“The Batman” Movie Review: A Three-Hour Nightmare


Maia Graham, Student Journalist

Aside from glowing reviews, including a 4-star rating, “The Batman” fails to stand out as anything other than a melodramatic cliche. 

As the movie introduces its first opening scenes, the infamous dark setting of Batman’s Gotham City, while rain flows down its streets and unveils the city’s darkest corners, is every bit as chilling as its reputation. All while Robert Pattinson’s theatrical “Batman voice,” narrates his opening monologue. “Two years of nights have turned me into a nocturnal animal,” he says, as he watches from the shadows, “I wish I could say I’m making a difference, but I don’t know.” The movie mostly centers around Gotham City’s corrupt underworld, as a sadistic killer starts murdering city officials, revealing just how corrupt Gotham really is. Alongside city police, Batman sets out to investigate the recent killings, leading to several revelations about Gotham and his own family history. It’s a common theme in movies to address greater issues around one specific villain, but, as the movie progresses, it becomes tiring and repetitive. 

Unlike other Batman films, The Batman promised a sense of originality, but the movie goes back to old superhero cliches, such as dull romantic subplots, uninteresting villains, and simplistic characterization. 

In the many renditions of Batman, Bruce Wayne is always an overly philanthropic rich playboy, who seeks to protect the infamous Gotham City. His storyline follows the murder of his parents at the hands of the dangerous city and sets out to fix an irreparable Gotham following his late father’s example. However, in the beginning, this movie portrays Bruce Wayne as a societal recluse struggling with morality, which could have provided a different side to one of the most prolific superhero characters of all time, but instead ends up focusing on the wrong things. Pattinson’s Batman calls himself “vengeance” and gives the impression of a psychopathic vigilante, but then the movie develops him as a magnanimous hero withstanding an existential crisis, while he listens to Nirvana and refuses to get a haircut. 

During the whole three hours of this exhausting action film, nothing really happened. There is no developmental aspect to its plot or characters at all. A superhero movie tends to focus more on the excitement and special effects, but it first needs to establish a good storyline and heroic purpose. When working with such a recognizable character and storyline as Batman, the movie builds upon interpretation.  This movie built on the original movies’ success and made no bold effort, except perhaps for Pattinson’s creepy persona, to step out of their comfort zone. If you want to watch Robert Pattinson growl in a deep voice for way too many hours, the Twilight saga would be a better fit.