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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Jul 19, 2022



BATMAN aka Bruce Wayne of DC Comics has had so many big screen adaptations. 

So we weren’t really excited about “The Batman” and we missed it when it was first shown in theaters. It’s now available on streaming on HBO and we finally got to see it. 

Our first complaint: it’s too long at almost three hours. 

Thank God you can pause it, go about doing other things, and then just return to it later. 

Batman/Bruce is now played by former vampire Robert Pattinson, who finally gets another hit after the “Twilight Series”. 

He’s now a vigilante who works in cooperation with Lt. James Gordon (Jeffrey Wright). 

They are collaborating to track down a serial killer called The Riddler (Paul Dano), whose goal is to kill corrupt politicians in the city who are on the take from gangsters and to demolish their entire city. 

This is led by the Gotham City mayor who he murders in the opening scene. 

He gives the Batman riddles to solve, with the appropriate clues to help catch him. 

As he investigates the case, Batman meets Selina Kyle (Zoe Kravitz of “Kimi”), a waitress in a night club run by a kingpin known as the Penguin (Colin Farrell.)  

Selina is the roommate and lover of Annika Kosolov (Hana Hrzic), a woman who has gone missing after being implicated with the murdered Gotham mayor. 

Selina is Catwoman and turns out to be the daughter of a mobster, Carmine Falcone (John Turturro.) 

Batman follows the Riddler’s clues to an orphanage built by Thomas and Martha Wayne, Bruce’s parents who were brutally killed when he was a boy.

He learns that the Riddler has an ax to grind against their family.  

Their trusted butler, Alfred Pennyworth (Andy Serikis), is injured after opening a letter bomb intended for Bruce who later discovers some secrets about his own family. 

It’s revealed that the Riddler is a forensic expert, Edward Nashton, who is in Arkham State Hospital. 

It turns out he has many online followers working in cahoots with him. They planted car bombs around the city to kill the new mayor, Bella Real (Jayme Lawson.) Batman and Catwoman team up to thwart his efforts.

The film is directed and co-written by Matt Reeves, best known for the last two “Planet of the Apes” movies, ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ and ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’. 

His “The Batman” is a detective noir story so slowly paced that we got bored a number of times. 

One thing you’d remember the movie for is its darkness. Set largely at night time, the cinematography is mostly grim and bleak in a movie that hardly offers any humor or comic relief. 

There is a fight scene inside a room so dark that the only light you get are from the bursts of gunshots.

Nothing much is required from Pattinson except to sport a stony, deadpan face all throughout, looking so serious like he’s forever suffering from constipation.

No wonder no actor who has played Batman has ever won an Oscar. The irony of it is that a Batman villain has won best actor from a spin off, “Joker”. 

So what’s needed for Batman to be noticed by the Academy Awards? Maybe an innovative treatment to the role and the material? Or perhaps an actor so astonishing in the role that he makes it all his own? 

Well, for sure, “The Batman” is not that movie and Pattinson is not that actor. 

Their consolation is that the movie is such a big worldwide hit, so for sure, there will be a sequel.