‘The Batman’ takes an even darker approach to the Dark Knight



“The Batman” grossed $134 million its opening weekend, making it the most profitable film debut of the year so far.

Reese Duncan, Staff Writer

On Mar. 4, 2022, audiences experienced “The Batman,” DC’s newest and what some are claiming to be darkest approach to the already gothic characters and settings introduced in previous installments like “The Dark Knight.” 

The film follows a more serious take on the iconic character Bruce Wayne (Robert Pattinson) and his crime-fighting endeavors in Gotham City as his alter-ego, the Batman. Wayne is on his path of vengeance when he comes across a new and scarily intelligent villain, the Riddler (Paul Dano). He appears to be acutely aware of the Batman’s presence in Gotham, addressing eerie letters containing vague riddles within them to the Batman himself. As the Riddler murders more and more of the city’s political leaders, he exposes corruption and crime among those who were supposed to be completely trustworthy. While Wayne attempts to unwind the complicated web the Riddler has created, with the help of Lt. James Gordon (Jeffery Wright), he meets his fierce match in Selina Kyle, also known as Catwoman (Zoë Kravitz). On top of all of this, more villainous figures such as Oswald Cobblepot, also known as the Penguin (Colin Farrell), and Carmine Falcone (John Turturro) emerge. 

A dark take on the character of Batman is nothing new in the slightest, especially due to  Christian Bale’s performance as Wayne in the previous live-action Batman installments of The Dark Knight Trilogy. Pattinson thoroughly delivers a performance packed with emotional gloom, adding to the movie’s undeniable tortured atmosphere. But where most of the appeal of “The Batman” to audiences lies is in its realistic take on the characters and crime of Gotham City. Wayne is much less of a billionaire playboy figure, and the crime he takes down within the film is not all that different from the kind seen in prominent cities in the real world. “The Batman” also proves to be different with what appear to be meticulously crafted visuals. Every frame in this almost three-hour film feels to be intentional, a refreshingly placed effort when comparing it to other recent big-budget productions. The thought-out visuals, powerful score and soundtrack highlighting Nirvana’s “Something In The Way” and strong performances all combine to make “The Batman” a new and worthwhile display of the Batman Universe.

“The Batman” is currently in theaters worldwide and will arrive on HBO Max on Apr. 19, 2022, 45 days after its theatrical release due to an update in the streaming agreement between Warner Bros. and the streaming service.