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The Batman

Your neighborhood Cinephile on the prowl for the latest cinematic delights

Thoughts

Bleak, grim and unsympathetic, The Batman is a bold and bravely original reimagining of the character that positions the caped crusader as an amateur detective in a darker and more grounded environment.

DC's standalone incarnation follows a reclusive Bruce Wayne in his second year as the masked vigilante. He's younger, morose and dour; his tenure as Batman turning him into a nocturnal animal. His tactics are amateurish and unrefined, but his methods brutal and merciless. As he immerses himself deeper into the seething criminal underbelly of a venal Gotham City, he uncovers corruption, conspiracy and long gestating secrets.

The result is an impressively constructed noirish labyrinth that's dense, layered and richly imagined. The movie excels due to solid writing, transformative performances and confident direction, but it's consumed by the sheer scope and ambitiousness of the spectacle. The film is lengthy, slow- burning and restrained by drawn- out exposition and questionable narrative detours. It may deftly blend classic comic book lore and grounded, gritty realism, but the final product feels as unrefined as the younger Batman.

While The Batman is a focused, entertaining and well- balanced piece of cinema, it's clear- eyed vision is muddled by narrative excess and directorial hubris.

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Verdict

4/5

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