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First ‘The Batman’ Reviews Hail Robert Pattinson Reboot as ‘Best Bat-Movie Yet’

Robert Pattinson stars as the Dark Knight detective in Matt Reeves’ grounded take

Critics all agree that “The Batman” ranks among the best Batman movies, if not the best Batman film as Matt Reeves delivers a grounded take of the Dark Knight detective in a film noir that has has shades of “Seven,” “Zodiac” and “Chinatown” thrown in for good measure.

“What’s more impressive than what Reeves has done — which, even at its most superficial, is essentially (and very effectively) to remake ‘Seven’ with Robert Pattinson as the jaded William Somerset to Jeffrey Wright’s increasingly disillusioned David Mills — is the fact that he grafts the Fincher film’s unimaginable atrocities onto a Caped Crusader adventure for a purpose thankfully more meaningful than taking funny-book characters ‘seriously’ for a fast buck,” wrote TheWrap’s Todd Gilchrist in his review of the film.

Reviews also note that Pattinson, who stars as the Dark Knight detective, gets to be the active protagonist in his film, instead of being a supporting character to a villain that chews up the scenery like previous films. “The Batman” opens Friday in theaters nationwide.

“Matt Reeves’s The Batman, at least as far as superhero movies go, feels so old-fashioned that it has come all the way around to unique again. While watching The Batman, it feels like it has more in common with gritty crime mysteries like L.A. Confidential or Se7en than, say, Spider-Man: No Way Home. (A movie I like quite a bit, for the record.) The Batman is a movie fully embracing its present and not looking forward to what everything might mean five movies down the line. At just under three hours in length, yes, it’s long, but it’s self-contained. And also rare for a Batman movie … Batman is actually the main character,” wrote Mike Ryan for Uproxx.

“Ultimately, “The Batman” is an example of how a star can elevate an entire picture because Pattinson is the essential Batman. He and the unassuming Jeffrey Wright vamp well together (the patience Wright fashions the wryly Gordon with is a lesson in character creation),” wrote Robert Daniels for The Playlist.

Others note that “The Batman” might be the best Batman movie yet.

“Do we really need yet another ‘Batman’ reboot? The answer, after watching Matt Reeves’ tremendous ‘The Batman,’ is apparently a resounding yes. The story of the Dark Knight has been told and retold again so many times that you might think there’s nothing left to do with this character, and yet, Reeves and company have crafted a sprawling, ominous, dreamy epic; a mash-up of action-adventure, mystery, horror, noir, and even a little romance thrown in for good measure. There were multiple moments here where I had to stop and ask myself, ‘Wow, is this the best Batman movie?’ It just might be,” wrote Chris Evangelista for /Film.

Here are more reviews:

David Ehrlich, Indiewire

With Matt Reeves’ “The Batman” — a sprawling, 176-minute latex procedural that often appears to have more in common with serial killer sagas like “Se7en” and “Zodiac” than it does anything in the Snyderverse or the MCU — that future has arrived with shuddering force, for better or worse. Mostly better.

Brian Truitt, USA Today

Reeves’ “The Batman” is doing its thing far outside of the DC movie universe where Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman and Jason Momoa’s Aquaman hang out. That’s a good thing: Pattinson’s main man holds down a revamped Gotham that feels distinctively gritty with its blueprint of madness and mayhem, a place you would never want to live in but still would love to revisit as soon as possible.

Nathaniel Brail, Heroic Hollywood

Directed by Matt Reeves, The Batman is easily the must-see movie of 2022. Heavily inspired by classic noir-type films like Chinatown and The French Connection with a dash of David Fincher’s Seven sprinkled throughout, the DC Films production pulls off what previous Batman movies couldn’t by highlighting the titular vigilante’s detective skills. The film is very narrative-driven so if you’re expecting a big action spectacle with heavy CGI, that isn’t what you’re getting here. The Batman is a neo-noir work of art.

Joshua Rivera, Polygon

Batman is back, and he is pissed as hell. The Batman, director Matt Reeves’ moody reboot of famous comic book hero, launches a new version of the Caped Crusader for the 2020s. After the failure of the Snyderverse to launch a solo franchise with Ben Affleck’s elder statesman take, and the enduring appeal of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, there’s a lot of room for something new.

Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

Director and co-writer Matt Reeves has created a new Batman iteration in which Robert Pattinson reinvents billionaire Bruce Wayne as an elegantly wasted rock star recluse, willowy and dandyish in his black suit with tendrils of dark hair falling over his face; but Wayne magically trebles in bulk when he reappears in costume and mask as the Dark Knight, his whole being weaponised into a slab-like impassivity.

“The Batman” opens in theaters on March 4.

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