'The Batman' - Movie Review

Technically, I didn't watch the entire movie. I lost about two minutes around the 1h20m mark to the library's glitchy copy of the DVD, and then another couple minutes around the 2h00m mark. But I think I got the idea. (TPL's DVDs have been excellent - this was a very rare exception.)

Robert Pattinson plays possibly the most emotionally damaged Bruce Wayne / Batman yet. Pattinson is English, but he managed a convincing American accent (although he doesn't talk all that much). We have his butler, Alfred Pennyworth (Andy Serkis - wearing his own face for once, not doing motion capture), and the one non-crooked cop at Gotham City PD who's his compatriot (same name as always, James Gordon - played this time by Jeffrey Wright).

Then we have the rogue's gallery: Zoë Kravitz as Selina Kyle / Catwoman (and as always, Batman has an uncertain relationship with her as she steals things but also sometimes helps him), Paul Dano as the Riddler, John Turturro as mob boss Carmine Falcone, and a totally unrecognizable (due to extensive prosthetics) Colin Farrell as Oswald Cobblepot / the Penguin.

Is it a good movie? The excessive run-time (176 minutes) allows them to explore all the stuff they wanted to and develop their story well. But it also allows a number of overblown elements full reign - particularly when we get to dramatic pauses, when someone ever-so-slowly raises a weapon, pause for effect, and someone else suddenly appears to rescue them. That shit gets tiresome. Have I mentioned that it's always dark in Gotham? This makes sense as Batman says right at the beginning that he's a creature of the night, but it gets real old. And Gotham is a very, very dirty, crime-ridden city.

I'm tired of this story. I've heard it so many times before. But why come up with a new plot when you can recycle an old one? Frank Miller unintentionally created a competition to see who could come up with the grittiest Gotham, or the most morally repugnant super-villains (this is a top contender in both categories). This is probably a good movie for people who aren't sick to death of this plotline. I rewatch some superhero movies, but this one won't be on that list.

The only extra on the DVD was a short piece about costuming each of the major characters and the set design. They went on at some length about the durable and practical costumes and props, and how Matt Reeves wanted stuff that would really work. Which is of course why Selina Kyle/Catwoman sported 2" sharpened fingernails when she was going out on her motorcycle, or safe-cracking, or fighting. That was a bit of a breach in the logic.