I’ve been watching Batman movies my whole life. From Adam West to Ben Affleck. I’ve seen them all. Most of us have, I think. Every actor brings his own personal touch to the character. There was Michael Keaton’s Batman, who I believe rebooted the franchise in the late1980s with Tim Burton. They made Batman cool again and brought him out of the Bang Pow era of the comic book Batman movies with Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992). Then things got bad. Val Kilmer (Batman Forever, 1995) and Clooney (Batman and Robin, 1997). They are two of the most despised portrayals of all time. Kilmer’s portrayal was mundane at best; it sucked. This film was the one with Jim Carey as Riddler and Tomy Lee Jones as Two-Face. Clooney’s was even worse and regarded as one of the worst big-budget Hollywood movies of the past 30 years. With Batman and Robin, you had all the star power, Schwarzenegger, Clooney, Uma Thurman, and hot of the 1990s, Alicia Silverstone, who would prove to be a b-list actress at best. This film was where he had the notorious bat nipples, and he yabba-dabba-doos down the back of a brontosaurus like Fred Flinstone in the first five minutes of the film, horrible.
The Christan Bale movies were all great. Live-action Batman movies took a rest after that traumatic event until 2005 when we get our first good batman in almost two decades; thank you, Christian Bale. Batman Begins wasn’t a box office success, but it has taken its place as one of the good films and is now regarded as a triumph. I don’t want to skip over Ben Affleck’s portrayal. He portrays an older and more experienced character, and I appreciate the gravitas he brings to everyone’s favorite detective. Affleck’s films are somewhat marred by DC’s inability to get a good storyline going with the films, mixed with a touch of what made Clooney’s 1997 role so bad. In my opinion, DC tries to be a little too comic book or a little too wholesome. I understand they’re trying to or need to appeal to younger audiences, but the adults are buying the tickets. Marvel gets that. Marvel movie plots are very involved and now span several films and even film franchises. DC is nowhere close to that.
There was a lot of pre-movie hype on this one. I listen to a few movie podcasts, my favorite of which is Mad About Movies. I also get movie news updates on my custom news feeds, so I’m a pretty plugged-in moviegoer. I heard the worst stuff about this movie. I heard from some articles that Pattinson was a problem on the set and was being a diva. I heard he showed up to the first day of shooting entirely out of shape and way too skinny to play the role. I have a young daughter, and I was forced to watch every Twilight film with her. This left deep scars in my psyche. I am not a fan of this film series. I didn’t intend to bring up Twilight, but I think it’s relevant; we’ll get to that later. I also had concerns about the current DC Movie timeline. I’m a fan of the comics and comic book movies in general, and I am enjoying the movie continuity they have in both the Marvel and DC Universe. I was torn when I thought they were changing up the caped crusader’s actor again! Once some reviews came out, I was even more apprehensive. My first glance at Rotten Tomatoes had a 98% on the user ratings and an 85% on the critic’s score. This was unbelievable! They loved it! I was in disbelief and ready to hate the movie.
The Actual Experience of the Movie
My daughter, Raven, and I bought advanced tickets. We had our tickets probably about three weeks before the movie came out. Raven was pumped up about it and I was still skeptical. Raven was an R-Pat fan from the Twilight Saga. She and I had watched all those movies together. She is about that life. Theatre was packed, and my daughter even hit me up for the collectible cup and popcorn bucket; this is significant because she isn’t the type of teenager to give a f*ck about that type of movie memorabilia. The film itself and dark and focuses more on Batman’s detective skill and deductive prowess. Remember, he’s two years into being Batman in the movie, so he’s a rough Batman kicking ass right and left, plagued by dark emotions that aren’t as fully developed as a more seasoned and mature Bruce Wayne. The film is spectacular. While some might argue it’s slow, I think it’s appropriately segmented into parts and does a great job with all the characters portrayed. I loved the Riddler being a more realistic villain instead of Jim Carry’s over-the-top spandex-wearing carrot-top monstrosity. The Batman costume is perfect. This costume is one of the best-designed Batman costumes in the franchise’s history.
There’s even a scene where you can see him place the emblem on his chest after using it as a knife. It’s done very tastefully, not to make a big deal about it. A sort of, “Oh, of course, he has that,” kind of reveal. Collin Ferril is indistinguishable as himself playing Oz, aka The Penguin. There isn’t a point you even recognize him as the guy from Minority Report or any other movie. The transformation is uncanny. Zoe Kravits plays an exquisite cat woman who’s highly sensual without even trying to come across that way. He’s beautiful, vulnerable, and a force to be reckoned with at alternating moments throughout the movie.
The Batmobile wasn’t a big deal to me at first. It was a more Fast & Furious style Batmobile than previous very showy versions of the vehicle. In retrospect, I like it more now that it’s had time to marinate. Robert Pattinson’s skills as an actor definitely ended up translating well into this new Batman. Like I said, I was skeptical. It turns out he was the Batman I needed right now. While some might criticize the overly emotional portrayal of a young Bruce Wayne and The Cure style stage makeup he donned on screen, I say that’s what a young, isolated Bruce might be like for years. There are a million different ways we can psychoanalyze the character but the simple reason that we’re all trying to take apart R-Pat’s Batman is a testament to the complexity of the character he’s created with this new Batman.
Drop some comments below and let us know what you think about R-Pat’s Batman portrayal! We’re eager to know. I’m definitely going to be watching this one a few times on HBO Max.