“Come on, Vengeance”: The Batman Is a Must-See Masterpiece


After three years of eagerness from fans, The Batman finally released March 4, 2022. This noir comic-book adaptation is currently in theaters.

Lucia Robertiello

This review is spoiler-free.

In 2019, headlines proclaiming “Robert Pattinson is The Batman” began circling the internet. In the three years since, my anticipation grew as the trailers dropped. One of my all-time favorite characters played by an accomplished actor in a film directed by the one and only Matt Reeves sent shockwaves of excitement through me like lightning.


Finally, the time has come. Finally, fans can satiate that prolonged hunger for mesmerizing action, thrill and that oddly-comforting darkness only Batman can bring. 


The Caped Crusader and his allies and foes are back on the big screen for a tale that’s sure to exhilarate. And, coming from someone who’s seen the film three times already, it has certainly been worth the wait.


At its core, this film is a grim detective story; a story that manages to keep fans on the edge of their seats for three hours straight. Every shadow and dark corner is both terrifying and authentic. This film unmasks the truth of our reality as it examines issues of societal corruption and emphasizes the fact that depravity prevents real change.


The genius behind the film, Matt Reeves, proves that he can create extraordinary works of art. He masterfully connects one of the most influential heroes of all time with the crime-thriller genre like two puzzle pieces. This magnificent adaptation takes the admired character to the darkest, most violent and disturbingly realistic world fans have seen for him. The phenomenal writing, cinematography, acting and direction make for cinematic gold.


From the very first scene to the last, this film holds the attention of the audience in a handful of technical ways. The spine-chilling score, gothic-grunge aesthetic and film-noir elements give life to director Matt Reeves’ vision. The natural, low-contrast lighting, vibrant colors and stirring soundtrack compliment each other and enhance the film’s captivating story. They express the rough and deeply scarred side of Gotham City through a perspective from the shadows. The impressive camerawork and special effects guide viewers on a roller coaster of pure adrenaline – stimulating thrill as if gliding through the city alongside the Dark Knight. 


The dedication of those in front of the camera is also evident. Paul Dano’s performance as the Riddler is one for the books. We are able to see inside Riddler’s head; think his thoughts, feel his feelings, see what drives him, while also growing wholeheartedly scared by him. He’s off the rails and Dano could not have portrayed the villain better. He provides elements of horror that make this film all the more compelling. Riddler has always been my favorite Batman villain because he doesn’t rely on physical strength but rather unquestionable intelligence. He possesses impressive brain power which he uses for his passion-fueled, deranged agenda. I love seeing the maniacal character fully fleshed out, demonstrating that he has the ability to be as fear-inciting and formidable as the Joker.


Colin Farrell’s performance as Penguin is also worthy of praise. He wholly transforms, inside and out, into this classic villain. He is not only a testament to the immensely talented cosmetics department, but a thrilling embodiment of Oswald Cobblepot. I am excited to see more of his take on the iconic character.


Selina Kyle, Catwoman, is as courageous and well-developed in this film as she is in the comics. She’s a powerful antihero who lives by her own rules; a fighter and a survivor who prioritizes self-determination. She’s not solely a “love interest” but an equal. She’s true to herself and can undeniably take care of herself. Selina is the character the world needs and Zoe Kravitz portrays her perfectly. Her chemistry with Pattinson’s Batman is magnetic. It’s genuine, endearing and wonderful to watch.


Robert Pattinson not only plays an incredible Batman but an incredible Bruce Wayne. We see his darkness, trauma and struggles arise. We also see that his purpose is not to instill fear into criminals but to support the people of Gotham out of moral intent. He uses his power and privilege to help those who struggle to help themselves. He’s not simply an arrogant, billionaire boy; he’s a person. He’s a person trying his best. Pattinson channels the charm that makes Batman, Batman. That charm is the soul of Bruce Wayne. Despite being appraised as a dark, dejected character, Batman can also be a beacon of hope for many – just like Superman can. Pattison’s Batman is brilliant with and without the mask. And I left the theater knowing: Robert Pattinson is my Batman.


Though Batman triggers enthusiasm and intrigue, this film can feel slow in longer, more dialogue-heavy sections. Those parts require attention to fully understand the perplexing story. That said, this film deserves the attention. The Batman should be observed more than once to fully absorb the thoughtfully-added details. This film shows that hope and heroism will always outweigh vengeance and hatred. The Batman takes the eeriness of crime-mysteries and psychological-thrillers like Se7en and Zodiac, combines it well with the high-action of previous Batman films, stirs in the most appealing characteristics of beloved comic-book stories and also brings its own admirable flavor to the table. That’s what makes The Batman the best Batman film.


DC has certainly come back with a bang and I could not be more excited for all that is yet to come. Lightning will strike again. This is only the beginning. 


See The Batman, in theaters now.