The Batman: Epic Crime Thriller is Dark, Violent, and Surprisingly Campy

5 out of 5 stars (One of the Best I’ve Seen in a Long Time)

The Batman is one of the best superhero movies I’ve ever seen.  It’s a dark, gritty, yet surprisingly campy crime epic that knows how to balance its mature themes with blockbuster spectacle and a refreshingly layered story all anchored by a jaw-dropping performance from Robert Pattinson (No really, I’m serious).  The Batman is a breath of fresh air that pushes boundaries of the superhero genre without skimping on caped action.

Bruce Wayne (Robert Pattinson) has spent the past 2 years moonlighting as a vigilante Batman.  When a serial killer known only as The Riddler (a campily chilling Paul Dano) starts offing Gotham’s elite, Batman must work with honest cop Commissioner Gordon (Jeffrey Wright) and enter the criminal underworld to find his man, encountering the fiendish Catwoman (Zoe Kravitz), The Penguin (Colin Farrell) and more while also discovering dark secrets about Gotham and his own past.

The Batman is more a crime thriller than a superhero movie.   It carries a dense plot, mature themes of wealth, corruption and owning up to ones’ legacy, yet it still knows when to lighten up.  The entire cast is inspired with Kravitz, Pattinson, and Paul Dano as standouts and the gorgeously-shot action always services the story, all complimented by Michael Giacchino’s bombastic music.  I’m not a fan of Bruce Wayne’s “Just exited the shower” look, it took some time for Pattinson to disappear into both roles, and I felt the runtime near the end, but otherwise, I consider this a perfect Batman movie, marrying grit with camp and making it look easy.  This is the first in a planned trilogy, and I’d see those sequels tomorrow if possible (with a bathroom break in-between).  The Batman is a hard-edged detective thriller with thoughtful ideas, jaw-dropping action, and a refreshing approach to its title character that proves there’s still more to do with the superhero genre.  See it.

Rated PG-13 for Strong Violent and Disturbing Content (my sister thought it should have been R), Drug Content, Strong Language, and Some Suggestive Material

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