It turns out we had so much fun doing our roundtable review of Andor when the show closed just over a week ago, that we thought we would have another go. This time we are going to talk about a movie that is still shy of its one year anniversary – The Batman.

Differences of opinion make the world go around. Life would be boring if we were all the same and thought the same way. Nowhere is this more true than in the world of movies and entertainment. Imagine how godawful… I mean, even more godawful… the entertainment landscape would be if we all had the same taste in films and TV?

Opinions

And boy, did this one seem to split opinion? To say The Batman was highly anticipated is an understatement. COVID delayed, a lengthened production cycle with changes of direction, star and even seemingly putting itself outside of the franchise it was born from, it was an expectant audience that sat down to watch it.

Will out intrepid team of Outposters have opinions as split as audiences were after the movie finished? Find out…

Matt AKA EggyWeggs

Why do I feel like I’m being set up here?! I’ve made no secret that I like my superhero films dark, gritty, and frankly, a little depressing. For comparison, I want to watch a live-action graphic novel rather than funny papers.

Yes, I know how ironic this sounds considering my unfettered love for Superman: The Movie, which is the absolute polar opposite of The Batman and pretty much all other comic book movies I am drawn to – Joker, Watchmen, and of course Man Of Steel.

So it’ll come as no surprise to you Outposters that I really enjoyed The Batman. The film is clearly heavily influenced by Se7en and it’s pretty remarkable that it’s taken Hollywood 27 years for them to realize that replacing Mills and Sommerset with Batman was an obvious decision.

The Batman Gotham
Gotham City, you can smell the image.

This version of Gotham is everything the comics told us about. It’s a heaving metropolis on the brink of self-destruction. Filthy and overcrowded with a level of political corruption that would make those in Washington clutch their pearls. It seems like a city completely devoid of hope. It makes Nolan’s Gotham look like Beverly Hills by comparison.

The one thing that I was most impressed with was the way Robert Pattison approached his role as Bruce Wayne and Batman. Where we’ve come to expect Batman to be the alter ego of Bruce, that once he dons the cowl and cape, he takes on a meaner streak and uses a deeper, and in Bale’s case, at times a ridiculous voice.

The Batman
Bruce Wayne is the disguise.

Pattison does the opposite. His alter ego is actually Bruce Wayne. As Bruce, he’s shy and an introvert. Sullen and softly spoken and his body language and overall manner portray a man clearly not comfortable in his surroundings. It’s as if he’s trying to shrink into himself.

However, as Batman, he seems taller, more powerful, and more menacing, he oozes confidence. His voice is not a silly growl or a sneer, it’s calm, deep, and measured. Pattison’s take on Bruce and Batman is reminiscent of Christopher Reeve’s Clark and Superman. Yes, I believe Rob is that good in this role.

After a decade of shiny, comedic superhero films from Marvel and their cut-and-paste formula that people are finally beginning to tire of, The Batman attempts something different and I think it will gain more appreciation over time.

The Batman
Visually stunning and as far removed from Marvel any DC fan could ever dream of.

Boba Phil

I can take or leave comic book movies, overall, if it’s a good movie, it’s a good movie, no matter which franchise it comes from. For me, The Batman, was not a good movie.

The only thing I was excited about the movie was it was from Matt Reeves. I liked his previous work, I think Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is very underrated and a great movie. His other work is pretty good.

I can’t say I was all that excited to go and see The Batman, but I had a gift card to use up and I knew we were going to talk about it on the Livestream, so I was happy to kill two birds with one stone. This eventually annoyed me, since I felt it was a waste of my gift card.

At best, the movie is “OK”, but that’s all I can say about it. Pattison is OK, the direction is OK, the story is OK, all around it’s just average Then we come to the length of it. I know everyone and his wife had something to say about how long it was, but I do remember in the cinema actively looking at my watch, wondering when it will end.

Because of this, I will never go back to it. There’s nothing in the movie that stands out to me to make me actively want to watch it again. As I have said, most of it was just OK. Had I seen it at home, I probably would never have finished it, but since I was at the cinema I also couldn’t be arsed to walk out.

I know everyone raved about Colin Farrell as The Penguin, and don’t get me wrong, he was amazing, but I felt that all of his scenes could have been cut from the movie and it wouldn’t have affected it at all. He could have been a DVD extra.

I didn’t really get the end as well, the whole “Moses” walking through the water ending. In fact, I couldn’t really recall why I didn’t get it, as I barely remember any of it.

Matt tried to get me to watch again on streaming, but I just didn’t want to waste my time a second time. There wasn’t much to hold my attention and so I wasn’t going to try it again if I got bored the first time.

The other thing that annoyed me was this was another Batman movie, not really related to any of the others, not really tying in with any other parts of the DCU, so it was just another reboot.

I thought Batfleck was pretty good, but here’s another take on Bats for you. Don’t worry though, we’ll probably be changing him, and his universe, again soon. #boring

For me, The Batman, might have worked if the script was a lot tighter, it had more interesting characters and it wasn’t another Batman from another universe. I just didn’t rate it.

Stark

The first thing I have to say about The Batman is that I love that this movie simply exists. I kind of can’t believe it does. Especially with Warner Bros. well know interference in anything good being created on their watch.

I can’t believe they were allowed to actually make it. It’s 2 hours and 56 minutes long. It starts with a heavy breathing stalker brutally bludgeoning a man to death in his own home. It features long scenes of exposition and conversations. You get to see the world’s greatest detective do some detecting. It takes it’s time. You can imagine the notes from the studio!

I love how they made Glasgow and Liverpool seemingly make the perfect Gotham. It’s nightmarish without tipping into the fantasy gothic parody of the Burton movies. Yet it is real, without becoming the almost too militaristic, divided feeling metropolis of the Nolan movies.

The Batman

Pattinson makes a really interesting Batman and Bruce Wayne, that early in his career. The antagonistic relationship with Alfred was new. Zoe Kravitz slinks with a real sexual charge without becoming a joke like Pfeiffer or being milquetoast like Hathaway. Colin Farrell is an absolute revelation.

The Batman is a very, very good film and I enjoyed it very much. And yet, strangely, I feel very little drive to revisit it again… and I don’t know why?

Maybe it is because it is a mystery movie at heart, and once you have seen the mystery unfold there is very little to hook you back in? Possibly.

Most likely it is because of that run time. I love that a near 3 hour Batman movie exists, and yet a home viewing with toilet breaks, drinks refills, stupid plot questions from partners and pausing the movie to shout upstairs to tell the kids to stop whatever the hell it is they are doing up there that it sounds like World War III has started, means it is nearer a 4 hour time commitment.

And who has that much spare time of an evening? That is practically an entire evenings viewing taken up. I could watch 3+ episodes of Gangs Of London in that time and still have enough left over for a cheeky YouTube catch up. The Batman is, maybe, it’s own worst enemy when competing for the eyeballs of the time poor.

Overall, I think it is better than anything Schumacher did. I think it is better than both Burton’s efforts which, as I have said before, stripped of nostalgia are shonky and have aged terribly. I don’t think it is as good as Batman Begins or The Dark Knight. I think it’s on a par with, or slightly above, The Dark Knight Rises.

Drunken Yoda

I really enjoyed the first 75% of The Batman, it felt like a good old fashioned detective story, but the last 25% really soured it for me. Since then though, I find I have no urge to rewatch it. Reflecting on it, The Batman has a lot of problems, even the parts I generally enjoyed.

First off is Pattinson’s portrayal. It’s not that’s he isn’t an excellent actor (he is) but it’s his choices. Bruce Wayne and Batman are set up near nihlistic. The whole movie is so bleak in so many ways, it’s hard to find any joy in it. Yeah, you heard me. Sure the Nolan trliogy is dark and gritty, but it’s also compelling with some optimism there. Bruce Wayne believing in the city, even in the face of the evidence to the contrary at first. The city ends up proving the Joker wrong, for example.

There’s a lot to enjoy with those. But with The Batman, there’s just nothing but dour bleakness. It’s not hopeful, no matter how hard they try with the ending. They destroy Thomas Wayne (something they did in Joker as well) and I’m getting a little tired of deconstruction; the message that there are zero good guys in this world.

Truth be known, I don’t know if I’ll ever put it on again. It drags for one, it’s a three hour investment into something I just don’t find myself enjoying. You can’t suck all the life and hope out your heroes, or they aren’t heroes anymore. And while those types of stories have their place, it’s not really appropriate for Batman. Maybe a second part can do better but really, this is just a chore to watch.

Shawn Thompson

No. I don’t like Batman. I have nothing to add to it.

Well, on that rather final note from Shawn we guess it’s over to you, our Outposters!

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