After some disappointments from Ben Affleck’s Batman and the negative reactions toward Justice League, DC Comics seems to adjust their focus on each character story who is in the main narrative of DCEU such as Aquaman as well as on the character story that is not related with the main narrative of DC Extended Universe (DCEU), such as The Joker.
One of the characters that DC wish to re-build is Batman, whatever his future is, either going solo like the Nolan’s trilogy, one-produced movie, or maybe linked back to DCEU. Batman is the linchpin of DC Universe, along with the Superman.
In a short period, we have seen 3 Batmen from Christian Bale, Ben Affleck, and now the former cringey vampire turn into the Bat, Robert Pattinson. Robert Pattionson’s Batman is suffering from sadness and melancholic state even years after the death of his parents. He is not in the mood for work, so Alfred (Andy Serkis) has to attend in the place of him for all Wayne Corporation matters.
Bruce or Batman just going around, venturing the Gotham city every night in punishing vigilante until he faces a mysterious series of sadistic killer who loves in giving riddle, The Riddler (Paul Dano). Despite his dark aura and melancholic state, Batman is still on his ideal that is to bring justice upon Gotham, to revive the city that people have given up a lot. Including Catwoman (Zoe Kravitz).
Gotham is in the middle of election when the terror from The Riddler happens. The city is choosing between a white man city mayor or a black woman. Guess what? Even The Riddler doesn’t like and kills the white man mayor candidate.
While the election going on, we have the chance to see of the background story of Bruce Wayne’s parents. Both are said to be ones of the founders of Gotham City. The Wayne family and The Arkham family. Thomas Wayne, back in the day, also tried to run for a mayor candidacy and promised a large sum of money for city project development. But the father then passed away, and the money was misused by bad people.
The Riddler is one of the victim from the misused of this money as one of the people who is not gifted with wealth. Series of problems and political misdeeds in Gotham turn The Riddler into a villain (with SJW-like mindset).
He is angry that he did not get social support or job due to the money from Thomas Wayne for the city development project is being misused by some bureaucrats. He thinks he deserve the money given for development project by private sector.
He is angry then he thinks he owns the money because bad shit happened to his life. So, he seeks revenge to those who are corrupt for the sake his own deluded vengeance. There are a lot of The Riddler-like bunch people out there carrying board in the street, walking en masse, and hashtaging crap on social media. People who think they deserve everything.
Luckily there is Batman, the privileged white kid who want to see justice to the city where his family belong to, the city that his family developed and put their sweat into. But Riddler smirked on Batman’s idea of justice just because he is rich so his argument and action in upholding justice has no meaning, again because of what? He is rich.
The narrative idea of Batman versus The Riddler is not something fantastical or something anew, it is something that we can see daily in life and on social media. But the story somehow befitted into the movie and crafted well to suit the darkness of Batman movies.
The idea itself also is not exaggerated too much, it is not dramatized too much. The Riddler itself is a perfect villain for a superhero movie. He has a strong background story and his reasoning is well match with his decision to become a villain.
And on an important note, Robert Pattinson plays Batman pretty well, he is better than Ben Affleck. With the addition of Zoe Kravitz’ Catwoman, the Batman movie is look more sexy compare to other Batman’s movies. It is still grim, but it has its own charm. It is not as well crafted and well directed as Nolan’s trilogy, but The Batman is sure not disappointing and it is still charming.
Our Score (7.5/10)
Title : The Batman
Production : DC Films
Director : Matt Reeves
Screenwriter : Matt Reeves and Peter Craig
Casts : Robert Pattinson, Zoe Kravitz, Jeffrey Wright, Collin Farrell, Paul Dano, John Turturro, Andy Serkis