The Batman - non spoiler review

Discussion in 'Reader Reviews' started by thing, Mar 3, 2022.

  1. thing

    thing Well-Known Member

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    This new iteration of the Batman mythos starts with a Batman just a couple of years into his reign. The time is similar to that of the Nolan trilogy but darker and perhaps more grounded but what I like most about this iteration is that it’s a detective story that doesn’t rely on action.
    Robert Pattinson is great as Batman/ Bruce Wayne but my favourite performance was Colin Farrell as The Penguin. Most of the rest of the top notch cast were great too with the exception of Andy Serkis as Alfred whose take was all wrong and Paul Dano was very hit and miss as The Riddler (More miss).
    now on to the major issues that stopped this from being my favourite Batman film. Firstly the cinematography is too dark even for Batman films, it’s quite eye straining a lot of the time and is nowhere as gorgeous as other dark toned films from the same director. The film is constantly very dark and wet but whereas something like Blade Runner is still crisp with east to see detail, this one just often feels too dark. Secondly the film is way too long for the story they are trying to tell. I like a slow burn detective story as much as the next person but this has a lot of excess baggage and would have been a better film that told the same story with 45 minutes trimmed out.
    7/10
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2022
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  2. Anaestheus

    Anaestheus Well-Known Member

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    Man, I gotta say that when this one hits, it hits really well. And that is most of the time. The main strength for the film is its atmosphere. It's moody, broody, and mean through and through. The imagery is definitely dark (both in terms of subject and lighting). Think Se7en but with superheroes. Definitely make sure you see this in a theater with a good projector. And, I actually really liked the dark lighting scheme. The film really is put together as a horror film more than anything else. On a whole, I really liked all of the imagery here.

    Pattinson as Batman is excellent. And, he knows how to close his lips, so already a nice improvement on Bale's performance. The film focuses mostly on Batman as a detective and that is a nice change of pace from all of the previous incarnations. In the action, this Batman is more a force of nature and Pattinson really strikes an imposing figure in the costume and moves with brutal efficiency in the action scenes. Unfortunately, Pattinson isn't quite as effective as Bruce Wayne. It's not necessarily a bad performance. And, fortunately the movie doesn't spend much time on Bruce. But, his performance (and the mopey hair that he really is too old for now) can be a bit distracting whenever the film shifts to Wayne. And, he's using the same husky voice that everyone seems to like to do and, honestly, no one can really do well. Except maybe Will Arnett. But, overall, his Batman is great. And, I gotta say, it was a nice little touch that we get to see Bruce with the black eye make-up on after he has removed the cowl.

    I also have to say that I really loved the Batmobile. Part of that is just my general fondness for muscle cars. But, the way this one is shot, particularly when it is first introduced, gives it an incredible sense of menace. And, I really found the car chase fascinating. It's not shot like any chase I have ever seen. So, it doesn't have quite the visceral thrill of Mad Max or any of the Bourne chases. But, from a cinematic standpoint, it was really wonderful to watch just for the originality.

    The real standout though is the score. Giacchino is always pretty excellent and easily one of the best composers alive right now. But, wow, this one is a standout.

    As to the negatives - the length. It really didn't need to be this long. The slow pacing actually works really well for the first two hours. But, you can feel that things are supposed to be speeding up in the last hour and they are all still dragging. It can definitely make one fidgety. It really is my biggest complaint. And it ruins that sense of building momentum that slow-burn films really need to succeed.

    The climax was another weak point.
    It just got too big and went on too long. And, I think some of it was rather confusing or, possibly, I just had enough and was starting to zone out. The main thing that I liked about this film was the small scale of everything. The idea that there was not some world-ending catastrophe that needed to be prevented was a really nice (and much needed) change of pace. But, that all changes with the climax and I think the film really suffers for it. Honestly, I wish that they had gone some other route with Riddler's big plan and gone with some sort of smaller scale climax driven more by character development, like Joker did

    Another possible weak point, depending on your levels of tolerance, is that this one definitely waves its influences all over the place. Se7en is the big one. And definitely classic film noir. And there are plenty of references to horror films. But, on a whole I didn't mind too much as I still thought they made for an interesting interpretation of Batman and Gotham City. But, I could easily see another aficionado getting irritated.

    The politics were also a bit of a mixed bag. I love the idea of calling out Wayne/Batman for being part of the system that causes the crime and the poor use of resources, i.e. building a batcave instead of, say, a rehab center or homeless shelter or maybe starting a decent public works project? Nolan's films touched on this a bit as well, but Nolan apparently does think that the rich are the caretakers of society. This one definitely gets deeper into the problems of that fantasy. But it still can't really get far enough into it. Though that also really isn't to be expected in a Batman film that would please the general public. So, I'm not sure if it's a fault that the film doesn't really try to blow apart the problematic nature of Batman. And, I'm content to just say I appreciate the film for even stepping in that arena.

    In the end, I think this stands right next to The Dark Knight and Mask of the Phantasm as one of the best Batman films. It certainly is something that stays in the mind.
     
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  3. Steel76

    Steel76 Well-Known Member

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    The reason, why we haven't seen it in the theaters yet, is because it's too damn long.
    At home, we can at least take a break in the middle, if needed.
    They should bring back intermissions.

    I don't understand why these movies needs to be approx 3 hrs long.
    I miss the days, when even the big blockbuster movies were around 105 minutes.

    Also I'm still suffering from Superhero fatigue.
     
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  4. thing

    thing Well-Known Member

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    It’s 15 mins longer than the dark knight rises but felt much shorter
     
  5. Steel76

    Steel76 Well-Known Member

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    That reminds me, it's the movie that almost put me too sleep in the theaters.
    Probably one of the most boring Batman movies. Especially following the much superior Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.
    I have tried to re-watch it multiple times, but always drop out after an hour or so.
    The opening scene is pretty good though.

    When it comes to the new movie, we'll wait until we can stream it.
     
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  6. Zombie Dude

    Zombie Dude Well-Known Member

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    I don't really get the hate for long movies as long as they're good. I've certainly watched long ones I wished were a good half hour shorter but other don't even feel like they run as long as they actually have. BvS doesn't feel like a 3 hour movie to me for example, it just flies by.
     
  7. dave13

    dave13 Well-Known Member

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    I am having a difficult time processing just how bad this movie was. I think the fact that it is being so uniformly praised is what is making it so hard. My wife and I went to see it tonight, and we both thought it was dreadful. The story, the cinematography, the editing, the score, the design, the script, the acting choices, the lack of character, the horrendous voice-over, the goofy technology, The Riddler predicting the future, the clunky and arbitrary plot progression, the unmotivated behaviour, the RIDICULOUS ending, the contradictory moralizing, the incredibly heavy-handed symbolism. Ugh. And its 3 goddamn hours long.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2022
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  8. maybrick

    maybrick Well-Known Member

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    It must be hard living your life being so incredibly wrong. ;)
     
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  9. dave13

    dave13 Well-Known Member

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    I feel like I may have discovered a worm hole in my local cinema. I travelled to a parallel dimension last night and saw a different movie from the rest of humanity.
     
  10. Colin

    Colin Well-Known Member

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    Releasing on HBO MAX April 18th!
     
  11. Zombie Dude

    Zombie Dude Well-Known Member

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    I sense you didn't enjoy this lol.

    I enjoyed the film myself, though I agree the third act felt a bit like a second ending. I really wish the Batfleck solo film had been made though. Loved that version of the character and seeing him go head to head with Deathstroke would have been incredible.
     
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  12. Steel76

    Steel76 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I would much rather have that, especially an R-rated one.
    I wish Warner had just continued on with the Snyder version of Batman, even if they had to change the actor, as I'm getting tired of all the reboots, and going back to square one, again.

    But we'll see what I think about the new movie, when it arrives on HBO Max.
     
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  13. CPT HOOK

    CPT HOOK Well-Known Member

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    Awful. I thought it would never end.
     
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  14. Colin

    Colin Well-Known Member

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    I enjoyed it for what it was worth, and it's without question one of the better Batman movies, but the film has a serious issue with story structure. About halfway through, I thought this film was what that show "Gotham" should have been (which is a show i've seen one episode of that thought was terrible). And there lies the biggest problem. I felt like I was watching what was a very good first season of a television series crammed into three hours. It's a shame how this film falls short of greatness, because everything else is on point, from cinematography, acting, score, and the tone , which felt very much like one of the greats in the Batman lore (in particular "Hush" and "The Long Halloween").

    I'll call it right now, come awards seasons next year, this one is almost a shoe-in for best picture nominations, and I wouldn't be suprised if this become the firs superhero movie to win best picture at the Oscars.
     
  15. CPT HOOK

    CPT HOOK Well-Known Member

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    ^ Oh yeah, I forgot there was Halloween in this. The best part of the movie was the kid's jack-o'-lantern trick-or-treat pail in one of the opening scenes. It was all downhill from there.

    I can't remember if I saw the Affleck ones, but it's down at the bottom of the franchise beneath Batman Begins.
     
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  16. dave13

    dave13 Well-Known Member

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    I can't think of a Batman movie I've enjoyed less. I'd rather watch Batman & Robin.
     
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  17. Myron Breck

    Myron Breck Boom Shanka

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    Best Batman movie yet. ZERO campy one-liners. I want more.
     
  18. x666x

    x666x Well-Known Member

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    This movie wants to be Se7en so badly but still be for children. It also crams a Catwoman movie into its ridiculous run time. I have grown to like Batman solo and now I know why.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2022
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  19. sade

    sade Active Member

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    I finally got to watch it and it took me 3 times to finish it. man, was that a boring one. I couldn't care less any character in it. Robert P did a good job with what he was given and the best performances came from John T and Colin F.
     
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