The return of vengeance, the night, and the Batman

The shadows descend as Gotham’s caped crusader returns

By Dylan Palczynski

The night brought nothing but a downpour of rain over the hopeless streets. The city never stopped crying as crime’s siege over Gotham created hell on earth. Until the shadows stood against the chaos, watching, looming over the vile creators of chaos. The shadows brought crime to a halt, for the shadows were vengeance, the shadows were the night, they were Batman. 

Batman’s return this year establishes Batman back as one of the top superheroes of the present day. No longer is he the unjust and profound murderer as he was in “Batman vs. Superman” and the recent “Justice League” movies, but rather the shadow of the night watching over Gotham. A hero defeating crime with ingenuity, expert level combat, flashy gadgets, and fear. The hero who instead of stopping crime with murder, keeps himself controlled so that he does not become what he is devoted to stopping. 

“The Batman” gives a young and novel Batman his first case with the long and grueling hunt for the Riddler, Gotham’s latest murder loosely based on the Zodiac Killer of the late 1960’s. The entire plot spans to just a week yet it is able to make this feel like an ongoing war between Batman and crime. Each murder that happens next develops into its own plot line servicing to the overall story.
The first thing that could stand out to most is how “The Batman” is nearly three hours long. However, you are constantly engaged through this movie’s great pacing. Every moment is dedicated to detective work, action, and growth for the Bat and it never stops. 

Each murder case will have their own slowed down moments for finding out how to stop the Riddler that intrigue both the Bat and you as the viewer. Just as Batman is solving the case, you are solving it with him. Batman never comes across as too smart for the audience or just all knowing out of nowhere because there is rhyme and reason for everything.
There is never too much exposition yet still enough where anyone, a Batman fan or not, will perfectly understand these characters and plot. The thrill of what is solved next also keeps your mind invested, but not for too long. This movie knows what it is doing and does not keep your brain in slow detective mode forever.
That’s why DC brings what DC amazingly does too, and that is the action. “The Batman” does not feature any slow pace or repetitive fights where it boils down to some guy punching people for three minutes. The camera is never confused with what is going on and always stays focused on the action. Batman is using not only his fists, but also his environment and gadgets. All the flashy ways he takes out criminals is stunning at times and as any teen would describe it: cool.
Gotham city is also painted perfectly in “The Batman.” The day is always hazy and miserable as trash overloads the streets of this dreary city. While the nights bring the cold darkness of crime that no amount of light can purify. The best thing about it is that Gotham feels real. All the shots of the city enigmatically reference cities in our world today that Gotham was based on such as New York or even Chicago.
With great action and brilliant storytelling, what else is there? Well nothing much besides a perfect cast. For how this new version of Batman is portrayed, Robert Pattinson brings the perfect depressed and solemn Batman that “The Batman” asked for. There is always a lack of joy and an overflow of a stoic warrior as his character grows throughout his story.
The rest of the cast fit in perfectly too. From Paul Dano’s over the top yet stellar performance as the psychopathic riddler to the gruff and by the books Jim Gorden played by Jeffry Wright. This cast supports this movie with real and passionate performances that do not miss a beat.
Unfortunately, while “The Batman” is able to balance out all the aspects to making a marvelous movie, it does fall short with one character. Catwoman is focused on as a secondary main character in this, and while Zoë Kravitz is amazing and Catwoman holds a well written spot in the plot, she is given too much. Catwoman’s side story, that spans across the entire movie, is interesting and catches your eye, but amidst the rest of the movie, there is not enough for her. 

She is developed so much that she can’t go unchecked, and ultimately ends up feeling a bit rushed out. Her relationship with Batman is also so fickle where by the very end of things, she feels so out of place that I wonder if even Batman was a little confused.
“The Batman” takes you down a thrilling journey that brings back the iconic Batman of that past that all hardcore fans will adore. He’s dark, broody, smart, and most importantly, fear inducing. Batman is back as this image of fear to crime and even the audience at times. The screaming red glare of the Bat separates Batman from any other super hero we know today as the vengeful warrior that lives on today to fight crime. All because, as he puts it, “I am vengeance, I am the night, I am Batman.”