‘The Batman’ is exactly the fresh start needed for the series

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Photo courtesy of NME.

Defne Onal managing editor 

The character of Batman is over-done. Throughout the years, the caped crusader has been interpreted and re-interpreted many times to the point it’s hard to come up with anything original related to the character. However, Matt Reeves’ DC superhero film “The Batman” presents the character in a completely refreshing light. 

Set two years after Bruce Wayne (Robert Pattinson) becomes “vengeance” in Gotham city, Batman partners up with Lieutenant James Gordon (Jeffrey Wright) to take down a serial killer named The Riddler (Paul Dano). Ever since Christopher Nolan directed the celebrated “The Dark Knight” trilogy, the chances of a Batman movie becoming similarly successful has dwindled. However, Reeves’ film is a worthy rival, as his vision subverted expectations. 

The most distinctive part of the film is how Bruce Wayne is portrayed. Unlike previous interpretations, there is no personality split between playboy Bruce Wayne and Batman. Pattinson’s Wayne is still a millionaire, but he’s weird and aloof. He is not a socialite and has no girls hanging off his arm when he’s not exposing corruption in the city. He neglects to clean his Batman makeup when he’s in civilian clothes and keeps to dark places. Basically, Pattinson’s Wayne is a goth. 

This portrayal of the caped crusader humanizes Batman to such an extent that even when he is seeking vengeance upon the city, it’s still clear he is Bruce Wayne more so than Batman. He may seem terrifying and larger than life, but he’s just a man with a cape and a great budget for gadgets. Pattinson lets Batman grieve on and off his mission. This move ultimately pays off, since it leads to more sympathy for Bruce Wayne without separating the character from the mask he dons. 

To add on, Zoe Kravitz’s Selena Kyle is another distinguishing part of the movie. Her performance brings both a cunningness and a sensitivity to Catwoman that wasn’t there before. However, the way Catwoman is written still leaves the character lacking. Her purpose of being a love-interest to Batman seems to outshine her role of being a femme fatale. 

Overall, “The Batman” gives a contemporary, refreshing take on the series and the character of Bruce Wayne. Even though the actors pull off great performances, the movie is lengthier than it should be. Ultimately, this is a compelling movie to introduce people to DC superheroes, but it might be polarizing for long-time fans. 

Highlights rates this movie 4/5.

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