A Spoiler Review of 'The Batman'

It is rare for a really hyped movie to meet/exceed my expectations, and that is exactly what The Batman did. I was incredibly excited for the film, and it was better than I had hyped it up to be with the length of the film the only issue. Matt Reeves' take on Batman is probably the most unique (outside of Joel Schumacher's two films); Reeves' Batman is new to the role, and he still hasn't adopted the secret identity of Bruce Wayne. The choice of Robert Pattinson as Batman was an interesting choice, that now makes total sense based on Reeves' take on the character. Pattinson looks perfect out of the costume, and perfect when in the Batsuit. While Pattinson does not have the muscles of Ben Affleck and Christian Bale, he makes up with intensity. This is a Batman who needs to go out every night to take on the criminals of Gotham. Pattinson gives a really strong performance, and his chemistry with Catwoman (played by an amazing Zoe Kravitz) was a highlight of the movie for me. Batman's relationship with Alfred (played by Andy Serkis) was also something that felt different, the dynamic between Alfred and Bruce is less loving. Alfred in this film is trying to push Bruce to embrace his personal life outside of being Batman; by the end of the film, it does appear that their relationship gets stronger. This film created a new type of Batman, it is a different interpretation for the character, and this could be best one yet.

One of the most common complaints about the film is that it is too long (almost 3 hours longs), for me it was not long enough. I was so immersed in the world that I did not want it to end, I think the length will only bother you if in a theater. Once this film is available to watch at home, I think complaints about the length will disappear. There is so much plot in this film, it introduced us to a new world of Batman, which feels like the closest to the comic book. One of my favourite Batman comic books is The Long Halloween, which is about Batman investigating a series of murders. The Batman was obviously inspired by The Long Halloween, but what impresses me most about the film is the choices that Matt Reeves made. It is not easy to take a beloved character and to give fans a new version of that character, but Reeves handled the pressure incredibly well. We got a complex film that features complex characters, and it rarely gave into cliches which is why it felt so fresh. The climax of the film with Batman taking on the Riddler's followers was still a very unique big finale. Batman was defeated until Selina came to his rescue, and he then sacrificed himself to save people. The Batman turned our hero from a vigilante looking to hurt the criminals of Gotham, to a man that will give the people of Gotham hope for a better future. Matt Reeves did what I thought was impossible, to tall a Batman story that put the focus on the detective rather than the action. Batman is known as the world's greatest detective but based on all of the films we have been given you would assume that he is the world's greatest fighter.



The film opens with someone watching a family through a window, it is Halloween night as we see a kid dressed as a ninja attack his dad and go out trick or treating. The dad is the current mayor of Gotham city, he is re-watching his debate with Bella Real (played by Jayme Lawson) who is challenging him for his mayoral position. When the mayor calls his campaign manager, we see there is a masked stranger standing behind him, the stranger attacks hitting the mayor in the head with a metal carpeting tool. We then hear a voiceover from Batman (played by Robert Pattinson) who says he has been patrolling the streets for the last two years, but things only appear to be getting worse. We see various criminals throughout the city committing crimes, when the bat signal appears in the sky, we see the criminals all start to panic and flee. Batman, though does find some criminals who need to be punished for their crimes. The criminals are riding the subway, and they follow a man off the subway at the next stop where they attack the man. They stop when they hear footsteps approaching from the shadows, Batman emerges and the leader of the gang attempts to fight Batman which is a bad idea as he is easily disposed of. The rest of the gang attacks, but they fare no better as Batman eventually fights them off and they run away.

Batman goes to the crime scene at the mayor's house at the invite of Lt. James Gordon, Batman's presence is not appreciated by the other officers in attendance. Gordon shows Batman that the mayor was bludgeoned, and his thumb was cut off. Batman notices that based on the wound the thumb was cut off before the mayor had died, and he also notices a blood stain on the floor away from the body. Gordon then shows Batman a note left by the killer addressed to Batman, the killer leaves a riddle which Batman solves with ease. The police commissioner arrives, and becomes enraged to see Batman there, the commissioner orders Gordon to get Batman out. As Batman is escorted out, he notices a small bloody footprint, Gordon tells Batman that the mayor was found by his son. Batman heads back to his lair via a motorcycle, his lair is now located below Wayne tower where he lives. In his lair Batman takes out a contact lens that records everything that he sees so he can review the footage later. Batman writes in his journal recounting the events of the night, Alfred arrives and says that Bruce has meeting with Wayne accountants. Bruce is not interested in the meeting, the only thing that matters is what he does as Batman. Alfred who we assume has some spy experience is able to partially crack the code in the first card addressed to the Batman, with Batman's suggestion they solve it and see the code reveals 'drive'. 

The code leads Batman to the Mayor's garage where Batman sees a car that a has pair of bloody garden shears jammed into a tire. Gordon and Batman search the car where they find a thumb drive with the mayor's missing thumb attached to it. When they inset the thumb drive into a computer, they need use the mayor's thumbprint to decrypt the contents. The drive has photos of a young woman with the mayor, they are outside of club that is run by the Penguin (played by an unrecognizable Colin Farrell). Batman heads to the club to find Penguin so he can ask who the girl in the picture is, the Penguin does not give him an answer. While with the Penguin a waitress from the club comes in to give Penguin some money and pick up some drugs. The waitress is Selina Kyle (played by Zoe Kravitz), she stops and stares at the photo Batman is showing Penguin. Selina stared too long which Batman notices; Batman then sees that after she left the office she kept watching. When Selina leaves the club, she is followed home by Batman, at her apartment is the woman from the picture who appears to be Selina's girlfriend. Batman watches them from a nearby rooftop, the woman from the picture is very upset and Selina consoles her. Batman watches as Selina changes into a black leather bodysuit and leaves; Batman follows Selina to the mayor's house. Selina breaks into the mayor's home office; she locates a hidden safe and begins to crack it. Selina gets the safe open, and she takes out a passport that names the woman from the picture to be Annika. Batman sneaks up behind Selina and takes the passport which leads to a tussle between the two which Batman wins. The tussle alerted a police officer who is guarding the crime scene, Batman and Selina hide until the officer leaves. Batman proposes they speak with Annika together to learn why she is so scared. 

They arrive at Selina's apartment to find the door opened and the unit ransacked with Annika now missing. Batman suggests they work together to locate Annika, but then a news break says the police commissioner was murdered by the Riddler and Batman must depart. Batman goes to the morgue to meet with Gordon, and to see the body of the commissioner. Gordon gives Batman another letter that was addressed to the Batman. This letter tells Batman that he needs to find the rat and bring it into the light for the Riddler to reveal himself. Batman goes back to working with Selina; Batman gives Selina a contact lens to wear so he can see what she sees. Selina enters the club, but this time she heads to the club inside the club where Batman recognizes that the district attorney Gil Colson is inside the club and is doing drugs (called drops in the film). Gil takes a shine to Selina and Batman encourages Selina to sit with Gil. Gil says that he is very nervous about the Riddler, Colson believe the Riddler is targeting people who know the identity of the rat (informant) who sold out Sal Maroni. Selina hears mention of a missing Russian girl, and Selina leaves to learn more about Annika's whereabouts. Batman is mad that Selina is abandoning the mission, but Selina reminds him that she is only doing this to find Annika. Selina has a run in with Carmine Falcone (played by John Turturro), they appear to have some history together. Selina now upset departs the club, but she is followed outside by Colson who tries to offer her a ride home; Selina decides to take a cab instead. Colson goes back to his SUV where the Riddler is waiting for him, the Riddler hits Colson and then places a lit-up collar around his neck.

Bruce decides to attend the funeral for the mayor, he thinks that the killer might be there so Bruce attends as himself. Before the service can start a car crashes into the building and stops near the casket, Bruce manages to pull the mayor's son out of the way of the car. The car door opens, and Colson emerges with a glowing collar and a vest of explosives. The building is evacuated, and Batman arrives to get closer to Colson. Colson has a note addressed to the Batman on his chest, and he also has a phone which keeps ringing attached to his hand. Batman answers the phone, Riddler is on the other end, and he tells Colson he will let him go if he answers three riddles. The riddles have a theme about justice and corruption, Colson gets two three answers, but the final riddle cannot only be solved by revealing the identity of the informant. Colson scared of what will happen to his family if he discloses the identity of the informant doesn't answer and the bomb goes off. Batman is injured during the explosion, and he wakes up in a holding cell inside the police station. Gordon trying to protect Batman allows for Batman to escape. The clue on Colson's chest leads Batman and Gordon to believe that Penguin is the informant, they follow Penguin to a drug deal. Batman sees Selina approach, and he finds her taking the money out of the back of the truck. Selina says the money is owed to her, but Selina finds Annika under one of the bags.  Selina and Batman are spotted, and Penguin's men shoot at them, and Batman is down, Selina is trapped, and Gordon is pinned down by gunfire. Batman though makes it back to his car which has a jet engine, Batman chase Penguin and Selina steals a bag of money.

Batman chases Penguin which leads to chaos on the streets, Batman eventually crashes the Batmobile into Penguins car which causes Penguin's car to roll over. Batman and Gordon question Penguin, but Penguin is not the informant; they realize that the clue is pointing to an abandoned orphanage. When Gordon and Batman arrive at the orphanage, they see that the Riddler has left clues to his next target which is Bruce Wayne. Batman leaves before Gordon realizes he is no longer there, Batman tries to get a hold of Alfred, but he is too late as Alfred opened a letter bomb. Alfred threw the bomb away before it went off, but he still was badly hurt during the blast. Selina reaches out to Batman, and Batman leads her to the building where the bat signal is on top of. Selina wants Batman's help to locate the man she thinks killed Annika; Selina then says the Riddler has released secrets about the Wayne family. Batman questions her about her connection to Falcone, she reveals that Falcone is her father, that is something Falcone himself doesn't even know. Batman realizes that the fund his father setup to help the city has been used for evil, and that his father turned to Carmine Falcone to intimidate a reporter digging into Martha Wayne's troubled past. Bruce goes to visit Falcone to find out if the Riddler's accusations were true, Falcone confirms that Thomas Wayne asked him to get the reporter to drop the story. Falcone says the reporter refused to be bribed or intimidated so Falcone killed the reporter. Bruce is devastated to learn that his father was not the man he thought he was, believing Alfred lied to him he goes to confront Alfred. 

Alfred wakes up to find Bruce at his bedside, Bruce is angry that Alfred lied to him, but Alfred adds more details to the story to better explain his father's actions. Alfred tells Bruce that his father was not trying to protect himself, but rather his wife. Martha before marrying Thomas was an Arkham, her mother murdered her father and then committed suicide. The trauma from her parent's deaths caused her to have a mental breakdown, so Thomas did not want the reporter to bring up that traumatic past. When Thomas Wayne learned that Falcone killed the reporter, he said he was going to the police to report what he and Falcone did. The following day Thomas and Martha was killed which Alfred believes was done by Falcone to keep Thomas from going to the police. Batman leaves Alfred because he sees the bat signal in the sky, when he arrives at the building, he sees Gordon too. They go to the roof and find that Selina has found the killer she was looking for, the killer had her phone which contained a voicemail Annika left. The voicemail reveals that Falcone went to visit Annika, he then strangled her to death because he was afraid the mayor told her too much information. Batman and Gordon interrogate the dirty cop who was working for Falcone, he admits that Falcone was the rat. When the fund Thomas Wayne left to revitalize Gotham was being divided up amongst the criminal element of Gotham, Falcone came up with a plan to control everything. Falcone would tell the police about Marone's activities which remove his biggest rival, then Falcone made sure the mayor, commissioner and the district attorney all worked for him. Selina distraught at what her father did to Annika (and likely her mother too) plans to kill Falcone. 

Selina goes to the club; Batman chases her there; but he cannot stop her from confronting Falcone. Batman takes out the power so he can get to the penthouse where Selina and Falcone are; Selina is being choked by her father before Batman saves her. Batman brings Falcone outside to be arrested, but he is shot and killed while underneath a streetlamp (bring the rat into the light). Batman knows Riddler must have taken the shot, Batman sees a shooter from an apartment across the street. The shooter escapes, but Batman has located the apartment of the Riddler, Gordon gets told that the shooter ran to a nearby diner. The police arrive at the diner and arrest the Riddler who was waiting for them, as Batman is searching the apartment for clues when Gordon tells him that the Riddler wants to talk to Batman. Batman then goes to Arkham Asylum to see Riddler, Riddler refers to Batman as his partner, but when Batman calls him crazy, he gets angry. Riddler is upset that Batman does not appreciate what he did, Riddler tells Batman that it isn't over, and that Batman never figured out the final riddle. Batman goes back to Riddler's apartment, and with the help of a police officer he realizes a clue is hidden under the carpet. The clue gives the password needed to view the Riddler's video, in the video Riddler is talking to a group of followers who he is instructing on what to do next. Riddler tells the followers that after the bombs he planted around blow up breaking the seawall, the citizens of Gotham will seek refuge at arena. As Batman finishes watching the video the bombs start going off, the city is starting to flood, and Batman heads to the arena to stop the Riddler's followers. Batman fights them off which saves the mayor-elect Bella Real; one of the followers shoots Batman point-blank with a shotgun. Batman now unable to get up is about to be attacked when Selina saves him, but she herself is in danger. Batman injects himself with a greenish liquid which gives him the strength to get up and save Selina. The killer reveals that he is vengeance (which is what Batman said to the gang he attacked in the opening of the movie). Batman then electrocutes himself to save the people, he then begins saving people from the wreckage. Batman and Selina share a solemn goodbye, Selina is off to Bludhaven, and she wants Batman to join her. Batman cannot as he needs to stay in Gotham to continue his mission to save the city. They leave the cemetery on their motorcycles and go their separate ways as the film ends.


What a great film to start a new series of Batman films with, Matt Reeves hit a homerun with The Batman. After watching the film twice, I still can't find any glaring issues that I had with the film, I thought just about everything with the film was done with such high quality. This Batman film was originally going to be written, directed and starred in by Ben Affleck; but due to his own personal issues as well as his issues with making the Justice League (the Joss Whedon cut) he stepped aside. There is a part of me that believes that we can still get an Affleck starring Batman film, but I think with how good Matt Reeves did it is now a lot less likely. Affleck never got a solo film during his tenure as Batman, it is shame that he and Henry Cavill got betrayed by DC/Warner Bros. (WB) I think the job done by everyone involved in The Batman has given the future of Batman new life. I do think it is ironic that after so much was made about Zack Snyder's DC films being too dark and gritty that The Batman strengths were that it was dark and gritty. As a fan of Zack Snyder's work, it was tough to watch all the negativity surrounding his films; I am a huge fan of Man of Steel (the best Superman film). I also thought that both Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (the ultimate cut) and Zack Snyder's Justice League were both really good, but flawed films. I think it was a mistake to pivot away from what Snyder had setup, in my ranking of the DCEU films I thought the Whedon version of Justice League sucked.

Matt Reeves has been a very good director for some time now, but I am confident that The Batman has been his best film. I will give DC/WB credit that it appears that they let Reeves make the film that he wanted to make rather than interfere with his vision. I really appreciated Reeve's choice of villains; he had more down to earth (like Christopher Nolan's Bat films) villains. There is room to do over-the-top villains, but I think the experience fans had with Batman Forever and Batman & Robin changed that for a lot of people. Reeves came up with a Riddler that was less about robbing, and more about changing Gotham's power structure. The Riddler was a force in this film, he used his meticulous planning to keep himself a step ahead of both the police and Batman. Riddler was only undone with the final stage of his plan, and that was because he believed that Batman would be on his side by the end. Paul Dano's performance was amazing, he had such an intensity to his scenes; he had some of the typical Riddler physical traits, but they were disguised by his darker take on the role. There was almost nothing in the trailers that showed John Turturro's Carmine Falcone, I did figure out that Falcone was the rat pretty early, but I still had fun watching the movie lead us to that reveal. Turturro also did a great job, he was what you'd imagine a crime boss who is secretly running a city to be like, he was a recluse who when he was out, he was very charming. Turturro was very charming in the role, and when he turned on Selina you could see the real Falcone come out then. The Penguin was such an interesting character in the film, Colin Farrell disappeared into the character; he was utterly unrecognizable in the role. There is a reason the Penguin is getting his own series; the Penguin is being setup to be the new boss of Gotham. The Penguin had a confidence to him, despite who he was facing off with he never backed down, he kept his sense of humor and attitude no matter who was in his face. I really liked this take on the Penguin, I am curious how they will build a series around him.

Another critique I have seen about the movie is that there really isn't a Bruce Wayne in this film, it is a valid critique as Bruce spends the entire film as Batman whether he was in costume or not. I think it is important to remember that while this is not an origin story, it is still year two of Batman. This early version of Batman is still not ready to embrace Bruce Wayne as a necessary evil, this Batman is still running from being a Wayne. In the film we see Alfred push Bruce to embrace his role as the head of Wayne enterprises. Bruce pushes back against Alfred, but by the end of the film he sees that giving hope to people did more than Batman ever did. Andy Serkis was not in the movie as much as I had expected, but the scenes with him were important, I hope in future films he is given more to do as Alfred. The relationship between Bruce and Alfred is important to the story, Alfred admitting that he was not the father figure that Bruce needed was a powerful moment between the two of them. Despite how focused and rage filled he was, Bruce was an emotional person, and he still has not mastered the ability to control his emotions. We are going to see the evolution of this Batman from where he is now to what he will become over the next few films. Having Selina introduced in this film was a smart choice, the chemistry between her and Bruce was off the charts. I am excited for where the Bruce and Selina pairing will go over the course of the stories to come. Selina also has a lot of room to grow as a character, and I liked that she was tough and crafty like the comic version of the character. The Bat family (Bruce, Selina and Alfred) has me more excited than I have ever been for a Batman franchise. I have enjoyed a lot of the other films, but the potential for the Matt Reeves Batman franchise is tantalizing. Batman has one of the most interesting rogues (villains) galleries in all of comic books, there is so many places that Reeves can take things that I could not even predict what is to come.

There were two planned spin-offs for The Batman a series focused on the Penguin, and a series focused on Gotham PD. Since the movie has come out the Gotham PD series has been cancelled. The specifics of the cancellation were never released, but I heard it was a disagreement over the focus of the series. The original showrunner for the Gotham PD (Terence Winter) and Matt Reeves wanted the series to be a prequel to The Batman that would focus on corrupt officers. Apparently, WB/DC did not feel comfortable with that idea of focusing on corrupt cops, this impasse led to Winters leaving the show and Reeves pivoting to a show about Arkham Asylum. It is still too early to know what the Arkham show will be about, but the idea has a lot of potential. The Batman teased the villain Hush, had a brief but interesting appearance by the Joker, and it also added intrigue by making Martha Wayne a member of the Arkham family. One of the better Batman comics to come out in the last 10 years was centered around the introduction of a new villain in the court of owls. The court of owls was about the corruption of Gotham running so deep for so long that the old families of Gotham had a secret society with its own protectors. The court of owls is something I could definitely seeing Matt Reeves digging his teeth into at some point, it would be a refreshing departure from the expected Joker appearance. I would like to see Barry Keoghan's take on the Joker, but I do not need him to be a main villain. A Joker who appears in small doses might be more effective than centering a film around the Joker being the main antagonist. 

The best film are the ones where we can appreciate the small details while also being emotionally invested in what we are watching. Matt Reeves gave us a Batman film that built a fascinating portrayal of Gotham and Batman. The style of the film invokes film noir vibes, while also paying homage to classic noir films like Blade Runner. After seeing The Batman twice, I am confident that it is worth the 10/10 I am giving it, while I admit it is not perfect, it is still a masterpiece of a film. The performances by the cast were al outstanding, I have not mentioned Jeffrey Wright yet, but I though his James Gordon is far and away the best portrayal of the character to date. Wright was an amazing Gordon, I really enjoyed how he and Batman were partners, Gordon was just as active of a character as Batman was. The new Batman score composed by Michael Giacchino was incredible, I really liked what Hans Zimmer did, but Giacchino's work in the film was best in Batman film by a mile. Matt Reeves has made the character of Batman feel new and exciting; this new take on the character feels fresh while also honoring the comic book version of the character better than the earlier films. Matt Reeves has talked about making at least two more Batman films, and I for one cannot wait for them to come out. I think with the critical praise as well as the strong box office we will see Matt Reeves' Batman trilogy come to life.

Thank you for reading my spoiler review of The Batman, stay tuned for my ranking of the live action Batman appearances. Please let me know what you thought of The Batman; and what you are most excited for. 

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