‘The Batman’ After a Second Viewing

So, I saw The Batman in IMAX for the second time yesterday and it’s official, I love this movie. It’s dark (literally), gloomy, intense, mysterious, oddly romantic, and piercing to the very soul.

Surprisingly, this movie is at its best in its first twenty minutes and last twenty minutes. The film’s opening is shockingly fantastic; from the gruesome murder scene that actually makes The Riddler incredibly scary to Pattinson’s ICONIC debut as this decade’s newest iteration of Batman, the movie starts with a bang.

And then the ending is just as moving. Batman is now looked upon as an official hero of Gotham. The Riddler, now in Arkham Hospital, is cooking up a “comeback story” with The Joker. And Selina Kyle and Batman have to part ways despite having incredibly strong feelings for one another. The final shot makes me giddy just thinking about the sequel.

And then there’s the rest of the movie which happens to be a heck of a mystery/thriller with some of the most beautiful shots I have EVER seen in a film, period. There’s so much to love about this film; the perfectly choreographed action scenes (particularly the car chase and the hallway fight), SELINA KYLE, the brooding music, Pattinson’s totally emo take on Batman and Bruce Wayne, the way he uses his eyes in every scene. Oh, I could go on and on about this fantastic film but there is one major problem with this movie: The Riddler.

When I watched this film the first time The Riddler came off as a scary adversary who felt like a truly menacing antagonist but upon my second viewing it was Carmine Falcone and The Penguin who took the top spots in the villain genre.

Paul Dano’s take on the character just comes off as kind of ridiculous once you know how anti-climactic his final scenes are. In his first couple of scenes, Paul Dano plays the masked antagonist with an extremely disturbing sense of self. His heavy breathing as he sits atop the back of his first victim is incredibly unsettling in IMAX but then he starts the videotapes and suddenly, he’s just a psychopathic, demented weirdo.

The Joker was demented, yes, but he was also brilliant and he felt like he had a head on his shoulders. I like the similarities between The Riddler and The Batman but Paul Dano just doesn’t stick the landing. He hollers like a child when he doesn’t get what he wants, he sings in Batman’s face (which is really irking), and then he transforms into a regular vlogger in his final video confession.

If Paul Dano had retained that level of seriousness I was expecting The Batman would be an absolutely perfect movie and maybe I would’ve loved it even more than The Dark Knight. But because The Riddler will undoubtedly get more annoying with more viewings I definitely can’t say that my second viewing was particularly better than my first viewing…but I can confirm I have it at the same ranking I gave it last Friday.

9/10

I thank you for reading and I hope you have a great day.

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