Trailer of the Week: The Batman

The best view yet of Matt Reeves and Robert Pattinson’s take on The Caped Crusader. Can an Englishman still best known as a swoony vampire convincingly play Gotham’s vigilante enforcer? Answer: YES.

What is it?

Main Trailer” for The Batman, directed by Matt Reeves and starring Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne, the gloomy, doomy bazillionaire orphan who keeps Gotham City clean of the bad guys. Well, tries to.

Not to be confused with...

The Batman who was played by Christian Bale in Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster Dark Knight trilogy. Or The Batman who was played by Ben Affleck in Zack Snyder’s misfiring foray into DC Comics’ Extended Universe. Or The Batman who’s being played by Michael Keaton (30 years after he first played him, in Batman Returns) in the upcoming The Flash.

Should we care about yet another take on the Caped Crusader?

If Reeves delivers on what he’s been teasing, hell yeah. For almost three years he’s been talking up a different Batman. It’s very much a point of view-driven, noir Batman tale,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. It’s told very squarely on his shoulders, and I hope it’s going to be a story that will be thrilling but also emotional. It’s more Batman in his detective mode that we’ve seen in the films.”

Does the trailer back that up?

Rainy nighttime urban landscape – check. Steam rising from sidewalk (and more rain) – check. Moody voiceover talking about ominous shit (“Fear is a tool”; When that light” – the Bat-signal – hits the sky, it’s not just a call. It’s a warning”) – check. Batman visiting an imprisoned super-criminal, demanding details of his nefarious deeds – check. Yup, moody, noir-ish detective story is a‑go. As the man-in-the-cowl growls: I am vengeance.”

Robert Pattinson certainly has the jaw to play Batman. But does he have the chops?

For this thoroughly postmodern (but at the same time origins‑y) Batman, it seems so. The actor isn’t going as full rasp as Bale, nor is he going as beefcake hench as Affleck. And, when we glimpse Pattinson as Bruce Wayne, he resembles a member of Fall Out Boy. But playing Wayne as an emo kid fits with his vision of Batman as a less-than-standard superhero. Batman’s not a hero,” Pattinson told the New York Times. He’s a complicated character. I don’t think I could ever play a real hero — there’s always got to be something a little bit wrong. I think it’s because one of my eyes is smaller than the other one.”

No wonder Bella Swan was so hypnotised by him in the Twilight movies. But is that true?

Hard to tell from the trailer, given that much of the time we see Batman in bat-mask, punching out bad guys with a piledriver fist, Tasering criminals and deflecting bullets in a bat-suit that seems to be impregnable even for machine guns. Which is handy given that Batman is a superhero who doesn’t actually have any superpowers. Apart from having loads and loads of money. Some of which, btw, he appears to have spent on an ace new Batmobile which seems less tank than armoured muscle-car.

Who else is in it?

Three of the best Bat-verse villains: Catwoman, played by Zoë Kravitz; The Riddler, played by Paul Dano; and Oswald Cobblepot, aka The Penguin, played by Colin Farrell. The Irishman is almost as unrecognisable in this as he is in The North Water on BBC iPlayer.

What's the music like?

An enervated, drawn-out, nerve-shredding version of Nirvana’s Something in The Way, which bleeds into elements of the stentorian score by Oscar-winning composer Michael Giacchino (Jurassic World, Rogue One, the upcoming Spider-Man – guy knows how to score big movies).

Are we going to the cinema to see this?

Yessir. Reeves proved with his two Planet of the Apes reboots that he could take on a well-worn franchise and make it feel all kinds of new. And even if we believe the rumours leaked from recent test screenings (warning: possible spoilers on that hyperlink) and this is an almost three-hour-long full-blown” noir, we’re there, faster than a bat out of hell.

When's it out?

4th March 2022. That seems a very long time away.

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