VHS_Comrade’s review published on Letterboxd:
The film being bookended by Batman being a symbol of fear, the civilian afraid Batman would hurt him, at the start and by the end a symbol of hope, helping civilians out of the disaster, is perfect. Finally a Batman who has depth and realizes he needs to become a symbol of hope instead of vengeance to better Gotham.
Pattinson is my Batman. I thought that this would be a fine film but I never expected this. The way he chose to walk, talk, move around different people, even investigate. Pattinson embodied Batman so well. He really sells this character like no one before him. That’s without mentioning the phenomenal character development we got. The only downside is his “in-public” Bruce portrayal but that can be forgiven by this only being his second year being Batman. We got a balance of hand to hand combat, the bat gadgets, and Batman finally being a detective. The pacing was damn near perfect, I’m not a huge fan of long films and that’s why I still haven’t seen either Justice League, but even at a three hour runtime it didn’t drag a bit. The score and sound design were phenomenal, and even actually scary at times. The rest of the cast was great as well; Zoe Kravitz is my definitive Catwoman now, Dano did a fantastic and terrifying Riddler, and Jeffrey Wright was about as solid a choice for Jim Gordon as you can get. The mood is what stuck out to me the most. It’s just got such a perfect comic accurate tone; it’s not too dreary with just enough brooding and camp. I honestly don’t know how Matt Reeves created such a comic book accurate Gotham.
It’s kind of funny reading some of the reviews others have posted about The Batman becoming too ”woke”. It’s just lazy criticism. Batwoman has always been a Robin Hood type of villain, race isn’t an important characteristic to Jim Gordon, and Riddler’s motives aren’t too unique when compared to the Rogues Gallery.
There were so many setup and payoffs, for longtime fans and new fans alike. Another favorite is Batman claiming he is the Shadows at the start and then lights the way out at the end. It’s such a tight film. This is the first movie I’ve seen since the pandemic started (I saw this in IMAX) and I think it has rekindled my love for movies. This is my favorite comic book adaptation.