Movie review: The Batman (PG13)
There are a few things to bear in mind before watching The Batman.
Don't expect a superhero movie. In this umpteenth reboot of Batman, our Caped Crusader does not destroy buildings while battling over-the-top villains like what we have seen in Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice (2016) and Justice League (2017).
This Robert Pattinson Batman has undergone a complete makeover and has returned to his comic-book roots where the Dark Knight is the world's greatest detective.
Under the skilful hands of director Matt Reeves (who also rebooted The Planet Of The Apes in 2014), The Batman becomes a noir detective story.
Much like Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) where Peter Parker goes straight into Spidey mode, there is no origin story on how Bruce Wayne becomes Batman. This Batman is already a few years into the job as a masked vigilante, doing his best to purge Gotham City’s streets of crime and corruption.
The story sees Gotham's elite murdered in creative yet grotesque ways. So it is up to Batman and detective Gordon (Jeffrey Wright) to catch the serial killer whom the media calls The Riddler because of the clues he leaves behind for Batman.
Pattinson's Batman is gruff and rather menacing. Unmasked, his Bruce Wayne alter-ego is a brooding, tortured orphan, not the flamboyant millionaire playboy that we know.
The Brit actor can finally put his Twilight days behind. While he does a decent job, Pattinson is aided by the strong performances from Wright and Andy Serkis (as butler Alfred). Both actors bring much-needed gravitas, which Pattinson still lacks somewhat.
Lensed by two-time Oscar nominee Greig Fraser, Gotham has never looked so gritty, moody and beautiful. Wonder Woman and Aquaman will be totally out of place in this Batman universe.
Michael Giacchino's haunting score is fantastic, orchestrating each scene with a balance of intensity and intimacy.
Clocking at almost three hours, Batman is an extremely long episode of Crime Scene Investigation. Thus the last thing to bear in mind: empty your bladders before you enter the hall.