‘The Batman’ brings a new young Bruce Wayne that focuses on his detective side to save Gotham


Kaila Babyar

DC comics’s Batman was created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger back in 1939. First introduced in Detective Comics #27, Batman was first a detective over the hero that we know today, which is something the new film highlights.

Aidan Renteria, Photographer

“The Batman” by director Matt Reeves is DC Comics best film in the last decade. Ever since “The Batman” trailer dropped back in 2020 I have been looking forward to seeing DC’s new adaptation of Batman. I grew up loving Batman through properties such as “The Dark Knight” trilogy and “Batman: Arkham Asylum” video game. It was something I always enjoyed and with Matt Reeves’ “The Batman” the caped crusader has finally returned to the big screen. “The Batman” was something DC Comics needed. For the past decade, DC Comics has not been up to par against Marvel’s catalog of films, but this movie is a step in the right direction for superhero movies. 

“The Batman” is a new take when compared to other superhero movies. In this version of Bruce Wayne, he has been Gotham’s dark knight for only two years. He is still fairly new, being a vigilante, meaning he is not perfect. The story of this Batman begins when the Riddler goes after and murderers the mayor of Gotham City. Batman visits the crime scene to discover that a letter was left for him with a riddle to solve. From this point on, Batman tries to figure out who else is on the Riddler’s list of victims he wants to take out and what his intentions are for Batman. On his journey, he also encounters foes that fans of Batman are familiar with, Catwoman and Penguin, who assist him throughout the film. In “The Batman,” Bruce must put forth his detective skills to figure out who   Riddler is before he tears apart Gotham city. 

For this new interaction of Batman, British actor Robert Pattinson portrays him. At first, I was not too sure of this decision since he was the main character from “Twilight.” That is all I knew him from, but before the release of this film I went through his discography and went through some of his projects, such as “Good Times” and “The Lighthouse.” After seeing his films I knew he would be great at being Batman and he did not disappoint. His version of Batman was outstanding, bringing a new pain and intimidation to Batman. The presence he has without even saying a word shows how great of an actor he truly is. 

Although there was not a lot of screen time of this Bruce Wayne, the parts that were there showed a broken young individual who feels like he doesn’t fit in with his surroundings. Robert Pattinson’s acting brings a lost Bruce Wayne that I have been waiting to see for years. Overall, Pattinson’s performance as Batman was stunning and puts him up there with Christian Bale’s performance of the character.

Selena Kyle in this film is played by Zoe Kravitz and her performance was great. Her adaptation of Catwoman was fun and something I did not expect to appreciate as much as I did. Even though she was only a side character who assisted Robert Pattison’s Batman, she stood out as a powerful woman in Gotham. 

Riddler portrayed by Paul Dano was also a great villain to Batman. Their intelligence was par to each other with the Riddler being mysterious by making Batman try to uncover the mystery of the truth of Gotham. Riddler was intimidating at times but was also goofy at times. Even though the Riddler in this movie is not a perfect representation of the comic book version, it was still fun seeing a darker realistic Riddler in this story. In the comics, he is more of a funny character challenging Batman with riddles, while this new version is a more grounded take that is more mature. All the side characters including Jim Gordon, Penguin, and Falcone were great in this film, really adding to who has the power in Gotham City. 

With more and more comic book movies coming out the formula, the generic hero facing the villain, has felt kinda redundant, especially with Marvel films, due to their more kid-friendly approach and comedy. But “The Batman” took it in a different direction. In this film, you can tell the director, Matt Reeves, put forth all of his knowledge of the Batman universe into this new film. The way Batman is represented in this film is the most accurate version compared to his comic book counterpart, which is all thanks to the team behind the film. In this motion picture, the audience does not get the perfect superhero that most movies like to present, but a broken man learning what it takes to be more than vengeance, and Matt Reeves expressed this perfectly. Usually, Marvel and DC Comics take quantity over quality, but the team behind this movie really gave it their all making it the best it could possibly be. 

The cinematography is also unlike anything I have ever seen in a superhero film. The way “The Batman” looks is mind-blowing with shots looking like a painting or are outright eye-candy. Moments like when Batman’s silhouette is in the sunset or like when Batman comes out of the rainy shadows for the first time. Moments like that are so gorgeous to see. The use of rain and shadows gives Gotham that gothic and edgy feel that I thought perfectly fitted the story that was presented. Matt Reeves’s team really made a superhero movie unlike any other and I can not wait to see where they go next with this universe.

The score for this film was phenomenal being one of the best uses of music in a superhero movie. The composer, Michael Giacchino, made themes that empowered scenes further immersing the audience into the story being presented. Giacchino is known for doing scoring films, such as “The Incredibles,” “Up,” and “Spider-Man: No Way Home.” “The Batman” is no exception to being one of the best projects he has made. The director’s choice of also including “Something in the Way” by Nirvana was a fitting song that I believe Batman would actually be listening to. It was implemented in a way that didn’t feel forced, making those scenes more powerful. The music was up there to be as iconic as Danny Elfman’s score for the 1989 “Batman” film. The music was an integral aspect of the movie that brought Gotham to life in DC’s newest movie. 

“The Batman” is the movie I have been waiting to see for years. Everything from the acting to the visuals to the music was outstanding. Although this film is standalone and does not connect to any other DC projects I am glad it does not. It benefits being its own thing, allowing director Matt Reeves to tell the Batman story he wanted to tell. Batman has always been a staple hero, but this movie proves he is one of the best there is showing that even if one is not perfect, one can still be the hero others need. 

“The Batman” is a nine out of 10 and is easily one of my favorite superhero movies of all time. This movie is for those who want a detective story who wants to see a man grow from being a broken loner to someone who has to push himself to be better for his community. This movie is around three hours long, which might push some people away, but it is truly a treat if one can stick around for it all. The creative freedom in this story allows this to be an original story of Batman unlike any other that has been presented to the big screen. Since the success of this movie, there have been announcements of spinoff shows and a sequel. I loved this adaptation of Gotham’s caped crusader, and I can not wait to see where DC comics go with this version of Gotham for future projects.