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ReelTalk Movie Reviews
A Treat for Batman Fans
by Geoffrey D. Roberts

Writer/director Matt Reeves masterfully crafts The Batman by completely throwing this character's origin story and everything audiences perceive about him out the window.   

Gotham City’s incumbent Mayor Don Mitchell Jr (Rupert Penry-Jones) is in his study with eyes fixated on his television watching reports criticizing his lackluster performance in a debate held the previous night against scrappy newcomer Bella Real (Jayme Lawson). She is an idealist who desperately wants to unseat him in Gotham's upcoming mayoral election. Mitchell’s only concern involves polls  consistently showing his chance of being re-elected are slim to none. In a few moments he will be dead.

A ruthless killer who refers to himself as The Riddler (Paul Dano) has stalked him for months, having chosen Halloween night to strike because everyone in Gotham would be out and about the city with children in tow, which makes it much easier to go undetected. 

The Riddler gained access to Mitchell’s building from a skylight and stealthily crept through the halls leading into the room. He approached Mitchell from behind and ferociously bashed the mayor's head in. The Riddler didn't leave any finger prints or much evidence except for a card strapped to Mitchell's chest addressed to a masked thug police have dubbed The Batman.

The Batman has been Gotham City Police Department's biggest headache for over a year. They have no idea whether the individual who cloaks himself like a bat is any less psychotic than the criminals he beats to a pulp before they get to crime scenes. The public desperately want him caught.

Of course, the last thing police want is to work with The Batman to solve the mayor’s murder. But they have no choice after Lt. James Gordon (Jeffrey Wright) discovers a card with a riddle and a partial cryptogram addressed to The Batman and indicating the Riddler’s plan to keep killing members of Gotham’s elite.

Meanwhile, billionaire Bruce Wayne despises interacting with anyone living in Gotham.. He simply cannot be bothered with accountants, returning calls, or the upkeep of Wayne Manor. He doesn't care about expanding his parent's legacy either. The only person who truly knows him is his butler, Alfred Pennyworth  (Andy Serkis), who became his guardian after his parents were murdered in front of him when he was only 9-years-old 

Bruce eventually cracks the Riddler’s cryptogram with the help of Alfred but not before police commissioner Pete Savage becomes The Riddler’s latest casualty. The manhunt to capture The Riddler intensifies after a bomb detonates after being strapped to Gotham District Attorney Gil Colson’s neck. The reason? He failed to divulge the identity of the mole who took down mobster Salvatore Maroni, the man who manufactured and distributed a deadly drug called Drop.  

I enjoyed Colin Farrell’s performance as lowlife bottom feeder Oz a.k.a The Penguin. This character is close to the mob because he operates a popular hangout called The Iceberg Lounge,. He is a person nobody thought would amount to anything let alone being a criminal mastermind. And I think Zoe Kravitz wisely chose to play Selina Kyle/Catwoman as being someone driven by emotions, easily led, with a blurred perception of right or wrong.  

Plus, Robert Pattinson is perfectly cast here as an iteration of Bruce Wayne/Batman. Pattinson plays him as a man with primitive detective skills who can’t control his anger. Paul Dano also delivers a brilliant performance as the psychotic Riddler. In fact, he steals the picture.

The Batman boasts everything a fan could ever want in a Batman movie.  

 (Released by Warner Bros. and rated “PG-13” by MPAA.)

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