Matt Reeves’ “The Batman” Finally a Comic-Accurate Dark Knight


Aishik Sinha, Freelance Writer

Since his inception, Batman has been the world’s greatest detective: incredibly strong, calm, and ridiculously smart. Often, these aspects of Batman have been neglected in his big screen adaptations. Even Christopher Nolan’s legendary Batman trilogy neglected this aspect of the character, but “The Batman” by director Matt Reeves has finally given us a comic book-accurate, big screen interpretation of the world’s greatest detective.

Matt Reeves cited “Chinatown”, “Seven”, and “Zodiac”, which are not superhero movies but intense and unapologetically gruesome detective-noir flicks, as his inspiration. “The Batman” borrows from these classics to innovate on its visual palette, storytelling, set design, characters, and most importantly its feel.

Dramatic lighting, oversaturated reds, and a lack of contrast combined with messy yet purposeful shot composition make this movie phenomenal. Every other shot feels wallpaper worthy. The palette created by this movie’s team of incredible cinematographers and editors draws inspiration from the real-life cities of New York, Chicago, and Detroit, while still being all its own: a city that has caught a nasty cold. This setting is perfect because “The Batman” is supposed to be a superhero, meaning any interpretation is going to be at least slightly foolish. A billionaire dressing up as a bat to beat up criminals and deal with his own PTSD and depression sounds a little ridiculous. Plopping him in what is essentially 1960s Chicago, as seen in the Nolan trilogy and The Dark wouldn’t really make sense. Reeves clearly understood this and as a result, his decision to situate “The Batman” in a neo-gothic setting allowed the movie to thrive even more.

Despite the lore of previous Batman films casting him as a terrifying creature of the night, it never felt like he was. Intimidating? Sure. But scary? Not at all. This is something that the latest version of “The Batman” fixes. In the film, Batman is still at a point where not everybody believes his existence and even less actually know what he is: he truly is the bogeyman to the criminals of Gotham.

Even with the movie’s numerous achievements in set and costume design as well as cinematography, none would matter without the actors. There is not a single bad casting, but among the phenomenal main cast we have Paul Dano as Riddler, Zoe Kravits as Catwoman and Jefferey Wright as Gordon. But how can a review about “The Batman ” not talk about Robert Patinson’s take on the character.

Pattinson was a controversial casting for Batman and fans wondered whether the previous Twilight star could really pull off playing this icon. To critics’ surprise, he not only met all expectations, but surpassed them. His emotions weren’t conveyed through his dialogue, but instead, his actions and reactions do most of the talking. The best of all The Batman movies and perhaps even the best superhero movie of all time is The Dark Knight, and now, it finally has competition. The Batman is a phenomenal movie. Although its slower pace isn’t for everyone, there’s no denying its artistry, creativity, or even writing for that matter.

Though The Dark Knight may technically still be a better movie, it is arguably less of a Batman movie and more of a showcase of the greatest villains, including the Joker. “The Batman”, on the other hand, manages to give Batman the screen time he deserves while still balancing out the other aspects of its story and world within its 3 hour runtime.