The Batman presents the caped crusader as more vigilante than superhero

by Gordon Shelly

It is tough to do something new or different when drawing on source material that has been presented to the public for nearly 100 years.  That’s right, Batman first appeared in comics in 1939. This dude is getting old and the world has seen many renditions of the character.

I’ve dabbled in comics and follow the various comic universes, but I simply judge a movie and story on its own merit, not necessarily where it fits into a particular world. And whatever world, universe, or multiverse DC may have planned for Matt Reeve’s new version of Batman, doesn’t matter.

This movie and Robert Pattinson’s interpretation of the Dark Knight stand on their own as very interesting and worthwhile storytelling.

Superhero movies are fantasy movies at their heart, similar to Lord of the Rings or Star Wars, they typically tell a tale that requires a viewer to fully suspend belief and reality and accept what is presented. The Batman doesn’t necessarily do this.

It’s easy to grow tired of the reboots, the revisits, the re-dos, and the re-inventions, of movies and characters in today’s world where studios are more often chasing a few bucks rather than good storytelling.

The Batman tells a story in a fashion more akin to a gritty crime thriller or a gangster drama. It’s a dark tale that will, no doubt, be compared to Se7vn, as it revolves around a sadistic serial killer who believes he is cleansing society.

Batman is not infallible this time around and does show signs of human weakness. He is a high dollar vigilante more than superhero and Gotham, its characters, and the overall atmosphere seem to exist in a world that feels real and believable.

Overall, Pattinson is a very good Batman and Reeves seems comfortable in control of the Dark Knight.  I think very few superhero movies are as good as they get credit for. Audiences get caught up in the glitz and gloss of what they’re watching.

This movie is better than most and stands on its own with or without any pre-existing universe.

Gordon’s Grade: B