The sanction cancellation of the Russian rental of a new incarnation of the adventures of the most popular comic book hero “DC” only delayed the acquaintance of Russian viewers with this film. The novelty is already available online. But was Matt Reeves’ new Batman so good?
Dir. “Matt Reeves.”
Starring Robert Pattinson, Zoe Kravitz, Paul Dano, Jeffrey Wright, John Turturro, Peter Sarsgaard, Barry Keogan, Jamie Lawson, Andy Serkis, Colin Farrell
Production – USA
Dramatic crime detective – another film adaptation of the eponymous comics “DC”. He became the director of the film Matt Reeves, known for his work on the tapes “Monster”, “Let me in”. Saga “,” Planet of the Apes: Revolution “and “Planet of the Apes: War”.
The action of the film takes place on the wet October streets of the eternally gloomy Gotham. Bruce Wayne (Robert Pattinson) for two years he had been trying on a Batman costume. He instills fear and terror in local gangs and lone criminals, working closely with the police commissioner Gordon (Jeffrey Wright). A series of brutal murders of members of the “privileged classes” is taking place in the city. Behind these massacres is a masked man calling himself Mysterious (Paul Dano). To understand who he is and what he needs, Batman is forced to face the sharks of Gotham’s underworld, such as Carmine Falcone (John Turturro) and Penguin (Colin Farrell). There he meets and Catwoman (Zoe Tailor)whose motives and goals go hand in hand with Batman.
In the new century, we have seen two canonical cinematic adaptations of comic books about Batman. He shot the first trilogy Christopher Nolanwhich is forever changed approach to shooting comic book adaptations. After that, Batman appeared in movies Zach Snyder “Batman vs. Superman” and Justice League. On the one hand – action-packed, realistic and gloomy action movie, on the other – a sweeping, superhero epic. Reeves was faced with a serious task – to do something unlike the works of Snyder and Nolan, while not sitting in a puddle and provide a strong box office for the film. Well, we can immediately say that the director managed to do it, but the film came out not without flaws.
It’s hard to call the new Batman a superhero – there’s almost nothing fantastic about it. Even in the uniform and weapons of the protagonist. This is a down-to-earth story about finding a mentally unbalanced maniac, clashes with criminal bosses, as well as the torments and tragedy of the protagonist. No aliens, krypton, salvation of humanity and epic battles. The only significant fictional moment is Gotham himself – a departure from fiction back to Nolan realism and gloom, which played into the hands of the film. At the same time, it can’t be said that Reeves copied Nolan – their films are very different. Here we have not a spectacular cunning action movie, but a grim neo-noir detective who refers directly to the original Batman comics. In the background, the elements of the thriller slightly prevail over the action, which is given a modest place here. This balance of power may not be to the liking of avid fans of comics, who are anxiously awaiting another thoughtless action-dump in the spirit of “Marvel” movies. This is not in the slightest.
The main core of the film is the unraveling of the crimes of the Mystery Man, which reveals to Batman new and new details from the life of the elites of this city. Those whom the Dark Knight protects. The maniac also opens our hero’s eyes to some hitherto unknown details from his father’s life. All this breaks the inner world of Bruce Wayne.
As befits a strong detective, he slowly but steadily unravels a tangle of his own mysteries. The film lasts two and a half hours, most of it is dialogues, which can also captivate loyal fans of superheroes. Which, as such, is not in this film at all.
All of the above is subjective, because we ourselves really liked the film. It’s just that it’s strikingly different from modern superheroes, referring not even to Nolan’s films, but to the grim detective comics of the 70’s. The creators have tried to glory, because the film is full of references, filled with a thick, gloomy atmosphere of decline and degradation of society, through which the light of truth and goodness breaks through as brightly and effectively as ever. Local Gotham is more like Gotham from The Jokeras well as the general atmosphere. Is that here everything is more gloomy and gothic. By the way, the new “Batman” does not stand comparisons with the “Joker” – it lacks the social component and a good disclosure of the drama of the protagonist.
In general, in the social message of this film, some particularly gifted users of the network were able to see almost a justification for fascism, the oppression of the lower classes in favor of the oligarchy and officials. In fact, this is not the case. From the very beginning of his creation, Batman has sacredly and consistently pursued one idea in the pages of comics – the rule of law. That is why he (in most cases) did not kill anyone, did not resort to illegal means, constantly cooperated with the police. His inner drive for justice, his inability to live without punishing criminals, making the world a better place, was embodied in the strict adherence to the letter of the law. As an archetype, Batman is the personification of the rule of law, while his main enemy, the Joker, is an example of a misinterpretation of “anarchy.” Without a constant battle with chaotic (or orderly, as in the present case) lawlessness, Batman will simply lose the meaning of life. The law for him, in part, helps to hide the true motive for heroism – the thirst for revenge. It was the thirst for revenge for the murdered parents, which young Bruce loved dearly, led him to maniacally follow the letter of the law in pursuit of criminals.
But back to Matt Reeves’ painting. What makes the film captivate both superhero fans and movie lovers in general is the style of the visual series. This applies to both the entourage and the heroes themselves, which are described below. The Gotham of the new Batman, as we have already noted, is gloomy and cold; its streets are littered, and the manners of many inhabitants are not distinguished by nobility. The image of the city already shows a slight departure from realism towards Gothic (architecture and interiors) and cyberpunk (high technology is adjacent to low living standards). The tape looks incredibly stylish, which, in our opinion, is its main and main plus. Negative aesthetics ooze from each frame, so it was quite easy for us to watch it for two and a half hours.
Local characters look no worse. Robert Pattinson’s Batman – perfectly reflects the inner world of the hero, who has serious mental health problems. This is not the fancy on the outside, the knight inside, who was in this image Christian Bale. And not the depressedly depressed creator of the Justice League, like Ben Affleck. Pattinson in his quest to “wash off” the vanilla image of a vampire lover passed through the harsh school of arthouse cinema before returning to big Hollywood. As an actor, he has become so obsessed that we consider him one of the best actors of his generation. Here he does not try to pull the blanket over himself, because drama is not the main thing in this film. But you believe his character right away, because he seems a much more real person than his predecessors in this role. This applies even to action, in which he, although he deals with many enemies, but does so as an ordinary person, not a superhero. And not without loss for himself. We believe that the creators decided not to fully reveal the main character, so that there was something to do in the sequels.
The background of the film is simply full of bright images performed by colorful actors. Zoe Kravets has played the best Catwoman since Michelle Pfeiffer. She is seductive, graceful and incredibly elegant in this image, as well as devoid of superhero plaque. Their relationship with Batman is quite banal, but against the background of general darkness and despair, it looks not like a pleasant element for the ears, but like a nice small contrast, which reveals a little more of both of these characters.
Colin Farrell as the Penguin has changed beyond recognition. The make-up artists did their best to make him look like a fat and ugly man. Roberta De Niro in the image of a mother mobster. To Farrell’s credit, he was a great fit in the role – it wasn’t easy for us to see the actor himself in The Penguin. His facial expressions and gestures, manner of speech and play with his eyes – everything looked great. By the way, the studio Warner Bros. has already announced the first spin-off of “Batman”, which will be dedicated to the Penguin. The second spin-off will tell about the Arkham psychiatric clinic and its inhabitants, among whom (there will be spoilers until the end of the paragraph) the most likely Joker will most likely appear. We are sure of this, because the Joker appears for a couple of minutes in the film itself, plus the studio has laid out a cut scene from the film with his participation. By the way, they cut in vain, the scene is great, the new Joker is just a bomb. Behind the guise of a disfigured, eerie and sick villain, both mentally and physically, hid Barry Keogan – a relatively young Irish actor, to whom we predicted a great future as soon as we saw “The Murder of the Sacred Deer.” We are looking forward to the solo album about Arkham, hoping to see a new Joker in it.
John Turturo, Jeffrey Wright and Andy Serkis looked more familiar on screen. At least they didn’t have a ton of makeup on. Although Sörkis in his human form appears on the big screens much less often – most people know the actor for his role Gollum, King Kong and Caesar from “Planet of the Apes”.
The film’s soundtrack also refers more to classic noir films than to modern adaptations. The composer is responsible for the musical accompaniment Michael Giacchino, who has a huge track record, as well as an Oscar for his work on Pixar’s animated film “Up”. His soundtrack to “Batman” is perfect for the overall atmosphere and action of the film. However, due to his beauty and ability to be remembered by the viewer, he strongly loses to his creations Hans Zimmer for the Nolan trilogy.
Epicrisis: the new “Batman” is clearly not intended for teenage popcorn audiences. This strong, interesting, grim detective is more suitable for an adult thoughtful viewer. We can’t call this movie a masterpiece – there are no important subtexts here. But we definitely liked the film because it’s full of conscience and it’s just nice to watch. This film is strikingly different from modern superheroes, which is undoubtedly its strength.
As illustrations, footage from the trailer for the movie “Batman” (2022), dir. “Matt Reeves.”