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The Mass Media

Should you watch ‘The Batman’?

Promotional+poster+for+%26%238220%3BThe+Batman%26%238221%3B+%282022%29.+Used+for+identification+purposes.
Promotional poster for “The Batman” (2022). Used for identification purposes. Graphic sourced from IMDb. Protected copyright of Warner Brothers/D.C Comics.

It’s that time of year again. Do I mean that spring is just around the corner? Is it that Easter is coming up? No, I mean it’s time for another Batman movie. As a character, Batman has been about as prevalentsome might say even oversaturatedas it gets. We’ve seen just about every iteration of the character that’s possible. There’s been light and dark, realistic and utterly fictional. With all of that being said, is this latest iteration of the character worth checking out? I’d say yes, it is. 

First thing’s first: what kind of Batman movie are we getting here? Keeping with the trend of the past few decades, this movie is of the gritty variety. For those of you who may be fans of the campy and colorful style of Adam West’s portrayal, this movie may not be all that enjoyable. That isn’t to say it isn’t visually interesting in its own way. Director Matt Reeves is well known for his visually stunning movies. Whether it’s the near photorealism of the apes in his “Planet of the Apes” films or the found footage style of “Cloverfield,” Reeves is a master of giving his films a darker yet compelling style. Gotham comes to life in “The Batman,” giving the entire film a memorable gothic aesthetic.

What about the acting? As should come as a surprise to no one, the acting was stellar. What else can you expect from a cast that consists of Robert Pattinson, Zoë Kravitz, Colin Farrell and more widely acclaimed actors? Kravitz in particular was a standout, giving her Catwoman an even greater complexity than past renditions. Farrell as Oswald Cobblepot, better known as the Penguin, was extremely fun to watch. He had most of the movie’s laugh out loud moments by a wide margin. As for the opposite end of things, Pattinson’s Bruce Wayne carried a constant grief with him throughout the entire film. His Batman is for the emo kids out there.

What about the story? Is it interesting or relevant? As one could surmise from watching the trailer, this film takes a look at government corruption. Whether it be corrupt politicians, police officers or wealthy elite, the divide between the world of the powerful and the oppressed are explored to a great extent. In that way, the film feels particularly relevant. Some decry the movie for being too “woke” because of this, but I’d have to disagree. The Batman mythos is about a rich kid who begins fighting crime because the government and police haven’t been doing enough to stop it. Privilege and corruption are embedded in the character. The Riddler, as played by Paul Dano, also comes off as a product of the times we live in. It’s hard to go into detail without getting into spoilers, but this Riddler is a child of the internet era. 

How does it hold up to other contemporary superhero films? It’s as good as the best ones and better than most of them. That’s not to discredit the style and approach of any of the others; I have a lot of fun with Marvel’s signature quips and humor. I just found this Batman movie to be something special. It felt like a comic book while also retaining the gritty realism that many associate with the character nowadays. Also, the mass audience that the film has found, like “Twilight” fans watching the film for Robert Pattinson, has also worked towards making this “cape flick” something different. The film is certainly long, and that will probably retract from its rewatch value, but I found myself captivated through the whole thing. So, if you’re at all interested, go and spend two and a half hours watching the world’s greatest detective solve some riddles.

About the Contributor
Kyle Makkas, Humor Writer