Since the announcements of a new Batman installment, fans have waited hungrily for the release of a new Dark Knight movie. The release of The Batman was highly anticipated, seeing as the director Matthew Reeves stated his position on the matter; that although the movie takes inspiration from the 1987 Batman: Year Two, it won't be an exact adaptation of the DC comics or any for that matter. Going out to see The Batman movie, I had no preconceptions. I abstained from trailers, only knowing very few snippets on the movie direction and the actors involved, leaving me to make an in-the-moment judgment of the movie, and I have to say it was not a disappointment.
The movie started with very interesting voiceovers from Robert Patterson as Bruce Wayne; he relays his journey since he decided to become Batman, approximately two years from the start of the movie. From the beginning of the movie, the tone is set that it's not your regular Batman movie, from an invite to a crime scene to the less than extravagant Ducati/Harley-Davidson mash-up (not a motorcycle person) that Robert is scene driving. It's evident that Gotham's underbelly fears the bat signal because they fear the shadows he may lurk in; not realizing he is the shadows, there's an equal part of reverence and disdain for The Batman amongst GCPD officers, which is interesting to see. We got what we were promised from the movie's beginning: a more introspective and investigative Dark Knight with this movie.
The Riddler's appearance as the villain is also a turn of events. He was an organized and well-thought-out Villain with intricate methodologies to his crime involving ciphers and riddles and exciting wordplay. In this Batman universe, there would be no villain without the Wayne's being a catalyst for the crime. Although the Waynes and the Arkham' are still Gotham's founding family, there are still dirty little secrets exposed about them that form the catalyst for The Riddler's Rampage.
A tidbit I found particularly interesting was the de-emphasis on Bruce Wayne's wealth; yes, his wealth plays a general factor in the story of the Dark Night, but Matthew Reeves did not overly emphasize it as in the case of Ben Affleck's Batman, it's also evident that Robert's Bruce Wayne could care less about Wayne Enterprises and it's board as seen in Bale's Batman. His family's wealth and prestige are not one he falls to, seeing as he prefers the life as The Batman than as Bruce Wayne; this being said, you can see that technological advancements in terms of automobiles that are present in both Affleck's and Bale's Dark Knights are evidently absent in Robert's playing to his detachment from his family's status and wealth; the only evidence of wealth is in the physical gear of The Batman. As always, we meet a calm and reclusive Bruce Wayne, and even still, he's modest and withdrawn in comparison to the previous Dark Knights. They aimed to humanize and make this Batman more realistic than he previously was. They succeeded in such a spectacular manner playing to his intellect and knowledge. The addition of a love interest in the person of Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman also sought to humanize the recluse even further from his anger at the predicament with the Mob Boss to the inevitable goodbye; it was an interesting dynamic.
It was interesting to see where all the clues and riddles would lead, an intricate web of corruption and lies with Gotham's founding family at the center of the mess, indirectly so but still involved nonetheless. From the ending, it's clear to see that a sequel is in the works, one that, if I'm not mistaken, would involve The Joker. This leaves so many questions on whether The Joker and The Riddler would team up as they've become friends and if Jared Leto would reprise the role of The Joker in this Universe (this I doubt, if the voice in the final scenes is an indicator, but I shall still be hopeful).
Overall, the movie is one to watch. In the context of the regular Batman movie, the overall switch entails you'd always be entertained, adding minor subtle threats from the Twins at the icebox, who were child stars in Desperate Housewives, and the lead detective, to Alfred's mannerism. I can't wait to see what will be done in the sequel; Matthew Reeves did a good job portraying the Dark Knight.