Spoilers already suck at Wordle.

I resisted watching this one for a while. I do enjoy my mix of mainstream and indie films, but I’m never quite sure I can count myself as a typical moviegoer or a film snob wannabe. It’s just really annoying to get several films made about the same character while less known stories never get their chance in the spotlight. I don’t hate this character, but he’s been done to death. This is not a bad film, and it does take some liberties with the story, but whether that’s enough to revisit Gotham again is debatable.

(Credit: Warner Bros)

The Batman (2022) was directed by Matt Reeves, based on a screenplay by Matt Reeves and Peter Craig. Bruce Wayne (Robert Pattinson) is Batman (if you call this one a spoiler, this is not the film for you), a costumed vigilante that has managed to secure the trust of Gotham PD’s Lieutenant James Gordon (Jeffrey Right). They’re both allies against the massive wave of corruption and organized crime, personified by Carmine Falcone (John Turturro) and The Penguin (Colin Farrell). A new threat has appeared with a mysterious serial killer that leaves riddles for Batman to solve. Aiding him to solve the mystery is Selina Kyle aka Catwoman (Zoë Kravitz), who has an agenda of her own.

I will give the filmmakers props for trying to add some innovation to the old story with a couple of twists and turns. The Riddler (Paul Dano) is definitely a different, more murderous, psychopathic incarnation. The story is far darker and grittier than usual. I couldn’t help but draw comparisons to Se7en. Perhaps I’ve become a lot more susceptible, but I really found it way too dark – both figuratively and literally.I will warn you, this movie also will challenge your high-def TV’s black and blue colours. You’ll better plan to see it at night or in a dark room. It does work as a neo-noir film with a comic book setting, but this is still very much a Batman film.

It has some high points. Pattinson embodies a very troubled, damaged, Bruce Wayne. Colin Farrell’s Penguin is quite a transformation. The action is decent, without being particularly innovative. There’s way too many entrances and too many rainy scenes. Also, it’s foreboding for the baddies to hear Batman’s steps as he approaches ominously, but it has very little tactical advantage. I did enjoy the scenes with the Batmobile. Andy Serkis reprises the role of Alfred Pennyworth, although with the packed cast he doesn’t get to make much of an impact. I do wish it wasn’t three hours long. I don’t feel it justifies its runtime. This is why I ended up waiting for it to show up online.

Only recommended for fans of the character with reservations. It might attract some audiences outside of the bat-fandom, and it does take some liberties subverting the original story. I think it does flex some storyteller skills, but sometimes it feels hampered by trying to force one more climatic scene. Because of that, it feels it overstays its welcome. Worth a watch for the people already interested in it. The casual audiences might benefit from watching it online, where they can take a much needed break.

That will do for now.