Is anyone actually defending Rob Pattinson? I mean, no one has an issue with his acting chops or his pretty face, but people are getting bent out of shape over this Batman movie he’s in.
You’d think after all these years, Hollywood would’ve figured out how to make a decent Batman movie. But, apparently not. Every sequel and reboot seems to get worse and worse, never improving. So here we are: Batman v Superman: Ultimate Edition, the culmination of 15 years of superhero cinematic carnage, and what a mess it is.
I’m not even sure where to begin, but I’ll give it a go. Let’s start with the casting. First off, let’s address the elephant in the room: Batman. Who cares if Ben Affleck is a decent actor or a good dancer (the two things they supposedly had to go through in order to land the role). The guy can’t act. He makes the same joke in every movie and he’s the same dull bozo every time. For the most part, this is a film that will not live up to the reputation of its more famous fellow traveler. As for the other Batman in the movie, well, I’m not even going to bother giving a spoiler warning, because this is one movie where you really don’t need it. You need to know from the outset that this is not the case of the Riddler. This is a character named Thomas Wayne, and he’s absolutely perfect for the role.
Now, onto the more serious and fascinating matter of Robert Pattinson. For those of you who haven’t seen the recent trend of articles criticizing his work in Batman v Superman and the backlash he’s facing, let me give you a little bit of a recap. As the main inspiration for Bruce Wayne, the caped crusader of Gotham City, Robert Pattinson is responsible for bringing a brooding, conflicted air to the role. He can play uptight, he can play sensual, and he can play brooding all with equal aplomb.
Upon first impression, his performance as Bruce Wayne is nothing short of brilliant. After watching Pattinson in action for the better part of a year, I can confidently say that he is one of the best portrayals of an iconic character in cinematic history. And what makes his performance even more impressive is that he’s had less than a year to study and prepare for the role and he still managed to bring a convincing authenticity to his portrayal. From the moment he stepped on screen, I felt like I was there: seeing Batman’s world through the eyes of Bruce Wayne. As an aside, let’s just say that if you’ve ever felt like you’ve seen a documentary that humanized and brought to life a topic you were previously unfamiliar with, then you know exactly what I’m talking about.
The movie itself is pretty weak sauce. It has several problems, which I’ll get to in a moment. But first, let’s talk about how badass and realistic Robert Pattinson’s portrayal of Bruce Wayne actually is. If you’ve seen Batman v Superman, then you know that Bruce Wayne’s parents were killed by a car bomb in front of him and his siblings when they were kids. The tragedy effectively destroyed his will to live and he became the guardian and protector of his hometown, Gotham City. And you know what? It’s all very, very sad and moving. It’s also very cinematic.
In the comics, Bruce Wayne’s parents were murdered by the Joker, who was also responsible for the deaths of several of Batman’s colleagues and friends. You’d think that following such a traumatic event, Bruce Wayne would’ve become the bane of the villainous organization. Instead, he became the protector of Gotham City, determined to bring the perpetrators of such a dastardly act to justice. It’s a character arc that was all but lost in the shuffle of bigger, brighter films and that’s what makes Robert Pattinson’s performance as Bruce Wayne so special. He brings a gravitas to the character that allows you to sympathize with and even root for the guy. He doesn’t have to give a performance to make you care about him; you already do.
Like I said, the movie itself is pretty damn weak sauce. It’s not as though we haven’t seen films or TV shows like this before – witness the 2016 series Gotham, which was highly praised for its acting and portrayal of the Batman universe. So, why does Hollywood keep messing around with Batman? Why do they keep putting these cool superhero movies out, then ruining them with garbage like this? Why do they keep making Batman movies when they’re clearly not living up to the reputation of the character?
The problem is that every few years, Hollywood will try to cash in on the Batman craze with a new movie and the cycle will start all over again. First, they’ll cast a famous face in the role (in this case, Christian Bale), then they’ll give it a quick cut-and-dry title to cash in on the latest trend (The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises were both released in 2008), then they’ll throw in some flashy action sequences (The Dark Knight was full of them) and some cool gadgets (like the Bat-Signal in Batman v Superman) and—voila!—another shiny superhero movie that everyone will go gaga over. Then, six months later, we’ll be treated to the newest crop of actors trying their hand at playing Batman and the cycle will start all over again.
So, yeah, it’s pretty clear that Hollywood doesn’t really give a damn about making decent superhero movies. They’re just looking for the next big thing. They’ll throw any old celebrity in the role and string the fans along for the ride, just to make a quick buck. It’s pretty sad when you think about it. It’s not like we haven’t seen this before and it’s certainly not the first time that this has happened to the Batman character. I mean, it almost feels like this has become a trend and not a one-time occurrence. Maybe that’s because the public is finally realizing that these films don’t deserve any respect. Maybe it’s time we stopped giving these films any thought and reserved them for fun – after all, that’s what they’re there for.