The reverse shot is a question many of Batman’s opponents have asked. “What are you?”… “Who are you?”… proceeding with Batman stepping forward to answer. Robert Pattinson steps forward with the team that built this world and crunches bones on his way into what I feel is the perfect answer.
For all of those who saw the intensity and grit Pattinson brought to Good Time, this shot reflected his attack on a security guard to let you know, out there in the audience, you were right. Robert Pattinson can pull this off. Even own this.
I’m writing this because there will inevitably be a growing tide of fans calling for a Batman that functions as a superhero and a children’s character, but this trailer reminded me that THE Batman will forever lay as a myth in duality and an exploration of the dark side of human nature that wants to shed constraints of law and order. I agree that some form of Batman should be out there for children and with Joker, Zack Snyder’s Justice League reverting Affleck to the aged grit from Batman V Superman, and this new iteration, it looks like for some time that audience may go wanting.
But ever since Burton and Keaton’s Batman, different teams of artists have explored this character and seem to have pushed the surreal figure into the real world. Nolan and his team made the rest of the world feel their heroes could have a foot in a “gritty” reality (for better or worse) and by the end, I may have thought, “there’s no way we could push harder into a more grounded, grungy Batman”. Then I heard the sound of duct tape.
I can only hope The Batman lives up to the tone of this trailer. I know they have their work ahead of them but Pattinson’s presence, alone and in the suit, Jeffrey Wright’s James Gordon, Paul Dano’s haunting presence as The Riddler, even Zoe Kravitz’ physical commitment. The set design, costumes, cinematography, sinking into the score with literal grunge…
The last time a Batman identified himself on screen as “vengeance” it was the voice of Kevin Conroy… that’s a good sign. And most of all, THANK YOU, Matt Reeves and your team, for FINALLY letting Batman ADMIT he uses eye make up!