jo’s review published on Letterboxd:
“The Batman” is, hands down, one of the best Batman movies ever. Truly a refreshing work of art. Wow.
A Batman movie that finally touches on the character being a detective just like how he really is in the comics as well as his psychology on his second year as the vigilante. The influences from “Se7en” (which, coincidentally, I just rewatched two nights ago) are clear and work really well in allowing the film to also touch on its darker, more gothic aspects.
Batman and the Riddler are equally as terrifying on-screen, and we have Robert Pattinson and Paul Dano to thank for giving off what has to be one of their best, most outstanding and amazing performances yet in their respective careers. Zoe Kravitz steals the show as Catwoman, a role that she spiritually reprised from “The Lego Batman Movie” five years ago (who could’ve known that she’d go this far?). As for Colin Farrell, my God, not only is he absolutely unrecognizable under all that make-up but he gives off an eccentric and comical performance that is just so appealing at the same time. John Turturro as Carmine Falcone is a role that I never knew would be as great as it is and he also steals each scene that he’s in.
Although I can already see Andy Serkis’ performance as Alfred being deemed ‘underrated’ in the near future, he is deserving of more praise as he brings a unique spin to the character. The same can be said for Jeffrey Wright, who channels the most subtle levity and charisma through his portrayal of Commissioner Jim Gordon.
Ever since I exited the theater, I couldn’t at all get Batman’s theme out of my head—and it’s been two years since I first heard it. As of this writing, as far as I’m concerned, the speakers are still booming in my head. There’s a reason why Michael Giacchino remains one of my favorite film score composers ever. Hearing his “Spider-Man: No Way Home” and “The Batman” scores in theaters back-to-back is such a treat. It’s like as if he wanted to make sure that we’d memorize Batman’s theme for so long as I still continue to hum it at this hour.
And speaking of ‘a treat’, Greg Fraisier’s cinematography is just consistently stunning. Each shot is a visual feast and comes close to the visual imagery in the comics. Every single big budget film has no excuse to look visually bland or mediocre now that this film has proven that it’s possible to step on its visuals.
All other technicals, such as the VFX, the sound, the costume, make-up, and production design are all deserving of much praise as it is getting at the moment. The amount of detail carefully put into each technical aspect is simply mind-blowing.
Coupled with this is Matt Reeves’ amazing direction and the amount of passion and care he shows for the character and the storytelling that he’s been showing off in his interviews really radiates itself throughout the film. The careful set-up for tension as well as the very POV-driven type of storytelling—it’s so refreshing to see such a thing not just in the genre but also in blockbuster cinema in general. The only recent blockbuster to come close to this much magnificence in filmmaking is last year’s “Dune.”
Admittedly, however, there are some slight issues with the film. The third act, though thematically great, feels a little bit incoherent compared to the rest of the movie. A certain twist doesn’t really have isn’t built up so well and feels slightly premature. Two minor plot points are also slightly predictable—though that is saved by the the well-directed tension as mentioned earlier. There may be a few more issues that I would spot in future viewings but they don’t take away from how brilliant this film is.
“The Batman” is not just another groundbreaking achievement in filmmaking; it is, simply put, a fresh new entry to blockbuster cinema as well as one of the best superhero movies ever made. I am afraid that no superhero movie this year could top this one, although the other releases are still worth looking forward to. It’s like each one’s career is booming now or is about to boom thanks to this film. See it in theaters for the best effect from the imagery and sounds. Matt Reeves, Robert Pattinson, Greg Fraisier, and Michael Giacchino, y’all are gods.
P.S. My rating may go down soon possibly thanks to recency bias, but there’s no doubt that this film is simply amazing and groundbreaking.
P.S.S. I liked Something in the Way by Nirvana, before it was cool. Still love it rn tho.