The Batman – Movie Reviews by Ry!

The Batman – Detective of the Night: I Am Vengeance

A journey is defined by its path and experience.  It is a kindling of a moving paradigm that provides meaningful layers of passion and purpose.  Within this, everything becomes marks that bridge emotions, sensations and thoughts of something more.  In this review, I look at the latest iteration of the famed cape crusader.  With a mixture of character and thematic appeal, it’s a story layered on many levels.  Even with a slow buildup, The Batman is a gripping crime thriller that shows the meaning of vengeance.     

Within Gotham, crime is everywhere.  Among the weary, killings of prominent political figures begin to happen.  As fear grips the population, Batman (Robert Pattinson) begins to investigate these murders, only to reveal a sinister web of corruption that might lead back to his own family.  The character of Batman has been reused (to a point of saturation) in various mediums.  No matter who you are, you will have a basic understanding of who is Batman.  That prevalence provides a basis of expectation but can also lead to stagnation of storytelling.  Matt Reeves (writer/director) approaches the lore through a unique blend of crime thriller and film noir elements.  Within this is an enveloping of themes that allows for the representation (of Batman) to stand upon its own raw accord.  In the beginning (through the drop-in method), the audience witnesses an unhinged Gotham because of the gruesome death of their mayor.  This leads Batman to investigate the crime.  Through a series of events (and other murders) it is revealed that these acts are being executed by a sadistic serial killer that goes by the name of The Riddler (Paul Dano).  As he pieces together each clue, it becomes an ominous conjecture that peels away the power structure of the city.  The slow moving ‘detective’ elements allows for a methodically paced journey to resonate within its own tonal aspect.  This slow grip leads to endearing characterization, revealing a Batman in his early days of establishing his purpose in Gotham.  It is an abstraction of the human persona, one that is placed within iconography.  As you move into the second act, the mystery adds a layer of connection to the rest of the city.  The liveliness is ironically placed against the grittiness of visuals, but is built masterfully through the subtlety of conversation, physical mannerism and actualization of the criminal world.  As Batman navigates Gotham, it leads to dealings with the mob, Penguin (Colin Farrell) and Selina Kyle (Zoe Kravitz).  With each new informative thread, it builds upon its own thematic motif, purposeful subplots that add to the complexion of The Riddler’s crime.

As the journey moves through additional scenes of action and suspense, all the ongoings elevate the stature of the genre.  Instead of just being another origin/hero’s tale or good triumphs over evil motif, this is a story grounded in the aspect of human fragility.  By going this route, it allows for the atmospheric lighting, strong relationship building, hard-hitting actions and darkly tones to revel in its underlying existentialism: the ramification of a symbol.  These elements help build up a Batman that must confront an enemy with no boundaries, leading into a third act that showcases the heart of fragile hope.  This builds towards a climax that has far reaching consequences for the city of Gotham.  The Batman goes beyond the comic book motif to become a strong cinematic experience.  With great characterization mixed within detective/film noir elements, it is a journey that represents the strength of filmmaking.  If you are a fan of the character, film noir, gritty/detective tales, this is one for you.  This isn’t your same old Batman, and that makes for a truly rewarding experience. 

Full Score – 4.5 out of 5 (Award Worthy)

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