THE BATMAN, SIMPLY BATMAN. APPLAUSE (NO SPOILER)

Yet it should have been learned already thirty-three years ago. You don’t judge a Batman movie, and Batman him, until you’ve seen them in action on the big screen. 

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It was true of Tim Burton, who had surprisingly placed a comedy actor under the hood, as well as that of Matt Reeves and his Robert Pattinson .

Almost three hours of film that clear the field of any fear of the eve, because, it was not understood, The Batmanit’s a crazy movie. Not only probably the roundest and most focused film on the Gotham City champion, but an absolute great movie. 

A film that manages, just to immediately play the first, inevitable comparison, to make an incredible Batman coexist on the screen, a Bruce Wayne suitable for the situation and at the moment, a costume that works great, drenched as it is in the eternal darkness of a Gotham filtered red.

BATMAN, A MATTER OF BALANCE

My very personal problem with Nolan’s Batman movies is that I find them beautiful… in all the scenes where there is no Batman. They have an exceptional Bruce Wayne (what do you mean, to that Christian Bale, or more generally to Christian Bale?) And they are shot with the usual love affair that binds the London director to shots, stories, buildings, windows and cold lights. But they have a too realistic cut, practically everything. And so when the guy with the mask and the big voice jumps out in that clear blue of a James Bond movie Gotham, he looks out of place.

It is a thorny business, yes, and not an easy one.

If you make a movie about Spider-Man, you expect to see it circling the rooftops hanging from a spider web and fighting against funny guys with animal names or guys with lots of green on them. Ok. But Batman is clearly a different kettle of fish. You can no longer play it like Tim Burton beautifully did thirty years ago, with that twist at the crossroads of gothic, comic and grotesque in his second film . If you throw too much into the colorful elements, like a superhero comic, it turns out another film like those of poor, innocent Joel Schumacher . And the world cries. And then he laughs at you.

DEEP RED BAT

Realism is taken by Nolan, the epic of the scars of the embittered old Batman and the sandblasted and brown filters, Snyder. To Matt Reeves, who is also co-writer (with Peter Craig) and producer of The Batman , there was only one way, very narrow. And he threw himself into it with the force of a muscle car powered by a jet engine. He’s back to basics, Reeves: What makes Batman believable, scary, epic and so damn cool all along? The answer is the other protagonist of his stories: the night of Gotham. It’s a very black movie, The Batman, and in order not to make it a spot of indistinct darkness, and indeed to give it its own coherent and decisive stylistic signature, the choice of red followed closely. Which works on a whole series of levels, and supports some visual solutions (even metaphorical ones, like that certain shot from above in the finale) that are decidedly successful.

And that darkness Batman pampers him. The criticism of the costume disappears, because all you see of Batman is, quite simply, what Reeves and the darkness want to show us about Batman. Not only can he turn his neck this time around, avoiding being killed simply by a dude approaching him from the side, but every single three-quarter shot of his face looks like it was drawn by Alan Davis or Jim Lee. Because, at the cost of repeating ourselves, it is one thing to see a photo of a costume on the Internet, or the shot of a motorcycle pushed by a stuntman on a set, quite another to see how those parts become a film.

BEST BATMAN EVER?

Here, the answer here is not simple. For starters, not all Batman movies are about Batman himself. This is an early Batman, in his year two of him, and as such he still has a lot to learn. An imperfect vigilante, who takes a lot of beating, and while on the right track, he’s still not the best detective on the planet, we’ll say. That he doesn’t have all the science fiction technology that other incarnations of him will later have. He does not have rubber tanks, bat planes, bat credit cards. Not yet master of the roofs, he moves on the road, treading the asphalt wet from the rain with his heavy boots. (In) arrestable machine of vengeance, more than an avenging angel swooping down from heaven. And the first time he’s in a certain situation up there, his face doesn’t hide fear.

It is therefore difficult to compare it to Burton’s Batman, which was born from other assumptions and other purposes – one above all: to make the world forget the association Batman = the campy on TV with Adam West in the sixties – and it was perfect in that context, or to the others. But what I do know is that I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Batman live action in all respects so credible and successful. Without prejudice to my love for Burton’s two Batmans (especially the latter), reviewing the previous bats in action after this will be decidedly more complicated.

THE BAT-TEAM

But when he doesn’t lead someone, or disappears like a ninja as soon as you turn around, Batman thinks. Much. The work of detection, the investigation on the tracks traced by the lucid madness of the Riddler, carries on the whole story in this case as well. A work that does not rest only on the shoulders of the hero, but also on those of the future Commissioner Gordon by Jeffrey Wright (in several points it turns towards a very tense buddy cop without jokes) and of a Catwoman just as much at the dawn of her stalks on the roofs and his amorous tension with the protagonist. And just to close the parenthesis: if Zoë Kravitzit does not scratch the Michelle Pfeiffer myth, it is only because that is impossible. Her remains of her, however, a credible and damned in part Selina Kyle. Again: that she never becomes speckish and she moves at ease in the context.

But the other characters turn well too. A very paternal Alfred by Andy Serkis , an unrecognizable Colin Farrell in the role of the Penguin (watch out for the gag of that scene), practically a deformed double of Robert De Niro’s Al Capone in The Untouchables – The untouchables , a Carmine Falcone made disturbing precisely by peaceful air by John Turturro. And speaking of restlessness, now we can also greet the fears related to PG-13 with a handkerchief. The Batman is definitely not a kid-friendly movie, with a Riddler in more of a traumatizing sense. More Saw – The Riddlerwhat else. With that pervert mask and his panting, you expect him to still keep Marcellus and Butch locked in a basement somewhere.

But, and that’s the point, he’s not the only sociopath out there.

WAYNE’S WORLD

A focal point of the Batman myth is that Bruce Wayne is no ordinary person. He is not a man moved solely by a sense of justice and responsibility. He is not Peter Parker. Bruce Wayne is obsessed with his crusade, to the point of disappearing in it. He’s said it many times, but repeating it doesn’t hurt: Wayne is Batman’s mask, and not the other way around, because he’s just the hooded dude always, even when his hood isn’t wearing it. And since this is an early Batman, in his second year of adventures, it was essential to make it even less balanced. And here then is Pattinson’s icy face without a mask, those black-stained eyes, the wisps of sweaty / wet hair in front of the eyes, from a dramatic scene from a manga, make perfect sense here. As much as it makes sense a Batmobile that expresses the condition of him:

There’s a scene that shows us how Wayne and the Riddler aren’t all that different. In a sense, they are kindred spirits. Except that one chose to vote his obsession with good, the other did not. Reeves – that the comics used as a starting point didn’t just flip through them like Snyder, he read them. He has studied Batman: Year One by Frank Miller and David Mazzuchelli, and Batman: The long Halloween of Loeb and Sale, he has understood well the psychologies at stake and stages them properly. He understood what Batman’s relationship is with firearms and with human lives, because he does what he does, as he does it. And how is the fire around which his enemies concentrate like mad moths in Gotham.

Having clarified that, Reeves focused on the evolution that must follow, starting from this starting point.

TOWARDS ONE YEAR THREE

No character can stand still in a story, and it is up to this young Batman to make his choices, to decide which way to go. And when he does, and it is underlined by a simple but very powerful symbolic scene, how beautiful is it? Beautifully photographed, stretched like a violin string, hard when it has to be, soft when it has to make you understand the fragility of a grim-looking super-hero, who is neither super nor steel, with that child still prisoner inside. he.

Now I just have to find another three hours to go and review it.

(Oh, I forgot: the soundtrack of the usual Giacchino is also spot on, here in his fifth film with Matt Reeves. Even if at a certain point they seem like the notes of the stairway of The Battleship Kotiomkin by Fantozzi. I laughed a lot inside myself, thinking about Gordon exclaiming “Twenty-one !!!”).