The Batman with Robert Pattinson as the main man, the one that lasts almost three hours and features a version of The Riddler as the main villain has a gritty tone and drags on a bit. This is a story of an established Batman so not another origin story, although the Wayne family is important.
Once the plot gets going properly we find a story of conscience and corruption where the city’s elite are being targeted in attacks because of their old alliances. The Riddler has Batman running around trying to solve his questions, controlling everything while Batman tries to locate his newest foe.
Batman – or Vengeance as he wants to be called in this movie – has a bit more detective work to do than most movies give him. He gets little information and using the help of Alfred’s decoding abilities eventually works out how to find the pieces of the puzzle and learns what Riddler is plotting. Vengeance comes across as a bit useless as he tries to glide once and crashes, he needs things explaining to him and he’s not very successful at anything really. There is some character development as Batman realises Vengeance isn’t always best. Pattinson plays the part well enough but his voice bothered me a bit as it sounds too soft for how he’s doing the character.
The Riddler is both brilliant and rubbish as a villain. When Riddler is off screen the puzzles speak for him creating this great sense of mystery with a riddle based villain. However, when Riddler is on screen he just comes across as some crazy guy, not really riddle focusing but a mad murderer, the question mark logo isn’t really used enough and the character’s motivation is just that he’s a poor guy that hates the rich. I’d have liked it to be more focused on being smart because this version really didn’t work for me.
Major side characters include The Penguin, Falcone and Catwoman. Penguin had the look right, he’s got his bar but doesn’t have a major role because he’s not head gangster…yet, this could be good for a sequel. Falcone is a major player in how the plot comes out, connected to both the Wayne family and Selina Kyle he would probably have been a more interesting main villain if it were written differently. Catwoman pops in and out of the movie with her own stuff going on but the movie never really seemed to need her, she’s well done when she is there but is largely unnecessary for anything other than Batman giving up on pure vengeance.
In all honesty, I probably wouldn’t want to watch this movie again. The whole thing felt slow, even the more dynamic bits like the car chase in the middle. I liked the investigation idea but no character really grabbed my attention, I never cared what Riddler was doing because he came across badly and the most interesting thing about the combat was Batman injecting himself with what looked like Bane’s Venom for a second wind which just made me curious. I will watch a sequel though as the base is there for something better now.
A nearly three hour run time is always a challenge to watch, it got the plot and character ideas as good as they could but there was little charm to make it an enjoyable experience for me. The Joker cameo at the end could also be interesting.