A new wave of Batman movies was ushered in this past week as DC Films released “The Batman,” with Robert Pattinson as the franchise’s newest hero.
Co-starring alongside Pattinson is Zoë Kravitz as Selina Kyle, Paul Dano as Riddler, and Colin Farrell as Penguin, on top of a slew of other characters and villains. The movie blew out the box office, raking in over $130 million domestically and $258 million worldwide, the second biggest pandemic-era opening since the release of “Spiderman: No Way Home.”
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“The Batman” features a much darker Bruce Wayne seeking vengeance for the murder of his parents and wreaking havoc on the criminal underworld in the slums of Gotham. Facing the same scrutiny in the public eye as he has in previous movies, Batman continues to work with James Gordon to rid Gotham of its criminals.
Director Matt Reeves has decided to ditch the beautiful and thriving image of Gotham of previous films, instead opting to put on display just how much perversion has taken over the city.
Batman is a typical noir hero, but no Batman movie has ever dared to dive this deep into the genre. The movie exemplifies the general elements of noir, using lighting techniques to surround the film in shadows, as well as containing a hero plagued with cynicism and sorrow and a powerful femme fatale character in Kravitz’s Selina Kyle.
Many viewers have compared the movie to Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight,” which stars Christian Bale as Batman and Heath Ledger as Joker, widely known to be not only one of the best superhero movies of all time but one of the greatest movies in general of all time. Some, such as Variety’s Owen Gleiberman, have claimed that “The Batman” even beats “The Dark Knight” in their rankings.
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“The Batman’ is something else,” Gleiberman said, “[it’s] more like the greatest movie that also just happens to be a comic-book movie … the beauty of the movie isn’t just in how dark it gets, but in how mesmerizingly it hones in on the meaning of that darkness.”
The topic is certainly up for debate, with “The Batman” already entering the IMDb Top 250 Movies despite only being released less than a week ago. Currently, “The Dark Knight” holds the title as the highest-ranking Batman movie, sitting at number three on the chart, but the future of the rankings is certainly not set in stone.