The Batman

The Batman ★★★★★

The Batman 

Directed by - Matt Reeves
Starring - Robert Pattinson, Zoe Kravitz, Paul Dano, Jeffery Wright, Colin Farrell, Andy Serkis and John Turturro


This movie brought me to tears

This is the greatest Batman film to date. You know I'm just gonna say it, this is the best comic book movie to date for me in terms of feeling like a real life graphic novel. This is the movie of my dreams and I honestly can’t think of a single nit pick that bothered me, it’s a movie crafted with a distinct vision in mind and it’s obvious that Matt and the whole crew put so much love and care into it. I know, I know these might be bold things to be saying after my first viewing but I’ve been dreaming of this film for over 2 years now and it’s everything I’ve ever dreamed of and more, I want more, I need more. The way the camera flows, the intensity of the smallest of scenes, it all hit me like a batmobile flying 95 miles per hour down the highway. This is a movie in which you need to fully pay attention to every line of dialogue to really understand and grasp the whole concept of the film. The movie is so tightly woven together where you can’t have one scene without the other, it’s just not that kind of movie. Writing this just makes me think this might be my favorite film of all time, and I know I’ve only seen it once but I was legitimately sad when it ended.

“If this continues it won’t be long until you have nothing left.”

This isn’t a movie for everyone, if you came for pure action you will most likely be disappointed because this is, at its heart a detective thriller story, it’s a mystery revolving around a serial killer murdering the corrupt with twisted games and saw like traps. It’s not a very happy movie it’s dark, very dark with small glimmers of a possible hopefully future, but what I’m getting at is that this is for a very distinct group of Batman fan boys like myself. Many average viewers might find the 3 hour runtime an instant turn off but to me, it was an instant telling that this is a truly serious story that needed the extra length to be a complete story, there’s setups for sure but not for one second did the movie feel like it went out of its way to say ok so here’s this character and here’s a plot point that will be set up in a future installment within the series. It didn’t feel like a movie that had a distinct agenda to set up a franchise instead, it felt like a world that had a very clear self contained story and it stuck to that because of the way Reeves built and designed this Batman world. 

“What have you done?”

Before I continue any further I’d like to talk about the journey to get to this point and how it’s been one of the the most exciting things I’ve ever experienced in my life. Those of you who watched the trailers almost every single day leading up to this moment know, you know the joy the movie has brought us from interviews with Matt or Rob, to set photos, to the crazy theories and all the speculation videos put out there. Going into the movie I was already satisfied, I was already grateful that keeping up and interacting with the fandom brought me so much joy, it got me through stressful times with my schooling and was a way for me to escape the stress of the real world. Ask any of my friends and they’ll tell you that I have basically made a shrine to this film in my room, I’ve collected almost every poster, the legos, funko pops, the prequel book, the art book, the activity book, the clothing apparel, the statues, I’ve got it all. This movie meant so much to me even before my viewing tonight. I mean the attention to detail is just astonishing to me, Reeves has confirmed that riddler can in fact be seen super early on in the film taking pictures from his apartment outside rhe iceberg lounge as Selina Kyle is leaving for the first time, it’s a very subtle detail but a genius one that shows how close riddler is without anyone knowing.

“I got you fricken psycho!”

Greig Fraser is perhaps the greatest cinematographer of our time, from the brilliance of his work on rogue one to dune it’s all been fantastic, but this movie is his greatest work yet, the pov perspective puts you right in the mind of the character and makes you feel a sense of realism from the characters. Every actors performance is superb, Pattinson IS my Batman, Zoe IS my catwoman every actor within this film embodied their role and everyone is PERFECT, I can’t stress it enough, EVERYONE! Michael Giacchinos score is emotional, it’s heart pounding, saddening, epic, haunting, and hopeful all at the same time and his beautiful music elevated the whole film. The characterization of the villains is masterful, the pacing is fantastic and keeps you engaged from start to finish with a massively satisfying final act that leaves you hopeful and excited for the future, but leaves you with a sense that this story can stand on its own as a fascinating chapter in an early Batman’s life.

“Thursday, October 31st. The city streets are crowded for the holiday. Even with the rain. Hidden in the chaos is the element… waiting to strike like snakes. But I’m there too. Watching. Two years of nights have turned me into a nocturnal animal. I must choose my targets carefully. It’s a big city. I can’t be everywhere. But they don’t know where I am. We have a signal now. For when I’m needed. But when that light hits the sky… it’s not just a call. It’s a warning. To them. Fear… is a tool. They think I’m hiding in the shadows. But I am the shadows.”

Batman has always been my all time favorite character within pop culture, the ideology and morals presented in Batman stories always inspired me to do better, when I’m low I often turn to Bruce in his struggles as a motivation to overcome the obstacles of reality, Bruce Wayne is a character that took trauma and depression and formed it into a strength to help people and prevent the horrible things that he’s experienced from happening to anyone else. He’s a raw character that deals with his trauma by beating up criminals and sure he’s a billionaire but he’s relatable even more so than Spider-Man or superman because, well he’s just a man, a ten year old boy who lost his world and dedicated his wealth and life to his city, he shaped his mind and body too peak perfection so that he could be a hero, someone for those who have lost their everything to look up to. That’s why this character means so much to so many people, not just because he’s a badass that beats up crazy villains, because he’s human. 

“Bruce Wayne.”

From the way Batman’s appears from the shadows with only the sound of his heavy boots hitting the wet pavement, to the the way Gotham is presented everything feels extremely thought out. The arc of Bruce Wayne is a poetic and a very beautiful one, in the end the film comes to an extremely satisfying close and I never wanted it to end. For the first time ever in a Batman film, Batman is the main focus, he isn’t overshadowed by the villain or the world, this is his story and maybe his true origin. By the end of the film it’s no longer about vengeance and that’s the real arc, he grows from a vigilante to a true hero, this happens as soon as he hits that water, in that moment he enters the flooding as vengeance and as soon as he emerges he is reborn in a sense as The Batman, the protector of all of Gotham. When the movie comes to a close it feels like the first chapter has started and we just finished the prologue. The opening 15 minutes and the final 15 minutes contrast each other so well as when you watch them back to back it’s clear that this man has changed, and grown, the arc of Batman feels so earned and clear from the start.

“You’re apart of this too.”

Matt Reeves is one of the most brilliant filmmakers working today, his apes films are some of my favorites of all time, even with his early work on cloverfield you got the sense you were watching a masterful director shine through the screen with his vision. Matt made the movie he wanted to make from start to finish without any studio interference, he crafted his ideal version of a Batman story and got to do everything he wanted, which is an accomplishment in and of itself, having that much creative control in a big budget studio movie is almost unprecedented in our world today so right off the bat massive props to WB for being that awesome and trusting. The love and care you can feel throughout this meticulously crafted tightly woven mystery is inspiring.

“I’m vengeance.”

I can see this movie being possibly controversial because of its rating, the pg-13 rating while some may say limits the possibility of telling a truly scary serial killer crime story, I don’t think it does at all, it’s the unknown and the presence (or lack there of) of characters like the riddler that really did shake me to my core, trying to spot him in a large crowd or lurking in a nearby alley, you get this unnerving feeling that he IS around. There’s many scenes that had my heart racing, and that is coming from someone pretty desensitized to violence in movies. I can easily see some parents are gonna eat this movie up and all I gotta say to that is, you should’ve known what you were getting into from the first teaser alone presenting a zodiac like murderer, taping up a man’s face, the darkness of this movie has been extremely prevalent through its marketing, not so much in the toy department but yeah, the reason I bring this up is due to a few reviews that kinda rubbed me the wrong way from professional critics, this critic kinda said it was too dark and too scary, they took off a lot of points because of that and left it there, everyone is entitled to their own opinions but this was coming from a professional critic getting paid to review the film, I won’t name any names of course but I can definitely see criticisms like that being thrown around after the release and wanted to state my viewpoint on it.

“They think I’m hiding in the shadows, watching, waiting to strike, I am the shadows.”

Gordon is the Watson to Batman’s Holmes and the gritty detective narrative is everything a Batman fan dreams of, this is a true noir driven thriller that is extremely reminiscent of finchers Zodiac and Se7en with a little bit of Chinatown thrown into the mix and to be honest this movie takes the best elements of those films and throws them into this very gothic and terrifying version of Gotham city, that is perhaps the most comic accurate and believable portrayal of Gotham city yet, with elements of Chicago, New York, Liverpool all rolled into one to create a very haunting, corrupt gothic city. The subtle world building from reeves proves that he understands the comics and world, he gets what makes the city and villains so fascinating.

“Two years of night have turned me into a nocturnal animal.”

Paul Dano brings elements of horror and some of the most heart pounding suspense I’ve ever seen from a movie like this, he deserves to stand up on the mantle next to Heaths joker and riddler isn’t the only character that brings horror elements, Batman himself is portrayed as this monster, a creature that will come for you and it’s very prominent throughout the story that EVERYONE fears him maybe even more so than riddler. The three hour runtime felt like two, I wish I could be in this world for ten hours. Everything feels practical and grounded, from the practicality of the the Batsuit to his many gadgets that feel very home made by a grungy recluse in his basement. The way bruce doesn’t want to be bruce, he only wants to be Batman and you feel his struggle, you understand that he doesn’t feel as though he makes an effect as bruce. He has a long way to go to find the balance of Bruce and Batman and this is his starting point. His relationship with Alfred is heartbreaking as it is so obviously a father/son relationship in which the son is on the verge of being lost forever with the father being forced to watch him go down a path that may very well lead to his end.

“What’s black, and blue, and dead all over… you.”  

The two sides of trauma is extremely prevalent within riddler and Batman and you get a sense of pure poetic tragedy between both of them. The sound design and world feel ripped straight out of the Arkham games and the dark corridors of apartments and buildings within the city create a sense of claustrophobia. The internal monologue of Batman is very year one inspired and it puts you right in the head space of this Batman from the first frame. The chemistry between actors and sheer amount of detail and hard work put into this movie is inspiring, the use of mainly all practical effects, and the beautiful use of brand new LED screen in place of what would normally be blu screen, it’s jaw dropping and adds to the grounded nature of the story, the batmobile chase is perhaps the greatest chase scene I’ve ever witnessed and it’s all practical, they did that. The fight scenes are all in frame and you can see the choreography *cough* Nolan take notes, no but honestly the fight scenes are brutal and you feel every punch Batman takes as well as the ones he delivers. The camera lingers on the fight and every punch can be seen, it’s very impressive. The mystery itself is riveting and quite scary to be honest, this movie really does push that pg-13 rating to the limit, circling back to a few of the critical reviews a lot of the negative ones state that this film is too dark, this Batman is too depressing, he doesn’t smile, stuff like that and it really does confuse me, this is the nature of the character and at this point of his career he is still figuring out what it means to be a hero in a world that is prepared to inflict pain and loss and sets you up for failure, this is clearly a BROKEN portrayal of the character. Nonetheless, I feel that this is truly the most DEFINITIVE BATMAN UNIVERSE and if I could have it my way I would want to be in this world for a hundred hours. Comparing it to the Nolan trilogy, while I think all of those are phenomenal stories and some of my favorite movies of all time that I rewatch at least once a year, this feels like the early Batman I’ve read from the page and this movie really did satisfy each and every one of my needs.

“What I’m doing is my families legacy.”

As for my personal theater experience, I did go to the fan first premiere (March 1st) and as you would probably expect the theater was maybe even more packed than Spider-Man no way home, yeah I think that says something about how much anticipation was building leading up to this movie, I think every single seat was full except for the very front row, and there’s something about sitting in an auditorium of around 250 people all getting that same feeling of excitement and nervousness going in, the IMAX experience was fantastic and I cannot express it enough, GO TO THE THEATER FOR THIS ONE

“Vengeance won’t change the past, mine or anyone else’s. I have to become more. People need hope, to know someone is out there for them. The city’s angry. Scarred, like me. Our scars can destroy us. Even after the physical wounds have healed. But if we survive them they can transform us. They can give us the power to endure, and the strength to fight.” 

That moment Vengeance became something more, became Batman solidified the fact that I love this movie. The realization of the one thing he was doing wrong the whole time of was inflicting vengeance on the city. The introduction of Batman we get comes full circle with the final 20 minutes. This truly is the movie of my dreams, I’m not ashamed to admit I cried like a baby. There’s some really incredible references I recommend you look out for if you didn’t with your first watch, when they are at the orphanage and they talk about a reporter with the last name Elliot and it flashes to the next screen with hush written over it, definitely a reference to the Villain Hush in the Batman mythology. Thomas Elliot being the son of the reporter that dug into the Waynes mayoral candidacy. Another being the man at the funeral whom Bruce bumps into for a few seconds before having a brief moment of familiarity between both of them could be Joe Chill, the man who was hired to kill the Wayne’s. This is a cool one if true cause you can see that they recognize each other and right before Bella Real comes up to him they both have this moment of familiarity, when Bella Real says “Bruce Wayne” that guys looks in like disbelief, granted this could be because he was just poor and ragging on rich people but it’s the way Bruce almost thinks he recognizes as well that really leans into that theory. The look Bruce gives is almost like when you get pulled out of a dream and are trying to remember what happened and things seem familiar but you can’t quite put your finger on it, very interesting stuff if this turns out to be the case. Just another one of Reeves really subtle world building techniques that fleshes out this wolf like nothing we’ve seen in a comic book film before. Riddler can be seen taking pictures from his apartment as Selina is exits the iceberg lounge for the first time. And a final detail I picked up on and this one doesn’t have any creditably to it at the moment but what if since Falcone already had scratch scars on his face it be interesting if when Falcone strangled Selina’s mother if she did the same thing and scratched his face with her nails while he was killing her almost like a parallel to what Selina did while he was doing it to her. It could be anyone that could’ve given him the scar seeing as how it is implied that Falcone strangles a lot of the people he kills but this would be interesting.


The deleted scene in which Batman visits the Joker in Arkham to get his perspective on the Riddlers murders has been officially released. This scene is genuinely bone chilling. I’m going to come out and say it, Barry is the perfect Joker for this universe, the birth defect of his smile as Matt Reeves stated really did allow him to almost get in peoples head. Barry’s laugh and the overall way he has decided to portray this version of joker is horrifying and I love it so much. I really dig how they establish that they do in fact have an established relationship with joker saying right up front “it’s almost our anniversary isn’t it.” The makeup design is scary, it gets under your skin and personally left me breathless as you get the sense that this man believes he is in complete control of the situation and he is burrowing himself deep within Batman’s mind. The way the camera is off focus just to the perfect amount where you can only just barely make out his look up until it’s slowly revealed to you at the very end was genius. I can understand why this scene was cut as it doesn’t really further the plot in any way and this scene most definitely would’ve taken a lot of the spotlight off of Riddler but on the other hand I hope they include this on a blu ray release as an extended version of the movie as it’s a genuinely perfect look at the psyche of the Batman/Joker’s relationship and is a perfect scene in the sense that you feel the hero’s vulnerability as he is losing control of the situation. I cannot wait to see how Barry’s Joker continues in the future, maybe in the later film installments or perhaps in the Arkham show, or Penguin spin off.

“I’m here to unmask the truth about this cesspool we call a city.”

Overall, this is a movie that has been a massive part of my life for almost 3 years now and I’d be ashamed to give this anything lower than a…



This has taken the place of perhaps my favorite film of all time, I wish I could have 100 more hours in this world and I already have tickets to the Friday premiere.

Thank you Matt Reeves.


- The Batman Commentary By Matt Reeves -

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