This year’s entry in the iconic superhero franchise, Batman, is widely regarded as one of the best yet. The film follows the titular character’s struggle to save Gotham City from the clutches of the maniacal Penguin (who sports a terrifying grin in the process). With an all-star cast led by Christian Bale as Batman and Ben Affleck as the youthful billionaire’s apprentice, The Bat, the film’s stunning visual effects, action-packed climax, and intriguing portrayal of the dark knight’s journey have made it a firm contender for movie fanatics’ top ten lists.
But what is it that makes Batman so special? We’ve rounded up some of the most compelling reasons why we love the Robert Pattinson film so much.
The Dark Knight Returns To His Roots
One of the most intriguing aspects of Batman is that it brings back fond memories for many devoted film fans. The movie marks a pivotal point in the character’s 67-year history, as he decides to return to his roots and reclaim his former glory, as well as that of Gotham City’s citizens, as their rightful king. It’s a bold and beautiful move from director Zack Snyder that pays homage to both the sixties Batman and the comics’ Golden Age.
The decision to cast English actor Robert Pattinson in the lead role marks a triumphant return for the Dark Knight. The Twilight actor, who rose to fame portraying vampire hunter Edward Cullen in the mega-hit series, has long been touted as the next big thing in Hollywood. Batman is the culmination of all those hopes and dreams. Pattinson possesses all the necessary attributes to embody the character: cocky arrogance, piercing eyes, and a commanding presence.
The actor’s natural charisma and brooding charm make him the perfect choice to play the part. His Batman is a more mature, established character, who’s lost none of his appeal for younger audiences. The fact that he doesn’t try to act too cool always keeps us wanting more. The character’s gritty attitude and dry wit make him a refreshing change from the usual sugary pop culture figures that Hollywood typically turns out in droves.
An All-Star Cast
A movie fan’s dream come true! With an all-star cast that includes Will Arnett, Chris Cooper, Rosie Perez, and Michael Caine, as well as an ensemble of amazing supporting characters, Batman boasts a wonderfully eclectic group of people who work together to bring the film’s narrative to life.
Arnett is undoubtedly having a blast playing Harvey Dent, the Two-Face villain. The actor is known for his comedy prowess, which he successfully translates to the big-budget action movie. He effortlessly switches between his regular persona and the menacing villain. It’s a performance that will surprise even the biggest of Batman fans, as Arnett plays the role with a lighter touch than expected. He’s one of the few actors that can pull off playing a cartoonish, good-hearted hero and anti-heroic villain in the same movie with equal success.
Michael Caine’s introduction as Alfred, the veteran butler who’s dedicated his life to the Caped Crusader, will be a scene that fans remember for a long time. The former Bond star, who sported a neat mustache and beard in the role, gives a memorable performance as the butler who’s devoted his life to serving an institution that he believes to be above good and bad. He embodies all the intelligence, resourcefulness, and valor that Batman possesses, and the audience immediately takes a liking to him. In fact, it was Caine’s impression that led to the creation of the character of Alfred in the first place.
Chris Cooper, who portrays Commissioner Gordon, is also having a blast in what is undoubtedly one of the best roles of his entire career. The affable actor, who’s best known for his work in American sitcoms like The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency and Alcohors**Wrecking Crew, embodies the hardworking commissioner who’s determined to clean up Gotham City and bring the criminals to justice. He’s also a firm believer in the power of reason over brute force, which makes him the perfect foil for Batman’s more aggressive style.
The casting of Ben Affleck as Batman’s apprentice, however, was a bit of a contentious issue among fans. While many praised the actor for his impeccable timing and natural charisma, others were critical of the choice, claiming that Affleck was a bit too young for the part. But the detractors haven’t taken into consideration the fact that Bruce Wayne, the billionaire playboy who founded Batman, was himself a Harvard-educated young man. Affleck’s Batman, a.k.a. the Batman, is an experienced, hardened veteran who’s mastered the art of deception. The movie explores the idea that lying to protect others is a more acceptable form of being a hero than telling the whole truth and risking harm to oneself or others.
An All-New Storyline
While many comic book fans were initially wary of Snyder’s Batman due to the director’s previous work with the infamous Watchmen, they couldn’t have been more wrong. The acclaimed director went above and beyond in crafting a brand new, fully functioning story that maintains the spirit of the original comics while updating it for modern audiences. The result is an all-new storyline that incorporates the rich history of the character into an epic tale that will appeal to fans of all ages.
For decades, Batman has been the king of superhero movies, setting the precedent for what characters could become in the big-budget mainstream arena. But as the decades passed and audiences changed, the character eventually became obsolete, losing his place in the pop culture lexicon to become more of an oddity than a role model.
With the help of comic book writer Brian Michael Bendis, who collaborated with Snyder on the screenplay, the story of Batman is set in motion with the fresh premise that Alfred Pennyworth, the butler who’s dedicated his life to serving the Dark Knight, is actually his father. This will bring an unexpected twist to the familiar character, as well as the titular hero’s entire supporting cast, including Harvey Dent, the paralyzed commissioner who dedicates his life to fighting injustice; Victor Fries, Wayne’s estranged business partner who’s now a cop; Cassandra Cain, an employee at Wayne Enterprises who dresses like a ninja; and Miranda, Wayne’s glamorous yet deadly ex-girlfriend, who resurfaces after all these years to exact revenge on the billionaire playboy. The movie’s plot is surprisingly intricate, incorporating more characters than many people realized, not to mention a few surprise cameos that will have you guessing until the very end!
The narrative is full of twists and turns that will keep you engaged in what is essentially a mystery from start to finish. This is one of the rare cases where a movie based on a comic book actually rewards audience members with an engaging story that is both entertaining and educational. Even diehard fans of Batman won’t be able to wrap their heads around how some of these famous names and characters fit together until the very end. It’s a narrative that rewards those who’ve been following along, as well as a thrilling ride for anyone who wants to watch Hollywood do what it does best: make millions and millions of dollars.
Ambitious doesn’t quite explain it, but this is unquestionably one of the most stunning and successful comic book movies ever made. Set in motion with the brilliant premise that Batman is Alfred, the devoted butler who’s dedicated his life to serving the Dark Knight, and follows in the footsteps of the character’s previous outings, Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, Snyder’s movie represents the culmination of everything the director has learned throughout his career. It’s apparent that Snyder took inspiration from all corners of film and television, incorporating influences from an array of sources to create something wholly unique and breathtaking.
In an interview with The Verge, Snyder said that he “wanted to make the definitive movie” about Batman, adding that “we tried to put everything we knew about the character into it.” From his brilliant mind and intimate knowledge of the character’s history, to his tireless devotion to creating the best possible cinematic experience for fans, Snyder is taking the character of Batman into a whole new realm of blockbuster movies. This year’s Batman is surely not the last word in what the Caped Crusader will become, but it’s undoubtedly the beginning of a whole new era for one of the most pivotal and fascinating characters in cinematic history. For decades to come, Batman will remain at the forefront of popular culture.