The Batman. The Batman, directed by Matt Reeves, was released in theaters on March 4, 2022. Illustration by Pearl McNames.

After earning over $134 million in the international box office on opening weekend, The Batman immediately became a must see movie worldwide. $134 million is the most a movie has earned on its opening weekend so far this year, and the most a movie has made on opening weekend since Spider-Man: No Way Home, released in December 2021. Expectations for viewers all around the globe skyrocketed, and this movie has continued to meet every single one of them.

The Batman begins with a dark and mysterious scene that takes place in a Gotham City penthouse. We are immediately introduced to the main villain, the Riddler (Paul Dano), and the motives for his crimes. With viewers already on the edge of their seats seconds into the film, the tone is set for the remaining two hours and 55 minutes of perfection this movie provides. Director Matt Reeves consistently emphasizes the darkness and eeriness of Gotham City throughout the course of the film. This is an approach we haven’t seen much of in past Batman movies and it certainly paid off. In fact, Franklin High School student Duncan Mazurek chose to see The Batman twice on opening weekend. “I personally love the darker side (of the movie), and with the PG-13 rating, they did just enough to make it feel like an R rated movie but didn’t go that far. They even dropped an F-bomb in the first fifteen minutes,” said Mazurek.

There were many similarities between the new Batman  movie and other Batman adaptations, including the characters, the plot, and the setting. The similarity that stood out the most was the effort of director Reeves to keep the characterization of Batman as true to life as possible. One of the most admirable features of Batman as a superhero is that fans can genuinely relate to him as a character. The Caped Crusader does not have super powers, experienced a major tragedy at a young age, and is viewed as an outcast by the majority of Gotham City, including the police department. With the way movie technology is evolving today, specifically  in the making of superhero movies, it is super easy and tempting to make the main hero more than what they’ve always been. It’s easy to make them something beyond themself, and that’s something that Matt Reeves and the creators of The Batman avoided. 

While many details in The Batman stayed consistent with other Batman media, there were many details that were new, most notably the personality of Bruce Wayne (Robert Pattinson). The Bruce Wayne we all remember is two sided, outgoing, and extremely cocky as a result of his extreme wealth. While he still inherited a fortune from his parents, Bruce was a very different person in this Batman movie. He was quiet and reserved, and his appearance reflected  those more introverted traits as opposed to the cocky qualities we’ve seen in past Batman adaptations. “I love the way they did this Batman and Bruce Wayne. He was a perfect mix of scary and a symbol of vengeance as well a figure that you would want on your side,” included Mazurek. 

The supporting cast in  The Batman was spectacular and a key piece to the movie’s success. With many new characters debuting, and many old characters making a return, the cast had it all. Most notably, Catwoman played by Zoe Kravitz. Kravitz played an incredibly important role in this film and did it to perfection. The mysterious vigilante plays a key part in a majority of scenes, and viewers can hopefully expect a return of Catwoman in a potential sequel. Another major character in the film that played a significant role was the Riddler. Yes, we have seen the Riddler before; however, we have never seen him portrayed the way he was in The Batman. He wore glasses over a mask covering his whole face, breathing loudly to capture the attention of, and intimidate viewers. All around, Paul Dano played a perfectly creepy villain for the movie. 

With the perfect mix of darkness and hope, good and evil, and old and new, many people could argue this was the best Batman movie of all time. It had everything fans could have possibly hoped for, and more! With all of the incredible feedback from the movie coming in, people everywhere want to experience the hype for themselves. For those of you who enjoy a gritty movie with great action and a lot of potential for a sequel, The Batman is the perfect movie for you, and I highly recommend you see it as soon as possible.

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