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The Batman

Warner Bros. Pictures (2022)

★★★★☆

Movie Corner

By HOWARD MCQUITTER II

Welcome, again, to the dystopian world of Gotham City where crime is out of control, the mayor is murdered, Batman’s nemeses the Penguin (Colin Farrell)and the Riddler (Paul Dano)are loose on the streets, the police officers are overworked and weary. But there’s Batman (Robert Pattinson) in the midst of all the chaos, with a surly attitude of his own, bound and determined to solve the murder and

see that the misfits are behind bars. Initially, many city officials and high-ranking police officials see Batman as a vigilante, more part of the problem than part of the solution. But wait! There’s Lt. James Gordon (Jeffrey Wright) whois more than glad to work with Batman to find the culprit(s) in the crime waves in Gotham City. (So much of Gotham City is a reflection of the typical American city today.)

Director Matt Reeves’ version of Batman spends little time with Batman’s alter ego Bruce Wayne. Unlike other adaptations which present Bruce Wayne as a garrulous or ambitious billionaire, Wayne is seen here as dispirited or an eccentric eremite.

What has Batman and Lt. James Gordon puzzled is the killer (who apparently wants to kill all the corrupt politicians) leaves countless cryptic clues as a way of throwing them off his trail. In the process of pursuing the bad guys, he catches what would seem to be one of his nemeses, Catwoman (Zoë Kravitz)in the act of stealing jewels. Even though their relationship grows, it appears somewhat lackluster compared to the amorousness between Michael Keaton and Michell Pfeiffer in director Tim Burton’s 1992 Batman Returns.

Robert Pattinson’s Batman is one that often seems tormented and with unresolved issues. Even after encountering Catwoman, there’s the undercurrent of unsettledness, yet he’s a man on a mission and will not be deterred. Pattinson first comes to moviegoers with David Yates’ Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007), The Twilight Saga series (2008-2012), Cosmopolis (2012), The Lost City of Z (2016), Good Time (2017), Lighthouse (2019), Tent (2020), and now The Batman (2022).

Many men have donned the Batman uniform over time making him arguably the most popular and prolific superhero appearing on television, in films, and in comic books: Michael Keaton (Batman, 1989 and Batman Returns, 1992); Val Kimer (Batman Forever, 1995);George Clooney (Batman & Robin, 1997 and Dark Knight Rises, 2012);Ben Affleck (Batman v Superman, Dawn of Justice, (2016). And not to leave out Batman, the 960s television series, starring Adam West as Batman, Burt Ward as Robin, Yvonne Craig as Batgirl and Eartha Kitt as Catwoman.

Cast for The Batman: Robert Pattinson (Bruce Wayne), Zoë Kravitz (Catwoman), Jeffrey Wright (Lt. James Gordon), Colin Farrell (Oz/The Penguin), John Turturro (Carmine Falcone), Andy Serkis (Alfred) Peter Sarsgaard (District Attorney Gil Colson), Paul Dano (The Riddler), Peter McDonld (Kenzie), Rupert Penry-Jones (Mayor Don Mitchell), Alex Ferns (Commissioner Pete Savage).

Director: Matt Reeves. Cinematographer: Greig Fraser. Original Music: Michael Giacchino. Art Director: Grant Armstrong.

Running time: 176 minutes. (PG-13)

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