The Batman

The Batman ★★★★

Before the movie started, they showed the trailer for the Doctor Strange sequel. The trailer played up the fact that it is a Sam Raimi film. When I leaned over to my friend - who is a huge fan of The Evil Dead - to ask him if he thought that it looked like a Raimi film, there was some serious anger in his short "nope" reply. That MCU entry might turn out fine but I do appreciate that The Batman genuinely felt like someone's vision.

To be clear, The Dark Knight is still pretty much the most awesome and loud thing out there, but I never got a clear picture of what kind of city Gotham is supposed to be in that trilogy. This Gotham here has a very distinct dark and gloomy look and feel while still seeming like a lived-in space. Then there is the sound: Giacchino's score, the trickling rain and the sound of Batman's boots sent comforting shivers down my spine.

It didn't win me over right away. There was a serious case of "what is this?" going on when Bruce Wayne put on those stupid tiny sunglasses to round out his mid-2000s emo punk look. Luckily this wore off and I've gotta say Pattinson did a good job. On the spectrum of cast and characters, I only didn't care much for Alfred - I guess they are still looking for an angle that is not just a repeat of Michael Caine's interpretation.

On the other end of the spectrum, let me address the penguin in the room. Again, at first I was highly irritated by the show-offy makeup on Farrell. I mean, are there no doughy fat guys around you could cast instead? Then it all clicked for me, the character's bizarre larger-than-life presence told my brain that these scenes are supposed to be more absurd and tongue-in-cheek. This Penguin basically is a wise-cracking CG side character without being CG at all. Brilliant!

Until the finale kicked in, the movie won me over. Then again, I wasn't too sure about how I felt about said climax. I guess it fits thematically very well into Batman's arc. My guess is, that this movie will really grow on me. Matt Reeves had a clear vison, Warner took a bit of a risk and I am glad it paid off so well.

MVP: The sound system at my theatre during the car chase scene.

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