The Batman – 2.5 stars
Five things about The Batman
1. I get that Batman is supposed to be spare and mysterious. Here, however, Robert Pattinson plays him whispery, dreary and not only entirely humorless, but dull. Also, whenever Batman enters a room, is it necessary to have him looking down, and then, raising his head dramatically to face … the foyer?
2. Except for Paul Dano, the villains are forgettable. And what a waste of Colin Farrell. He might as well have been Michael Chiklis under all that padding and putty, and Chiklis would have been cheaper.
3. The end is laughably schmaltzy “I have met the enemy and he is me” blather. Batman is no longer vengeance. He is Moses, guiding his people through a parted Red Sea on the floor of the Garden. And he wants your vote!!
4. The film is no fun. Beautifully appointed, but zero fun. The Burton Batmans were super fun, the Nolan Batmans were heavy but also had some fun. This is a mostly unsuccessful meld of Batman and SE7EN. In fact, Pattinson would have been better served during his face-to-face with Dano by pleading, “What’s in the box!!!” rather than just pounding angrily on the glass. Not that all films have to be fun. But certainly, films where an adult runs around dressed as a bat should be a little fun.
5. I get the canon that Batman does not kill people, opting instead to maim, stun, paralyze or concuss them. But now is the time to take a hard look at how many people have died because of his outmoded reticence. In the climactic scene, he takes out a slew of snipers with punches and judo chops, kicks and roundhouses, all the while allowing the baddies to shoot significantly more quarry. And without the intercession of Catwoman, he would have been toast, and Gotham would have suffered grievously. Hubris, I say.
On HBO MAX.