’M VENGEANCE!

By Andrew McManus and Bethany Nielson

Contributing Columnists