The Batman

The Batman ★½

Did I watch a different cut than everyone else?

I see a lot of raves about how The Batman is some kind of mature, layered, brilliant detective mystery...but try this:

Imagine this isn't a Batman movie. The script stays the exact same, except we change all the familiar names, and Robert Pattinson is now a nameless masked vigilante with a bunch of gadgets...

Stripped of the existing goodwill attached to names like Bruce Wayne, Selina Kyle, Gotham City,  and The Riddler, this is a sluggish, low-effort (though baseline competent), by-the-numbers mystery flick.

The movie does nothing to foster any kind of emotional connection to its characters. They're almost all ciphers (although Jim Gordon elevates his generic, grizzled cop by force of will), reciting on-the-nose GRIM and SERIOUS dialog.

This is a movie, released in 2022, where a morally dubious character unironically tells the protagonist, "Maybe we're not so different after all."

Matt Reeves and company wrote that line in the script and didn't even feel bad about cashing their paychecks.

There are a few highlights though:

- As mentioned, Jim Gordon somehow comes across as interesting, in spite of how he's written. 

-The Penguin injects a few brief moments of fun.

-The Batmobile looks cool.

-Zoe Kravitz, when not being reduced to a damsel in distress, is good.

But ultimately, I felt nothing. Because there's nothing here to feel.

*The script also negates Batman's entire reason for being, while not replacing it with anything worthwhile...because if you can't write an engaging story, just throw in a few twists and maybe they won't notice.

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