DC returns with vengeance: “The Batman” is a box office success


Photo courtesy of @thebatman on Instagram

“The Batman” released on Mar 4, 2022 to critical acclaim. Starring Robert Pattison as the titular character, this movie promises to be the darkest Batman film to date.

By Ela Jalil, Online Editor-in-Chief

From Adam West to Christian Bale, many actors have fulfilled the role of the beloved DC comic book character Batman. Robert Pattison now dons the signature cowl as one of the darkest versions of the character yet in “The Batman”. 

“The Batman” premiered in theaters on March 4, 2022 and instantly gained worldwide acclaim. According to Forbes, “The Batman” is projected to be one of the most successful superhero franchise launches ever in domestic grosses.

“The Batman” follows Bruce Wayne (Robert Pattison), a wealthy orphan who uses his resources to rid the streets of Gotham of crime through his recently acquired alter ego-Batman. He, along with Selena (Zoe Kravitz), a cocktail waitress that moonlights as Catwoman, gets caught in a sticky web of gruesome murders that seem intent on revealing the corruption in the city. Wayne works with police captain James Gordon (Jeffery Wright) to piece together all of the clues that the mysterious murderer (Paul Dano) has been leaving before it is too late. 

Although there was concern when the news initially came out that Pattison would be playing Batman, criticizing everything from his workout routine (or lack thereof) to his quirky attitude, these were immediately put to rest when viewers saw how Pattison actually performed in the movie. Pattison perfectly embodied his role, and was able to portray both the stoic Batman along with the more unsteady Bruce Wayne. Despite this movie being centered around Batman, the brief glimpses that viewers were able to get into the man behind the mask promises great room for character development over the next movies. 

Director Matt Reeves actually wrote “The Batman” with Pattison in mind for the titular character, after seeing him act in the 2017 crime-thriller “Good Times.” According to Esquire, Reeves was inspired by Nirvana’s “Something in the Way,” and likened his version of Batman to Kurt Cobain. “Something in the Way” had a large influence throughout the film, with the guitar chords setting the grungy tone throughout the movie. The soundtrack of this movie added to the intensity of the film, and the box office success is directly correlated to the thoughtful cinematography and music creating this gloomy success. 

Pattison was part of a star-studded cast including Zoe Kravitz, Colin Farrell, Andy Serkis and Paul Dano. Dano’s performance was chilling, and took viewers into the twisted psyche of The Riddler. Kravitz’s performance caused viewers to want a spin off movie of her own, something that could possibly be in the works. 

A sequel to “The Batman” is in development with Warner Bros, and will be the second part to a three movie series that will follow Batman on his journey to ensure peace in Gotham. It can be suspected that Dano’s Riddler and Barry Keoghan’s Joker will be returning as villains due to a short post credit scene. Besides this trilogy two spin off series are being produced according to Screen Rant: one centered around The Penguin (Colin Farrell) and his various exploits in Gotham, and the other, a horror show based on the origins of the patients of the infamous Arkham Asylum. 

For comic book fans, “The Batman” took inspiration from two main series: “Batman: The Long Halloween” and “Batman: Year One.” Both of these comics delve into the brooding side of Batman, and provide the crime-detective elements that were so popular in the movie. 

However, there can be too much of a good thing, which applies to this movie that runs for a whopping two hours and 56 minutes, but can have audiences feeling like they have been stuck in their seats for much longer. Getting rid of some unnecessary plot lines could have made the movie more concise and increased the comfortability of viewers everywhere. Despite these small (or rather long) shortcomings, the movie is sure to be an experience that any superhero fan will enjoy. 

This movie marks a shift away from the downward spiral that DC was experiencing, most notably seen in the box office underperformance of the recent “The Suicide Squad”, and the cinematic failure “Wonder Woman 1984.” DC’s signature dark themes combined with a long run time finally came together in a film that was the perfect relaunch of an iconic character.