The Batman

The Batman ★★★★

Epic noir / detective / superhero story, based on the popular DC Comics character. 'Batman' tracks serial killer 'The Riddler', who is targeting members of Gotham City's upper class, uncovering a deeper underworld corruption. A neat and fresh take on the character. Impeccably presented - visually stylish, boasting excellent production design, costumes, and a fantastic score. Surprisingly subtle in places, there's certainly an emphasis on building atmosphere in its methodical pacing, editing, framing of shots. It’s a little silly and littered with conveniences, but nevertheless engaging and entertaining. Gotham City is a key character within the wider narrative. A cesspool riddled with desperation - the persistent rain, presumably representing a pervasive / endless corruption. The eventual flood, a despicably violent act, ultimately issues a cleansing - allowing Batman to become a beacon, in the most literal means, within the most beautiful shot of the whole film. A story of vengeance, loss, identity, obsession, isolation. Exploring ideas of duality, with every character harbouring some kind of secret or dual nature. Also exploring ideas of radicalism - most notably as the Riddler uses social media to gain support. The performances are great across the board. Dano particularly shines as the Riddler - a mix of the 'Zodiac' killer, Saw's 'Jigsaw' and Edmund Kemper. The 3-hour runtime magically zips by.

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