The Batman movie analysis is our breakdown of the latest franchise reboot of DC Comics’ most valued intellectual property. Obviously The Batman movie analysis will contain spoilers so… if you are looking for a review of The Batman without spoilers, please click on this link. As always, we will analyse the movie based on the following story elements: plot, characters and themes.
S P O I L E R S
The Batman Movie Analysis: The Good
Story-wise, The Batman is about our titular character’s attempts to capture the villain Riddler, portrayed here as a masked serial killer. In order to do so, Batman has to solve the villain’s riddles. Now, the aspect of Batman’s character i.e. “World’s Greatest Detective”, is given more focus in this movie than in any other franchise entries but we would argue that only slightly and only superficially. Both Christopher Nolan and Zack Snyder also portrayed Batman/Bruce Wayne as a detective, so we are not sure what the fuss is all about.
However, where The Batman is distinctive from its predecessors is that Bruce Wayne does not quite exist as an alter-ego. His character has been subsumed completely by The Batman persona. This is a strong narrative choice and Robert Pattinson does a good job in examining the black hole that is Bruce Wayne’s soul. Thus, there is a deranged, disturbing quality about Pattinson’s Batman – he is indeed a creature of the night and consumed by vengeance.
The Batman Movie Analysis: The Bad
The plot has too many holes in it. In fact, the entire third act is a gaping chasm in this respect. Gotham City has a sea wall? How was the Riddler able to put together so many car bombs without anyone noticing? The Batman did not know that Carmen Falcone was running Gotham? How could he have spent a year basically living in the underworld and not know that? “World’s Greatest Detective”???
Now, we have no problem with a three-hour (or longer) movie if done right. Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings extended edits and Zack Snyder’s director cuts of Watchmen, Batman v Superman and Justice League all worked well. But the entire sequence of Gotham flooding and Batman putting down a violent insurrection (geddit?!) just seemed tacked on, without any narrative set up. Poor writing! The dramatic pace of the movie essentially flatlined when the Riddler was captured – very conveniently, in fact – then suddenly, the flooding threat to Gotham rises in order to artificially bring the tension up again culminating in that ridiculous climax where The Batman redeems himself from merely being an “avenger” (geddit?!?!) and landing (so to speak) his character arc in this first movie.
The Batman Movie Analysis: The Ugly?
Up to that point, for at least two-thirds of The Batman, the movie had provided a fairly fresh take on the Caped Crusader but that final act brought all the good work crumbling down. Now, the question is this – did Matt Reeves have to redeem The Batman as a social justice warrior in that way? Did Reeves also need to make all those vague political points? Yes, the ‘woke’ agenda was a bit more subdued but in many ways The Batman was very similar, thematically, with Wonder Woman 1984. Fact is, we loved Batman as the emo, damaged Cobainesque dark avenger but that conscious, deliberate decision to be a force for good? That seemed to fly in the face that Reeves had brilliantly developed in the first two-thirds of the movie.
In the final analysis, while The Batman is a solid and entertaining superhero movie on many levels, it is not – in our humble opinion – the best Batman movie so far. That particular accolade is jointly shared by Nolan’s Dark Knight and Snyder’s Batman v Superman.
… still there’s more …