The Batman

The Batman ★★★

It is structured less like an investigation than a videogame, just a series of locating clues that lead to more with enough detours along the way to paddle the length and gave the user/audience their money's worth which is also why it is exhausting by the end. Reeves is the first director to helm a Batman movie that is skilled at staging competent action (Batman Returns is a much better movie than this, but there's a reason nobody remembers the action beats) and he has a good handle on setting and the overall concept of build the movie around the absence of fatherhood is strong. This is also the first superhero movie in ages to be honest about superhero movies be cop movies for a time it feels broader to not represent cops directly. Pattison is really playing emo Dirty Harry, a brilliant detective operating outside the system occasionally going against the wall, complete with a strong moral instinct and a more level-headed partner who is there to calm him down. Most of his scenes with Kravitz are about taming her rage into more productive establishment approved ways. That also explain why more than most of those it is pretty open about Batman's role as manager of a rotten system, lots of talk about how corrupt and impossible the city is, but a strong belief that the establishment can be made to raise above itself at least a bit. That it has a very loud "not all cops" scene makes sense. Because Reeves actually conceived Gotham as place and not a CGI abstraction, there's a sense people do live in it which give the movie some stakes. Most of the stuff with the Riddler is pretty bad annoying pseudo trendy stuff, but Farrell is very fun. The movie is more functional than the grand thing Reeves seems to hope for, but in its own modest ways it is far above average for the genre.

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