The Batman

The Batman ★★★★

The Batman is an absolutely brilliant and top-tier entry into the superhero genre… for most of its run time. Unfortunately, despite the film’s great strengths, it loses some steam towards the end of its three hour run time.

First, the good. This film is more of a noir than an action film. This decision is great as it decidedly sets The Batman apart from its contemporaries. It doesn’t have to beat other Batman/superhero films at their own game, since it’s playing an entirely different game. The plot is perhaps a bit overcomplicated, but since this film is mostly a serial killer murder mystery, that’s somewhat to be expected. Greig Frazier and Michael Giacchino both turn in real top tier work here. The cinematography, is colorful, dreary and beautiful. With this and Dune, Frazier has in just a few short months skyrocketed himself to the top tier of cinematographers working today. Giacchino, meanwhile, creates a score that sounds unlike any of his others. The characters themes are all great and fitting for who they are. And while it may not be as instantly iconic as Elfman’s Batman theme was, this one has a real sense of weight that fits this grittier version of the character.

As for the third act, we’ll that’s where the film’s weaknesses lie. The third act doesn’t feel like a natural progression of the narrative, but rather something added to give the film a bigger third act. It’s not something the audience feels emotionally connected to, and though it’s well done after such a long film, it loses some of the good will the film had built up.

Halfway through the film I thought it was in line to be one of the best superhero films ever. Ultimately, it falls just a tier below that. Still, I really like what WB and DC are doing right now. The Batman is fully and completely Matt Reeves film. Though this is for better and worse, I’m very happy to see a filmmaker be able to execute their vision fully, and it creates a far more interesting film than if it had been done in a more generic “house style.”

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