Director Matt Reeves has made a story that will be memorable for Batman fans for generations to come. Taking the caped crusader to his early days without the whole origin part. Instead, he focuses on year two. A young, less established and experienced Batman. Gotham still doesn’t know what side he’s on nor do the police do either. Together, Batman and James Gordon (Jeffrey Wright) seek towards a better Gotham city. Exposing the truth and bringing justice to those who deserve it.
That’s the key here, justice. Some have a certain definition of that, with more extreme methods. In comes The Riddler. Actor Paul Dano is able to shed some of the humor of the character to focus more on a brutal take that fits Matt Reeves’ universe. Providing Bruce with a challenge that runs deep into Gotham’s political system and underworld. So deep that it connects to the Wayne’s, causing Bruce to even face his own real truth. With additions like Zoë Kravitz’s Selina Kyle, Colin Farrell’s Oz and John Turturro’s Carmine Falcone. The lies will be revealed in this detective noir style story.
“Batman ventures into Gotham City’s underworld when a sadistic killer leaves behind a trail of cryptic clues. As the evidence begins to lead closer to home and the scale of the perpetrator’s plans become clear, he must forge new relationships, unmask the culprit and bring justice to the abuse of power and corruption that has long plagued the metropolis.”
As said, it’s a young Batman. Reeves is able to capture not only the essence of a young hero but also its setting. This is before many of his rogues exist. Even The Joker isn’t the joker yet. All of Batman’s future rogues are still developing as the city does.
Let’s discuss the city itself now. In various iterations, rather its comic or screen, pre-Batman Gotham is run by corrupt politicians and crime lords. Feeding off the less fortunate and using their power for bad. This kind of theme is focused beautifully in the film. There’s even the quote “The city is angry, scarred, like me”. The innocent always pay the price thanks to the corrupt.
Robert Pattinson cements himself as one the best portrayals of Batman. You’re able to go see his emotion, even with the cowl on. His journey throughout makes him second guess what he’s truly fighting for and how he makes a difference. You can even tell it by the he fights. There’s anger and trauma in the way he operates. Like there’s a message he wants to send for the criminals. “Fear, is a tool”. Setting the stage for his future as The Dark Knight.
Selina Kyle’s story is also focused heavily, which hasn’t always been the case in other iterations. Carmine Falcone along with Oz(The Penguin) play the visceral yet sometimes comedic part. You never know who’s telling the truth. Adding to The Riddlers plan of justice, no matter how he gets it. Unmasking the truth, one riddle at a time.
This is the quintessential Batman movie, it has everything you could want while perfectly describing the character. Some may say The Dark Knight while others are partial to Tim Burtons world. All are correct, it just depends on personal preference. What do you see when you think of Batman? All films have focused on different themes with their own style. Batman is a symbol of hope to the innocent and justice to the corrupt. Somehow, the talented Matt Reeves is able to represent many qualities and identifies the beauty in the chaos known as Gotham City.