‘The Batman’ an experience like no other

JD Smith Nelson, Staff Writer

Very few superhero films exist that can be called cinema. “The Dark Knight” and “Watchmen” are among the distinct group. Matt Reeves’ “The Batman,” starring Robert Pattinson as the titular caped crusader, easily carves its mark in superhero flick history. 

Styled more like a noir detective story, the film follows Batman tracking the murders of the unhinged Riddler, played by Paul Dano. Other key characters include Alfred, played by Andy Serkis, Selina Kyle, played by Zoe Kravitz, Jim Gordon, played by Jeffery Wright and Oswald Cobblepot, played by Collin Pharel.  

Set in a Gotham straight from hell, we follow Bruce’s journey from a violent vigilante to a heroic symbol of hope. The Riddler is the most chilling villain in a superhero movie to date. He is very reminiscent of the Zodiac Killer and has such a loud and commanding presence when set off.  

On the topic of intimidating presences, Batman truly feels like what he was always meant to feel like on the big screen. With footsteps like bags of lead and a whisper of a voice that sends a shiver down anyone’s spine, he is a full-on nightmare in a cape and cowl. His presence is felt by criminals in the shadows even when he isn’t there.  

His tech also has a very gritty and intimidating feel. His suit is heavy and fierce. His grappling gun has some seriously heavy-duty sound effects to show its strength. This is a Batman on a mission, and nothing can stop him through sheer force. You see him cut through a crime scene finding clues in a flash and topping the GCPD at every turn, of which there are plenty.  

The film is shot in a way that keeps each development surprising yet satisfying. The camera guides you through a scene as if you were right there alongside Bruce and Gordon. Claustrophobic yet crisp, every shot guides the eye to its focal point clearly, all while taking in the breathtaking color grading, costuming and set design. Each shot is composed to make Gotham feel like a miserable, crime infested hole. Though when the action gets going, the camera pulls back and gives you a clear view of Batman’s sheer brutality, mowing through enemies like training dummies.  

The last thing worth truly appreciating is the wonderous score by the great Michael Giacchino. His Batman theme is methodical and dreary, yet also swells into such hopeful highs. Each character also receives leitmotifs to pair with their appearances on screen that are fantastic in their own right. Riddler’s is bone-chilling and eerie while Selina’s is suave and mysterious. It is truly bombastic and helps immerse the viewer into Reeves’s Gotham that much more.  

Plot discussion is light since to do so would truly spoil the shocking developments of such a gripping mystery. However, “The Batman” does not leave any viewer short on thoughts after viewing. The film is among the greats of comic book cinema and truly earns its stripes. Go see it while it is still in theaters because it is truly an experience like no other from the genre.