Reviewed by: Alexander Malsan
A deeply corrupt city / political corruption / police corruption / corrupt wealthy people
What is LYING? What are the truly BIG lies of our world?
About the fall of mankind to worldwide depravity
What is SIN AND WICKEDNESS? Is it just “bad people” that are sinners, or are YOU a sinner? Answer
Are you good enough to get to Heaven? Answer
Brutal justice of a vigilante crime fighter
What is JUSTICE? What does the Bible say about it? Answer
What is THE FINAL JUDGMENT OF GOD? Answer
Foul and profane language in movies
Robert Pattinson … Bruce Wayne / Batman
Zoë Kravitz … Selina Kyle / Catwoman
Paul Dano … Edward Nashton / The Riddler
Colin Farrell … Oswald Cobblepot / The Penguin
Peter Sarsgaard … District Attorney Gil Colson
Amber Sienna … Iceberg Lounge Hostess
Andy Serkis … Alfred Pennyworth
Jeffrey Wright … James Gordon
John Turturro … Carmine Falcone
Barry Keoghan … Officer Stanley Merkel
See all »
See all »
|Distributor||Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company|
Bruce Wayne. Billionaire, businessman by day, caped crusader by night. In this scenario, however, Bruce’s primary focus has been on his more nocturnal crime-fighting activities and less on his responsibilities as the head of Wayne Enterprises and of the Wayne legacy itself. Even Alfred (Andy Serkis), Bruce’s life-long butler and friend, has noticed that the more Bruce has focused on being Batman, the more he has begun to lose himself. I’m getting a head of myself though.
Our setting, Gotham. Bruce has been The Batman for roughly two years. Crime, as Bruce states, has only gotten worse. One night, however, Batman receives words of a very strange murder of the Mayor of Gotham. He was found duct taped, missing a finger, and with a note… for Batman himself.
Of course, Batman opens the note. It’s a riddle left by the killer himself. Once Batman solves that riddle, however, a second murder has already taken place, with yet ANOTHER riddle left behind. “Follow the clues,” thinks Batman. This criminal, dubbed the Riddler, is a new kind of criminal, a sadistic one, Batman determines, that is killing elite political figures for reasons that are yet to be determined.
Riddle me this: What do trust, deception, betrayal, and cover-ups have to do with this story? That’s for Bruce—I mean—BATMAN to discover.
From the very beginning, it was incredibly hard to not have any preconceived notions regarding “The Batman.” The constant barrage of trailers, advertisements from businesses, early reviews, made it nearly impossible to not walk into the theater with at least some idea as to what I was subjecting myself to. As my friend and I sat in the dark and saw the red title I took a deep breath and said, “Here we go.” So, my dear readers, here we go…
It’s hard to deny that this is, indeed, a far more unique telling of Batman than any that have come before. The story will require far more care and patience from the audience than one might expect of an action-adventure-mystery film. You will patience as it’s nearly a 3 hour run time. As Director Matt Reeves stated, the focus of this version of Batman is more on his detective skills and not just his combative skills (though there is plenty of that).
This version is far darker, far bleaker than any Batman has come before and it certainly won’t please all tastes (indeed, there were times I felt a sense of emptiness myself). Reeves has always stood as a revolutionary when it comes to cinematography, directing, and, in the case of “The Batman,” writing. As he states in one of his interviews.
“There’s a lot in the story about Bruce Wayne confronting the shadow side of himself that’s Batman and the degree to which you have self knowledge. There’s psychological union, where Batman is broken, and he does things for reasons he knows and reasons he doesn’t know yet.”
In another interview, Reeves states the following regarding how he wanted the character Bruce Wayne to depart from the traditional playboy and socialite. Because he listened to the Nirvana song “Something in the Way” (1991) as he wrote the first act, he decided to base Wayne on reclusive Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain. He took inspiration from the film “Last Days” (2005) which features a fictionalized version of Cobain living in a “decaying manor.”
Does this darker tone make “The Batman” a horrible film? Before I go there, I’d like to praise two more aspects of the film. First, the camera work is phenomenal—from closeups, long-distance, panoramic, you name it. Every shot is detailed perfectly. Additionally, the performances are spot on. Everyone is cast perfectly. I didn’t believe I would enjoy Robert Pattison as the Dark Knight as much as I did; I won’t underestimate him again. However, Collin Colin Farrell’s performance as the Penguin and Paul Dano’s performance as the Riddler are just jaw-dropping.
There is some suggestive and objectionable content that many Christians will wish to consider before watching “The Batman.”
**Please note some of the content below contains necessary minor spoilers but not all content is listed**
VIOLENCE: Extreme. A man is bludgeoned in the head multiple times and then smothered with duct tape. When the body is found later, a policeman says a finger was severed. We see a victim with his head in a box with rats around his face (it looks like they will bite his face) in a live video posted by the Riddler (the video fades before anything happens). Another character is bludgeoned in the back of the head before he is duct-taped and has an electronic collar attached to his neck. A guy has a bomb strapped to his chest and the bomb eventually explodes (we see the body explode, nothing gory). There are scenes with multiple fist fights (mostly by Batman and villains), where villains are knocked out. He also hits villains with lead pipes a couple times. Batman punches (planned) a cop to escape a jail cell. There is an intense car chase with many car crashes, overturned vehicles and explosions. A character is blown back by a bomb and later shown lying in a hospital. A hit on a reporter is mentioned. We hear a voicemail of someone being strangled by another person. We hear a disturbing conversation (brief) about a child dying in an orphanage. A city is seen flooding and people are seen drowning (we see the water turn red). A character is almost killed. A dome is seen flooded.
VULGARITY: Very Heavy— • “F**king” (1) • “Freakin” • “Sh*t” (13) • “B*stard” (1) • S-words (17) • “d*ckbag” • “pr*cks” • “Son of a b*tch” (7) • “Bastard” • “A**” (3) • “A**hole” (2) • “She’s one hot chick” • “Rich scumsucker” • “freakin’ psycho”
SEX: A character is seen in a photo cheating on his wife with another woman. Women are pole dancing at a bar (we see it briefly). A girl puts her hands on a guys thigh to get information. Two characters kiss twice.
NUDITY: Female characters wear cleavage baring and revealing clothing. A male character is shirtless for an extended scene. A female character is seen changing into another outfit (we see her in her underwear and bra for a moderate amount of time).
ALCOHOL: People drink at a bar a few times.
DRUGS: Someone is killed using arsenic. We see a drug operation going on. A character injects himself with a green potion to receive more energy to fight someone.
OTHER: We see criminals committing robberies, graffitiing items. We see a picture of a man with a disfigured face.
One of the central themes, I found, in “The Batman” was “hope.” In a city like Gotham, the people live with very little hope. Criminals, gangsters, and mobsters rule their streets. Their only hope is a vigilante. He is one person. He can’t be everywhere.
Why is the world the way it is? If God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and loving, would He really create a world like this? (filled with oppression, suffering, death and cruelty) Answer
Are you good enough to get to Heaven? Answer
How good is good enough? Answer
Will all mankind eventually be saved? Answer
When I look at what is going on in the world right now, I am reminded that only Jesus can be our strength, our hope and our salvation. Only HE can deliver and only HE can save. In the darkest hour of the darkest day, HOPE comes in the form of Jesus.
“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” —Romans 8:18
“I know that my redeemer lives and that in the end he will stand on the earth.” —Job 19:25
“Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” —Romans 5:2-5
The world becomes tiring, we feel weakened, and sometimes alone. Fellow followers of Christ, we are never alone! We are not weak! Jesus is our strength.
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” —2 Corinthians 4:16-18
“The Batman” is a moviemaking marvel, in terms of new techniques in planning (apparently some of the scenes were pre-planned using virtual reality according to Reeves), camera work, length (a whopping three hours) and especially tone.
The tone, though, will be the problem, as will the content. It’s dark, almost as dark as the Christopher Nolan trilogy. The content alone, which SHOULD have led to a R-rating, should be enough to detract many Christians away from the film. I do NOT recommend this film for viewing (the stars also do NOT warrant a recommendation by any means). If you do decide to go, however, PLEASE leave the children and, yes, the teens at home. This is not for them.
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.