The Batman – The DVDfever Review – Robert Pattinson

The Batman

The Batman is yet another reboot for one of DC Comics’ major characters, and when director Matt Reeves took it on, I did wonder whether it was necessary, since it’s only 10 years since Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy ended, and we’ve had Ben Affleck’s Bat in the meantime with a handful of films including Zack Snyder’s Justice League.

Note that while I’ll avoid major spoilers, I will say what happens in the first few minutes of the movie as it sets the scene as for what’s to come.

Rupert Penry-Jones has been starring in ITV’s Our House just as I went to see this in the cinema, and here, he plays a Mayor seeking re-election, although later, a picture of him looks more like English cabinet minister Dominic Raab! Poor Rupert.

Still, even more of a problem for his character, Mayor Don Mitchell, Jr, since while he’s watching back a head-to-head TV debate with challenger Bella Reál (Jayme Lawson), and trying to relax from a busy day, it’s before he even knows what’s happened, he’s brutally murdered by The Riddler (Paul Dano, who’s masked for most of the movie), and the oddball won’t stop there.

It’s Halloween, and this particular version of Batman (Robert Pattinson) has been at his vigilantism for two years, yet still no-one knows who he is. With a brief bit of broody narration, he tells us how this line of work has made him feel like a nocturnal animal, so it’s rather like working from home during that time, and you’ve started to lose track of which way is up.

However, for someone with a great deal of money, he could try solving major issues of the world, yet spends his nights going after street hoodlums who harrass one or two individuals at a time. Meanwhile, there’s a rat out there… as in someone being bad, not the rodent sort, although the fact that Bat, Cat and Rat all sound so similar shows how one-dimensional the writing in this movie really is, leading to a sluggish plot.

Zoe Kravitz‘s Catwoman comes into the plot because she’s trying to find her safecracking friend, Annika (Hana Hrzic), who’s gone missing. On the plus side, Ms Kravitz is extremely hot and the best thing about this film.

As an aside, while a number of British actors are in this, playing Americans, there’s a couple of interesting cast additions with the legendary Sandra Dickinson (Trillian in The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy) as Dory, plus Alex Ferns as Commissioner Pete Savage. I didn’t think I recognised either actor at first, but I turned out to be correct. Ferns is probably best known for his character in Eastenders, Trevor Morgan, who had many key scenes with his then-wife Little Mo, his time and character ending around Halloween (coincidentally, for this film), 20 years ago.

The Batman

Broody Emo Pattinson Batman…

Now for the problems…

    1. Firstly, it’s too long, and that initially put me off, although when it came to making the trip, in the end I thought why not, I’ve got nowt else to do. As Drago said in Rocky IV: “If he wees, he wees”. Yes, that’s a factor to consider when you’re older than you’d like to be and was wishing for the return of the intermission.

    Now, maybe the old, sunken seats in Screen 7 of the Odeon Trafford Centre helped stop the bladder from thinking – Hey, it’s time for a wee! Whether or not that happened, I went for an early showing (11am), drank very little from getting up (just occasional, essenetial sips of water), and then when in the cinema, and since you have around 20-25 minutes of adverts and trailers, I tend to make a final pit-stop just as the trailers begin. After that, I was fine. Sometimes, your body can blindside you, but that’s the trouble when you can’t pause a film.

    2. Secondly, I’d heard it was too dark – not in tone, but in how it’s filmed. And it is. Almost EVERY scene in the film (bar one outdoor scene which was shot in Liverpool, doubling for Gotham) is almost pitch black. It’s one thing to do this occasionally, but for almost the entire film? That’s ridiculous.

    3. The links between some of the characters are like a bad soap opera, or an episode of Lace, from the ’80s with Phoebe Cates. If you’ve seen that, you’ll know where I’m going with that. It’s a fairly obscure reference, so if you didn’t see it at the time, check it out after watching this.

    4. There’s just one brief car chase for the Batmobile, and that’s pretty much the only major-ish scene with the Penguin, who’s played by Colin Farrell, but looks more like an old and fat Robert De Niro. This leads me on to the fact that like a lot of major films that run on way too long, there are far too many characters. There’s too much Jim Gordon (Jeffrey Wright), while Alfred (Andy Serkis) (who we learn is good a decrypting cyphers, in his brief appearance) and the Penguin feel more like an afterthought. Hence, some balance should’ve been found between Jim and Alfred, while the Penguin could’ve been left out altogether. He seems only as a conduit to another character who has more relevance.

    5. When it comes to the Riddler’s actual riddles – including in one scene where three have to be worked out within two minutes, they’re not very good. Even if you were to try and work them out, you often get the answer before you have chance to do so.

    6. Batman grunts at the Riddler like Stallone grunting in a Rocky film.

    7. There’s lots of explosions, shouting, gunfire, some more of each, all drowning out the lack of plot.

    8. And one that’s not a major spoiler, but I’ll put it behind a spoiler header in case.

    Spoiler Inside SelectShow

Quite frankly, if it’s not 1997’s Batman and Robin (jk lol), the best Batman movie since the character was brought back to the big screen in 1989, is 2021’s Zack Snyder’s Justice League. It’s just such a great shame we’re not going to get a sequel to that. However, if you want to see Michael Keaton back in the suit, he’ll be in 2022’s HBO Max series, Batgirl, as well as 2023’s movie, The Flash… alongside Ben Affleck’s Batman. So many timelines…

And for the post-credits scene…

Spoiler Inside SelectShow

The Batman – The Bat and the Cat Trailer – Warner Bros

And now for my end-credits adventures! I knew there was something brief at the end of a very long set of credits, which I’ll put behind a spoiler header below, but while I was sat there during the credits, five members of staff lined up by the wall, ready to clear up after a fairly large audience for an 11am screening.

I expected some people to stay through the credits, but it appeared I was the only one left, and as the credits were almost done, the staff switched the big lights on… As I’ve done before when this has happened, I waved to them, motioning to lower the lights back down again, and they switched them off, as they have done before…

However, this time, a male staff member of the bunch came over, while the credits were still rolling (which is what I was trying to remain enjoying):

    Him: “There’s nothing after the credits, in case you were expecting something”
    Me: “I know there’s a brief something.”
    Him: “Well, yes, it’s (he describes it, and I’ve put it in my review behind a spoiler header, in case you don’t want to read that bit before you see the film)”
    Me: “Yes, and I like to stay anyway for the credits”.

And off he went. And I passed them as I left, a few minutes later, the woman who was saying bye to everyone, said bye to me, and the lad from earlier said, “Have a nice day”. Yes, I will, thanks.

The Batman is in cinemas now, and is available to pre-order on Blu-ray, 4K Blu-ray and DVD.

The Batman – Main Trailer – Warner Bros

Detailed specs:

Running time: 176 minutes
Release date: February 4th 2022
Studio: Warner Bros
Format: 2.39:1 (Anamorphic ALFA Scope, ARRIRAW (4.5K), Dolby Vision)
Rating: 3/10

Director: Matt Reeves
Producers: Dylan Clark, Matt Reeves
Screenplay: Matt Reeves, Peter Craig
Batman creators: Bill Finger, Bob Kane
Music: Michael Giacchino

Bruce Wayne / The Batman: Robert Pattinson
Selina Kyle / Catwoman: Zoë Kravitz
Lt. James Gordon: Jeffrey Wright
Oz / The Penguin: Colin Farrell
The Riddler: Paul Dano
Carmine Falcone: John Turturro
Alfred: Andy Serkis
District Attorney Gil Colson: Peter Sarsgaard
Unseen Arkham Prisoner: Barry Keoghan
Bella Reál: Jayme Lawson
Officer Martinez: Gil Perez-Abraham
Kenzie: Peter McDonald
Chief Mackenzie Bock: Con O’Neill
Commissioner Pete Savage: Alex Ferns
Mayor Don Mitchell, Jr: Rupert Penry-Jones
Mrs. Mitchell: Kosha Engler
Mitchell’s Son: Archie Barnes
Carla: Janine Harouni
Annika: Hana Hrzic
The Twins: Charlie Carver, Max Carver
Young Riddler: Joseph Walker
Thomas Wayne: Luke Roberts
Young Bruce Wayne: Oscar Novak
Martha Wayne: Stella Stocker
Dory: Sandra Dickinson
Travis: Jack Bennett
Ritchie: Andre Nightingale
Glen: Richard James-Neale
Cheri: Lorraine Tai