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Dark “Batman” Does Deep Vigilante Dive

BY DREW RODRIGUEZ -- Fear is a tool … A common theme throughout this Matt Reeves iteration of Batman.

This time Warner Bros decided to take a break from their failed cinematic DC universe in favor of a grounded standalone tale of the world’s greatest detective. And it’s safe to say it worked in their favor. 2022’s “The Batman” dives deep into a darker vigilante side of Batman not quite seen in past versions of the character.

Director Reeves (“Cloverfield,” “Dawn of Planet of the Apes”) uses fear as a tool with a dark template employing lots of shadows to showcase the fear Batman strikes into the criminals of Gotham. And it places Reeves as the only director other than Tim Burton to have provided audiences with apes and bats.

Robert Pattinson, he of the Twilight sparkly vampires, provides a fresh take on Bruce Wayne, trading in the billionaire playboy seen previously in favor of a more disturbed introverted character who plays as a more realistic depiction to how someone might behave if both their parents were killed, and then dressed up like a bat at night.

This version of Bruce works well with the theme of the film and Pattinson gives a layered performance that makes you feel almost sympathetic in a weird disturbing way for the trauma this character inherited along with the wealth of his family.

Paul Dano works perfectly as his counterpart giving one of the best performances of a Batman villain since Heath Ledger’s Joker. Dano’s Riddler is disturbing, unhinged and at times stomach- churning from start to finish.

Zoe Kravitz and Pattinson share a great on-screen chemistry and their pairing does a good job of humanizing Bruce as a character while keeping Kravitz’ “Catwoman” a bit mysterious and perhaps dangerous to all who come in contact with her.

What I enjoyed most from this film, though, was how the plot dove deep into Gotham’s corruption, taking audiences on a detective noir film journey that uncovers layers of each character as the corruption of Gotham is revealed by none other than the antagonist. Who, then, is the real villain?

While at times the film suffers from slow pacing over its three-hour run time (fair warning: easy on the drinks with your popcorn), for fans of The Batman this film is for you. In my opinion, it is the truest adaptation of the Dark Knight to date and I’d be willing to debate it’s the best Batman movie.

It’s the most accurate story of a character famously nicknamed the world’s greatest detective.

All in all, a fun experience for any comic book fan. 4 out of 5 Stars.

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