I Am Not Impressed, Batman Riddles His Way Into Theatres

The Batman is the latest DC movie to hit cinemas after Suicide Squad, and to be honest it’s a mixed bag.

When the trailer for the movie first came out, I was really excited, it looked like it would focus more on the detective side to the bat, much like his comic counterpart. There were also some amazing shots that I couldn’t wait to see on the big screen.

However, what came across in the trailers wasn’t necessarily met in the actual film.

The worst part of this movie is the story, three hours was somehow way too long and not enough. The story was dragged out and yet under explained in a lot of areas.

The whole Riddler plotline is good up until it’s revealed why he’s doing it, for the life of me I can’t even remember why. The actual riddles didn’t feel very difficult, and Batman was able to answer them pretty quickly.

I was really looking forward to a Riddler-based movie, I thought it would be heavy on the mystery and suspense. But it wasn’t.

The killings were fun and the ways Riddler communicated with Batman were fun, except the Facetime call; it felt too goofy even if realistic.

I do miss the classic Riddler costume, I do, however, like that we don’t know who the man is. There should have been a bigger emphasis on his identity and not just a simple reveal, the answers from the previous riddles could have pointed to him or there should’ve been speculation amongst the city.

Characters like Cat Woman felt unnecessary, it’s great that she was there but what for?

You could have replaced her with a random character and the movie would have still been the same, the only reason she was there was to fill in the slot of the love interest.

At some point companies have got to realise it’s time we had a superhero movie that doesn’t need a love interest.

Speaking of their romance, it felt so forced and random. There wasn’t any build up to it, they just kiss for no reason, and we’re meant to go along with it because everyone knows Batman and Cat Woman are an on again off again couple that would put Ross and Rachel to shame.

The Penguin, although heavily emphasised in the trailer, doesn’t really do much in the movie. He has very little appearances and doesn’t have any effect on the ending of the story.

However, Gordon isn’t nearly as prominent in the marketing and yet he shows up more than the Riddler does. Gordon is a huge part of this movie and he has a lot of wasted potential.

I love the moments where Gordon and Batman work together, it’s a fun dynamic I’ve enjoyed in every version of the characters; I just wish we could have seen more.

A lot of the mob characters are confusing, and the handful of side characters we’re expected to remember is a bit too much.

The movie length really works against the story as you’re given so much information in so much time that you can’t process it or even begin to remember anything from the first hour.

The ending was rather lacklustre, nothing was really solved, the city of Gotham is submerged under water and there clearly isn’t an entire city that is on top of that stadium.

Cat woman mentions going to another city, no doubt setting up a certain character for a later instalment or spinoff.

There were many times where the movie could have ended and it would have worked, but it didn’t, it just kept going and going.

I saw two people leave the cinema after the first hour, if that doesn’t say something I don’t know what will.

But with that out of the way, I can finally talk about what I enjoyed about this movie, because there are some really good things that need praise.

The cinematography of this movie is astounding, I feel in love with it from the moment I saw the trailer and it definitely doesn’t disappoint.

Scenes filmed from the perspective of the motorbike wheels, the sunsets that emphasise the bat suit silhouette, the depiction of the killings and how the Riddler appears in the shadows.

I do have some criticisms, for instance, when Riddler is killing someone the camera blurs out and focuses on the steering wheel. But I think it would have been way more intriguing to see him in action, not just large blobs on a screen with blinking lights.

There was also the issue of lighting in this movie, a lot of this movie is dark, and I don’t mean gritty. It felt like this movie was shot in pitch black and then edited in Lightroom or something.

But then this contrasts with other scenes where the main source of light is so bright it hurts, it’s like they knew the movie was too dark and tried to overcompensate with every other light source.

On the one hand, the lighting hindered the movie as you couldn’t see anything that was happening in detail. But the scenes in the nightclub and the hallway of the orphanage are some of my favourites from this movie.

I said this in my trailer review, a Batman horror movie could work really well, especially if the lighting was used just right.

I also really enjoyed the costumes, there could have been a few improvements to make them look more like their cartoon counterparts. Perhaps giving Penguin his accessories would have gone a long way.

Cat Woman’s mask was questionable, it felt weird only seeing her nose covered, it just didn’t look right.

I really do like the Batman suit in this movie, it’s way better than the version we saw in the Justice League and looks very similar to the Christian Bale version.

I do think Robert Pattinson makes a good Batman, his voice was good, his action scenes were great, and the costume suited him.

However, he doesn’t make a good Bruce Wayne and that isn’t down to the actor but the writing.

He felt like a teenager going through their emo/edgy phase, and why was his hair always wet? In every Bruce scene it was always wet?

I know a lot of people will be turned off from this movie simply by the casting of the lead role, and all I have to say is give him a chance.

Pattinson isn’t like the other Batmen we’ve seen before, he’s different but still recognisable as that character. There were a lot of questionable scenes and character choices, but I don’t blame that on the actors but the script.

The dialogue felt like something from a Wattpad story in 2013, lines felt clunky, and I often found myself laughing aloud during serious moments. I imagine the other people in the cinema weren’t happy that I treated this movie like a comedy.

Now in no way am I a film writer, but when someone laughs more at a serious scene than maybe cry or feel tense, you’ve done something wrong.

I really liked the car chase; it was possibly my favourite part of the movie besides the orphanage hallway scene. However, the ending of said chase where the car frames Batman’s face felt dumb and a poor decision.

It ruined the flow of the scene and lost any thrill that I had invested in it.

Another key thing I want to talk about is the Joker, the clown prince of crime; who supposedly wasn’t in this movie. Yet here we are.

You never see his full face, just from context clues and his dialogue alone, you know it’s him. And to be honest, this movie doesn’t need him.

I’m tired of seeing the joker in modern Batman films, don’t get me wrong, he’s one of my favourite villains from any superhero franchise, but he’s overused, and this doesn’t give other villains a chance in the spotlight.

I want to see Poison Ivy or Two Face or even Clayface, if the Harley Quinn show taught me anything, it’s that with the right writing and story, these characters can hold their own very well.

The end credits were also annoying, unlike Marvel, DC have not nailed the format. Even after a three-hour movie and ten minutes of credits, all we’re left with is a question mark and computer text saying goodbye.

What does it mean? Who knows? I do know that there are plans for spinoffs involving the Penguin and the Gotham Police Department.

There isn’t really much more for me to say, so much happened in an incredibly long time that nothing has retained. There was so much to process that nothing really stuck, I was indeed riddled by the entire movie.

The Batman is a mediocre movie that didn’t find its footing in the script but is visually stunning. The actors try to save the movie, but it doesn’t work for three hours.

If you’re going to watch it, you might want to hold off on the drinks.

The Batman gets 3 out of 5 batarangs from me.

The Batman is currently screening in cinemas.

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