I know. I know. Many of you will adore this latest Bat adventure. Fine! Great! Throw a party.
I, on the other hand? Cannot even begin to invest either time or effort in anything resembling a ‘review’. Because I watch MOVIES and then enjoy /dissect/perform forensic critique. THE BATMAN is simply NOT a piece of film in any sense of the coherent craft I know and love.
RIDDLE ME THIS:
- WHY IS THIS FILM 3 HOURS LONG?
- When is a toilet / breath of air break MORE entertaining than the film one is escaping? (clue: when it is THE BATMAN and one meets nice people outside, grabs a coffee and witnesses the worst driver in history trying to do a 3 point turn, while on their phone, outside the cinema).
- WHAT is the POINT of this attempt at a movie? Seriously. Because those raving about it being ‘realistic’ need a kick in the arse. BATMAN FLIES IN THIS FILM. In a kind of human balloon formation. That would be fine in a Joel Schumacher era counterpart or an Adam West episode from the 1960s show. Here? It simply illustrates the absolute failure to understand the lack of verisimilitude at the core of this latest Bat misadventure.
- IE: All those lauding this as a SEVEN meets DARK KNIGHT opus? NO! Just because you copy certain details from the visions of others, does not immediately equate to real genius or innovation.
- Contrast with: Tim Burton’s Batman films. Those borrowed from German impressionism and Citizen Kane in look, but fused that with a new and exciting aesthetic, which thereby made both the gangster and gothic dimensions match perfectly. Those masterpieces also drew out great performances, from top flight talents, born to play their roles.
- THE BATMAN, by contrast? Has zero visual or thespian identity. NOBODY shines in this film. Both metaphorically (it is a gigantic charisma void) and literally (you cannot SEE a LOT of the action because dark + rainy + zero skill in editing either within or between scenes).
- Compare to: Christopher Nolan’s DARK KNIGHT Trilogy. I made very clear that I regard parts 1 and 3 in that series to be high points in the Bat-mythos. And yes, both Bat and Cat settled down at a cafe in Florence, forever. But I was open to new iterations.
- THE BATMAN is NOT ‘new’! It copies a LOT from THE DARK KNIGHT. But has none of the coherence, charm or balance of realistic setting and escapist gloss mastered by Nolan in some of his work with the property.
- There IS a potentially good plot at work here. I will give that one concession. But its execution is so dull, bloated, unimaginative, depressing and drained of any magic movie dust that one simply wants it all to STOP.
- The score is derivative. The editing is tepid. The acting so -so (yes, Colin Farrell is fine as Penguin but it is still a needless stunt casting). Andy Serkis is yet again overused in a film, inexplicably, playing the least convincing Alfred, ever.
- Kravitz is beautiful as Catwoman but she’s no Pfeiffer or Hathaway or Kitt or Newmar and indeed the much hyped ‘chemistry’ with Pattinson’s Batman is non existent.
- Are they trying to sell us a gay/bi/asexual Batman, here? Fine if so. But go there and commit. Don’t have him confusingly turning down an offer of fun and sex stuff from the only sexy female character in the film who does not end up either trampled on or dead.
- Speaking of which: THIS IS A NASTY LITTLE FILM. Yes, you need villains and crime for Batman to take down. I get that! But, in order to inject menace to John Turturro’s mob boss (also, miscast, woefully): the film veers into a warped fixation with violence against women.
- Seriously? STOP IT NOW. Or grow a pair and RATE THE MOVIE ‘R’ /18. Teenagers will love it, nonetheless. It just did not excite my dormant inner adolescent in a manner previous Bat-movies still can.
- As for Batman himself? I say Batman, because Bruce Wayne is non existent here, thereby removing the lifestyle fantasy of being a billionaire? I COULD TAKE THIS WALLY IN A FIGHT. Seriously. AT NO STAGE DO I FEEL A SHARD OF MENACE, MYSTERY OR MAGIC from this redundant take by R-Patz. Sorry!
- There is also, to top it all off: a gratuitous use of British actors sporting bad American accents; a pointless final set piece and a LOT of political sermonising via news clip exposition. LAZY!
- Oh and one more thing: WHY DO THEY USE ‘AVE MARIA’ as the recurring musical motif? Is it to feed a faux religious/messianic message? Because if so, shame on you. It is offensive. Would you do that with the Muslim call to prayer? NO. So STOP USING CHRSITIAN/CATHOLIC imagery, with no rationale, in your creatively bankrupt bat-bollox.
So: as you can see. I REALLY ENJOYED THIS FILM. I THOROUGHLY RECOMMEND IT. To my enemies and masochists, everywhere. Each to their own, of course. And all film is subjective. And THE BATMAN is winning big praise and no doubt box office. That said? At a time when the world needs hope? This just helped remove some of it, from movies, for me. But I do hope y’all enjoy it. Even if you are being conned, by a piece of Bat-shit.
GRADE F…U…etc. I am going to watch a proper film now. Like BATMAN AND ROBIN. Everybody, CHILL! 😉