Popcorn Picks: “The Batman” is the hero we deserve


Photo credit/ Jen Flynn

“The Batman” has grossed $673 million worldwide.

After Christian Bale’s performance as Bruce Wayne, there wasn’t much hope for another successful adaptation of Gotham City’s protector. Ben Affleck fell flat in a few terrible DC movies necessitating a revamp for the vampiest superhero. After a few delays in production due to the COVID-19 pandemic, “The Batman” was released in theaters on March 4, 2022.

I was thoroughly impressed by this rendition of Batman. The trailer had me hooked and I knew it was a must-see when it hit theaters. There were hardly any flaws in this movie and I was on the edge of my seat for the entire nearly three hour runtime.

“The Batman” follows Bruce Wayne (Robert Pattinson) as he grapples with the lingering trauma of his parents’ murder and watching the city he loves disintegrate before his eyes. His fight begins with the idea of vengeance. The introduction of Batman as a vigilante is suspenseful and exciting. The voiceover by Robert Pattinson and the thudding heavy footsteps that lead up to him emerging from the shadows is awesome.

Vengeance was the theme for the majority of the movie, for both villains and heroes. The Riddler (Paul Dano) wanted vengeance for the childhood that was stolen from him and the opportunities he never had as an orphan. Selina/Catwoman (Zoë Kravitz) seeks vengeance against her father, the crime ridden city of Gotham, and The Penguin (Colin Farrel) for the death of her girlfriend. Yes, Catwoman is bisexual and though it’s not heavily talked about, the representation is so important.

This movie is exactly what Batman should be; dark, gritty and honestly, a little scary. The introductory scene of The Riddler was so scary in contrast to what I’m used to from a comic book movie, that I audibly gasped and was tense throughout the scene. Several scenes were intense, but none of them topped the car chase between Batman and The Penguin.

I have not felt so excited about a scene in a superhero movie since the portal scene in “Avengers: Endgame”. After wreaking havoc on the freeway, and probably killing a bunch of innocent drivers in the process, Batman zooms his Batmobile through an explosion and flips The Penguin’s car. The scene that follows, with Batman walking slowly towards a horrified Penguin as the wind blows and the Batman theme plays, was one of the coolest scenes I’ve seen in a while.

Another jaw dropping moment was when Batman goes in to rescue Catwoman from a rage filled mission to assassinate gang leader Carmine Falcone. As Batman fights the muscle protection, the lights are cut, and the only thing lighting the scene is the flash from the gunfire. It’s incredible.

There were other incredible performances throughout “The Batman” by its star-studded cast. The relationship between Bruce Wayne and his butler Alfred (Andy Serkis) is something that isn’t focused on heavily but really adds weight and dramatism to the background of a busy film. Even the surprise appearance by The Joker (Barry Keoghan) built up suspense and anticipation for the next movies in this saga.

A quick nod is needed here for the extensive use of technology and weaponry that really made it feel like a superhero movie. The frequent use of a grappling hook was straight out of the comics. Batman’s special contacts that can record video and use facial recognition were insanely cool as well. The last and most impressive piece of equipment used by the caped crusader was the wingsuit that he uses to fly through the sky.

What was refreshing about this movie was that it was real. Unlike Marvel movies, where everything is choreographed and works out perfectly for the heroes, Batman is a real vigilante. He crashes, he gets hurt, he feels emotions deeply, and sometimes he doesn’t know what to do. He doesn’t always have the answers. Even at the end of the film, the city’s in ruins but Batman keeps going back to what he knows to try and salvage Gotham.

I thoroughly enjoyed this rendition of Batman. I feel as though it may even be better than “The Dark Knight.” I look forward to the next installments and to see where Robert Pattinson takes the classic character moving forward.

Rating: 10/10 kernels

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