THE BATMAN: A Spoiler-Free Look At 5 Things That Worked And 2 Things That Didn't

The Batman started screening last night, and we're now taking a closer look at Matt Reeves' DC Comics blockbuster to bring you a completely spoiler-free breakdown of what did and didn't work in the movie.

From the moment that teaser trailer dropped during the first DC FanDome virtual event, it was clear Warner Bros. had something special in store for us with The Batman. Now, the movie has started rolling out in theaters across the globe, and if the reviews tell us anything, it's that Matt Reeves has delivered one of the best DC movies to date. 

This is a film that leaves us with lots to discuss, and we're kicking things off by taking a closer look at what does and doesn't work in The Batman. From actors who exceeded expectations to moments or characters that slightly missed the mark, this in-depth "review" covers everything you need to know.

We're keeping things spoiler-free in this breakdown, but if you're looking to go in without knowing anything, we'd suggest turning away now. However, while we do get into The Batman's good and bad points, no specifics are discussed here you won't have already read about or seen in the trailers!

For the rest of you, take a look through this feature by simply hitting the "Next" button below!
 

Did Work: Robert Pattinson Is The Best Batman

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Each time an actor has been cast as Batman, fans have brought up their previous roles as a way to "prove" they're simply not the right fit for Bruce Wayne. With Ben Affleck, it was Daredevil, and when it came to Robert Pattinson, it didn't take long before Twilight was being thrown around as an example of why he simply couldn't do the Caped Crusader justice on screen. 

Those people clearly haven't been paying attention to Pattinson's acting choices in recent years. Now we've seen The Batman, we can safely he not only exceeds expectations but establishes himself as the best big screen version of this iconic character.

As of right now, his Bruce Wayne isn't really that much different to Batman, but Pattinson has a commanding presence in the suit and the necessary intensity and intelligence to do the World's Greatest Detective justice. He feels like a force to be reckoned with throughout this movie, but in those quieter moments, the actor really excels and is undoubtedly our new favourite Batman.
 

Didn't Work: The Riddler Is Scary, But One-Note

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Given the grounded nature of Matt Reeves' take on Gotham City, we shouldn't really be surprised by the realistic Riddler who terrorises Batman's home in this movie. The opposite of his colourful and flamboyant comic book counterpart, The Batman's Edward Nashton is a terrifyingly violent serial killer who has no remorse for his actions and clearly relishes taunting the Dark Knight. 

Unfortunately, there's not much more to The Riddler than that. Paul Dano is very good and the villain himself certainly serves his purpose; however, a few snippets of backstory don't do much to make Nashton particularly interesting or exciting. If anything, basing him off real-life serial killers only serves to make him a little too familiar, and a murderer who believes they're doing the right thing by stamping out corruption by any means necessary, well, we've seen it before.

That's not to say The Riddler is in any way a detriment to this story, but he won't blow you away and is arguably at his best when he's testing Batman's mental acuity. It's when the mask comes off that Nashton mostly disappoints, though we're sure some of you might get more from his arc. 
 

Did Work: The Detective Story

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While we wouldn't necessarily say The Batman has a particularly jaw-dropping twist that turns everything on its head, this detective story does feature its fair share of surprises. As a result, it should definitely keep your attention throughout the movie's lengthy three-hour runtime, and when the truth does start to come out, let's just say you'll walk away satisfied with the experience.

Crucially, this much talked about detective story hits the mark and does Batman justice. We're not suggesting the hero is the World's Greatest Detective at this stage, but Bruce Wayne clearly has the necessary skills to be an asset to Jim Gordon as they root out corruption in their city. 

Moving forward, we'd like to see this concept of Batman investigating crimes become a recurring theme. It feels like a big shift from what we've seen in the past, albeit in the best way possible. 
 

Did Work: The Stellar Supporting Cast

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We could have filled this feature with slides dedicated to specific actors, but it's easier to just tell you that every actor surrounding Robert Pattinson in this movie lives up to his incredible work. Zoe Kravitz matches him beat-for-beat as Selina Kyle/Catwoman, while Colin Farrell's transformative performance as Oswald Cobblepot blew us away from start to finish. 

As noted, Paul Dano is a great pick for this interpretation of The Riddler, while Jeffrey Wright once again impresses as Jim Gordon. Andy Serkis, who has only a handful of scenes as Alfred Pennyworth, is similarly on form, and then there are the actors who really surprised us. 

John Turturro is utterly superb as Carmine Falcon (a character we've seen an awful lot of on screen by this point), and brings a surprising amount of gravitas to the role. Gil Perez-Abraham, meanwhile, plays a Gotham City cop who crosses paths with Batman a few times and is excellent in every scene, particularly as a character who provides an insight into how the Dark Knight is perceived.
 

Did Work: Michael Giacchino's Pulse-Pounding Score

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We really can't say enough good things about Michael Giacchino's incredible score for The Batman. The Caped Crusader's theme hits you in the chest and enhances his every action on screen; we'd go so far as to say the theme, and the score in general, is one of the best this genre has been graced with.

Whether it's during the movie's fight scenes or when Bruce is skulking through the streets of Gotham City, Giacchino and Batman appear to be the perfect match. This movie would have still been great with another composer, but we have to credit him for elevating this story to masterpiece-level.

Coming off the back of Spider-Man: No Way Home, Giacchino continues to blow us away with his work. Now, we can't wait to see what he does behind the camera as Werewolf by Night's director.
 

Didn't Work: An Expected, Explosive Ending

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On the one hand, it feels a little harsh to say this didn't work. As you'll be aware from watching The Batman's trailers, there is some explosive action here, and, in case it wasn't already obvious, that comes near the end of the story. In fact, once it's case closed for the World's Greatest Detective, we're left with an undeniably impressive action-packed finale that seems somewhat out of place.

Now, it's important to note that on a story level, it does serve what's come before. The massive brawl that ensues is a delight to behold, and the stakes feel suitably high for the superhero. It just pales in comparison to the detective story that helped separate The Batman from lesser comic book movies.

This final battle feels tacked on, likely after test audiences no doubt missed what has become a pretty standard formula in Marvel Studios movies: a big, explosive ending with debris dropping from the sky. We didn't hate it, but feel like there was a better way to wrap things up.
 

Did Work: Action!

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Look, just because we didn't necessarily love that final battle doesn't mean we couldn't appreciate it in terms of sheer badass action. Watching Batman kicking ass in this movie is never anything other than a delight, and the fight scenes are as brutal and unforgiving as you might expect. 

They're definitely at their best earlier in this adventure (particularly when we see Batman for the first time), but this raw and violent Dark Knight feels very real and suitably desperate as he looks to save his home. However, the standout sequence is arguably the one with the Batmobile roaring into action.

Chasing down The Penguin, Batman - and his car, for that matter - comes across like a complete beast, and we're even going to be bold enough to call this the best Batmobile sequence yet. In some way, we wish The Batman had earned an R-Rating, but even without loads of blood, the fights don't disappoint.
 

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