zee’s review published on Letterboxd:
i am a huge batman fan so this is straight up biased and i don't even care at this point, i'm going to gush about this 3 hour experience i just had.i know i stopped giving ratings to movies on this site because i felt like it ratings didn't do anything for me anymore BUT sometimes i feel like i have to make an exception to the rule, and this is one of them. this felt like years worth of batman content i've consumed rolled all into one; every comic i have read, every movie or animated series i've watched, the video games i have played.
i definitely understand how this might feel disappointing or slow to the average anyone expecting constant high octane explosions but to me that 3 hour runtime went by so quickly i wasn't tempted to check my phone at all to see how much longer we have to go because the character driven performances were all bloody fantastic. it'll take me hours to talk about how paul dano's riddler and colin farrell's penguin are two of the best villain performances we've ever seen on screen, or how zoe kravitz's selina kyle is the defining catwoman for me - her motives and her dynamic with bruce felt natural and straight from comics i've read.
robert's bruce wayne well and truly looks like a pathetic sad little rich boy without the suit on and i think he may actually be my favourite batman yet. you're constantly reminded that he's still a rookie vigilante; he isn't a batman that has figured everything out and he makes so many mistakes and visibly gets frustrated with himself for them, you can see how much it consumes him underneath the mask. there's so much emphasis on how the bat signal creates a sense of fear amongst gotham's citizens, but what about what the bat signal means to the man himself? what happens when the batman himself is terrified about jumping off a building and almost landing himself in a grave? this is where i feel where robert's performance gets batman right the most: he doesn't need the members of the justice league standing next to him to show just how he has to make desperate and risky decisions.
yes, i know there are people who wanted a campy, or light-hearted 'fun' batman (and i for one LOVE camp) but i promise you this is a gritty gotham that genuinely felt so dynamic and alive. every person's actions have consequences that aren't magically resolved in the third act; and everything that is currently happening feels intrinsically connected with the history of the city itself. this, to me, really captures the essence of every batman comic i've ever read.
i have to hold back from saying anything more, i'm just so glad the wait for this movie was worth it because it felt like the detective comics movie i've always wanted to see! will definitely be watching this again.