2022. Sci Fi / Thriller
Director: Matt Reeves
Cast: Robert Pattinson, Zoë Kravitz, Paul Dano, Jeffrey Wright
A return to the Film Noir style of investigation and dirty atmospheres. A realistic Gotham City and an almost perfect narrative.
The latest adaptation of the dark knight from director Matt Reeves brings a fresh narrative that feels old-souled. Reeves continues with a style and narrative that he has been perfecting since his Planet of the Apes trilogy. The applause goes to everyone: Reeves, Pattinson, Wright, Kravitz and especially Paul Dano with a superb performance of the Riddler.
A new adaptation that reminds us of detective investigation films like Chinatown and Blade Runner and serial killer films like Se7en and Zodiac
It’s not an Origins movie.
Despite being a reboot, the film does not tell the origin story of any of the characters. We are already in the middle of a chaotic Gothic city where the characters are already well known, especially Batman who, as he himself says in a voice-over narrative, nobody knows where he is but everyone sees him in the shadows.
Some of the big differences is that this is not the perfect Batman whose gadgets always work. Here they are more in function of the investigation than of the stunts and the fights. It feels like we’re in an early 1980s movie with advanced technology like tracking and cameras inside contact lenses. The Batmobile is not a tank, instead it’s some kind of muscle car, and the suit is bulletproof.
the plot focuses on a masked maniac who is murdering the big names in the city, starting with the Mayor from where the entire investigation process arises since the murderer leaves clues not only to the police but to Batman himself. These clues gradually lead to the meeting of Batman with the characters already known as the penguin and Selina Kyle. Each clue leads to a revelation not only of the murders but of previous events in Gotham’s history.
The villains: Zoë Kravitz as Catwoman, Collin Farrell as Penguin and especially Paul Dano as the Riddler are the most outstanding. Falcone and Maroni fell short since John Turturro, despite being a great actor, does not give the image of a true mafia kingpin.
The heroes: Robert Pattinson, who at this point is no longer a novelty that each role he plays is performed in an exceptional way; a sober batman nothing passionate but deeply disturbed. Jeffrey Wright who effectively fulfills his role as Gordon and the seal of the house Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth.
Composed by Michael Giacchino the music is definitely the best part of the film. It is difficult to achieve such a dense and ominous environment without the perfect score and in this film music it is key. Each scene is accompanied by a slow and rhythmic cadence and each appearance of the masked vigilante is accompanied by a theme that becomes recognizable shortly after listening to it. As with the Jaws theme every time the shark appears or The Imperial March every time Vader appears, the dark knight also has his personal music.
Not everything in the film is perfect and it has some details that break with the harmony created. For example: a scene where they had to use CGi to achieve a shot that was not necessary or could have been solved in another way. Another big flaw is the ending sequence. Suddenly we are no longer looking at an intimate and personal investigative Noir movie but a high budget movie full of effects, explosions and destruction on a large scale, as if they finally remembered that they had money and decided to spend it all on effects that do not help much to history or narrative. It’s like someone changed the channel before the movie was over. they are simply details that feel out of place. Like serving cheap beer at a banquet, nobody would dislike it, but they don’t go.
Despite some small flaws, the film does not feel uncomfortable. Overall, it’s an excellent new adaptation with a good story, good narrative, good acting and characters, and an excellent score. It lends itself very well to creating a new universe from this story, perhaps a new trilogy or even a saga. What does look complicated (and perhaps off-key) is a shared universe with the other DCEU characters.