batman robert pattinson

the bat takes flight🦇

Expected at the turn, does the new adaptation of the adventures of Batman live up to our expectations? Critical.

Faced with an overpowered Marvel Cinematic Universe, king of the box office with each of its incursions on the big screen, DC is struggling to find its guiding line. Under the aegis of Warner Bros, the comic book publisher delivers uneven feature films, often little appreciated by critics and the public. If the Zack Snyder’s Justice League has given the DCEU a bit of a new lease of life, the cinematic universe is still far from having found the right tempo.

However, not everything is to be thrown away. With Joker, directed by Todd Phillips, the firm proved that it was still far from having said its last word. This feature film, on the sidelines of the DCEU, was a real coup for Warner Bros, which intends to reproduce this success with The Batman.

The film written and directed by Matt Reeves follows Bruce Wayne in his first two years in office in Gotham. The one who calls himself Vengeance wants to rid the city of Gotham of the crime that is necrosing it. When a killer preys on the city’s elite with a series of sadistic schemes, a cryptic lead sends the world’s greatest detective on an investigation deep into the underworld, where he must forge alliances to succeed. for its purposes.

detective batman

With The Batman, Matt Reeves skips the intro box to get to the heart of the matter. Exit the damn pearl necklace, it’s time for the investigation for the black knight. The story intends to remind us that before being a vigilante who sticks mandalas at all costs, the bat is also and above all an outstanding investigator.

To do this, the story borrows the mechanics of film noir to weave an effective and dense plot. Probably a bit too much. The strings are big and the whole sometimes lacks subtlety, but it is clear that as a whole The Batman is almost flawless.

It is moreover this borrowing from the film noir genre, as well as from the David Fincher thriller, which allows it to take on its full dimension. Dark alleys, sadistic games and voiceovers, all the codes are there. Reeves does not forget either to pay homage to all the mythology of the character, by having fun with the codes of a universe several times explored in dark rooms, to add saving touches of humor.

Still, with its three-hour duration, certain scenes and digressions seem superfluous, and The Batman would have deserved less to get lost in additional tribulations and other sub-plots. In particular, when he tries to set up his main antagonist as a figure of an underground revolution. If in style The Batman tries to reinvent the genre, it doesn’t really manage to deviate from the beaten path when it comes to its plot.

Without revealing too much about the latter, we will simply say that Matt Reeves missed a turn that we would have liked to see him take to frankly impose his film as a small revolution in Gotham City.

gothic gotham

Batman goes hand in hand with Gotham, and Matt Reeves has understood that. The director masterfully illustrates this personified city of shadows, no doubt as black as the souls of the criminals who hide there. Thanks to the incredible technology of Industrial Light & Magic, created for The Mandalorian, the film brings out a fascinating and gloomy city, which we explore without displeasure. The filmmaker depicts the gangrene that thrives there, in alleys lit by sizzling lampposts or on damp sidewalks.

The camera flourishes in the gothic decors of Wayne Manor, in the dark alleys of the city and the dingy nooks of underground clubs. A dirty, neat and inspired atmosphere, enhanced by the photography of Craig Fraser (Dune), which is second to none when it comes to putting the shade in the spotlight. A monster of darkness which makes a perfect playground for the masked vigilante, and which we must admit had never been immortalized in this way.

The Band at Batou

Robert Pattinson in the skin of the dark knight, the idea had something to worry about. But after all, from the vampire to the bat, there was some logic. After Ben Affleck, Michael Keaton and Christian Bale, the British actor has the heavy task of reinventing the character, while not deviating too much from what has already been given to us on glossy paper and in cinema. If the skeptics were numerous, Pattinson proves here that no role resists him.

Helped by the story, the actor manages to transcribe the violence of the character, while not hesitating to endow him with a sensitivity unprecedented in cinema. A tour de force that would almost make us forget those who preceded it. Especially since this Batman on edge and tortured by his desires for revenge and justice and undoubtedly less Manichean than one could imagine.

Without completely breaking the heroic figure, Matt Reeves adopts a less radical position than his predecessors, and comes to question the real motivations of the dark knight and the merits of the mission he has set himself. Still, to counterbalance this introspective of the vigilante, the absence of Bruce Wayne is felt.

The rest of the cast is no less talented, starting with a simply monstrous Paul Dano in the shoes of the main antagonist. The actor delivers a high-flying performance, just like Zoƫ Kravitz, excellent in the skin of Catwoman.

But in the midst of all these beautiful people, it is mainly Jeffrey Wright who stands out. As Jim Gordon, the actor thrives on playing Batman’s last bastion, his only true ally in this corrupt city to the core. The dynamic between the two works beautifully, and that’s pretty good news at a time when Warner Bros wants to develop a Gotham PD-centric series for HBO Max.

From fighting galore

If the common thread remains the investigation, The Batman don’t forget to give pride of place to the action. The director brilliantly immortalizes brutal and striking hand-to-hand combat. Matt Reeves does not hold back his blows and it is the spectators who take the full face. A succession of breathtaking scenes, aided by effective cutting and the director’s pronounced taste for wide shots. A framing that lets the protagonists breathe, to better stage this outburst of violence. “I’m Vengeance” we told you…

Nirvana music

Finally, we will not finish the music chosen to illustrate this definitively grunge adventure, Matt Reeves drew from the repertoire of Nirvana. Obviously when you hear the first notes of Ssomething in the way as you explore the city. Warner Bros and Matt Reeves have also recruited a composer with a solid reputation: Michael Giacchino. After showing off with up there, Jurassic World and more recently Spider-Man: No Way Homethe composer here pays homage to the sound universe of the dark knight.

Oscillating between thunderous themes and more scathing refrains, it accurately punctuates the story, paying homage to various inspirations. Like the film, its score is a subtle blend of inspirations. There are sometimes a few nods to the work of Danny Elfman (at Burton) or that of Hans Zimmer (at Nolan).

Without being quite the announced revolution, The Batman is still quite a show of force for DC and Warner Bros. An anxiety-provoking and confusing dive into the heart of a city of Gotham that is more tangible than ever, alongside a Batman masterfully portrayed by Robert Pattinson. Still, on the side of the narration, the new film by Matt Reeves would have deserved to take more risks, and to deviate from the beaten track.

If success is at the rendezvous in dark rooms, which should be the case, The Batman could soon be offered a sequel. At least that’s what Matt Reeves and Robert Pattinson hope, who confided that he already had several ideas for the future. Especially that The Batman has some surprises in store for us, rather promising, it must be admitted.

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