Review TV and Film

The Batman (2022) – Movie Review

The Batman (2022) is a new take on Batman, this time directed by Matt Reeves. More detective story than action movie, Warner Bros has taken a risk and it has paid off in this gritty film set in Gotham.

World’s Greatest Detective

Many fans forget Batman is meant to be the World’s Greatest Detective; he even originated in Detective Comics back in the 1930s. The Batman (2022) doesn’t completely forgo the action, but it certainly focuses on this aspect of his character.

We often see Batman (Robert Pattinson) working with Jim Gordon (Jeffrey Wright) throughout the film. While there’s certainly conflict with the police, he investigates crime scenes, shares his insights, and finds clues himself. Seeing him checking the scene of a murder or analyzing hints back at Wayne Manor was more common than the punch-ups.

With the main antagonist being The Riddler (Paul Dano), I felt this was a perfect way to handle the direction the film took. Watching him trying to crack ciphers and be led about by an intelligent villain was far more interesting than giving enemies a beat down. Though admittedly one particular riddle broke immersion a bit with how much it relied on coincidence to solve.

Rogues Gallery

Early in the film, we find out that The Riddler is targeting the corrupt. He’s committing murders, often in particularly cruel ways, but this does add a way to sympathize with his cause. Much like Batman, he’s cleaning up the city in his own way. Political figures and those in high positions are being killed, while Batman and the police are always a step behind, even with the clues left.

Catwoman (Zoë Kravitz) makes an appearance too. Much like The Riddler, she is trying to fight for justice in her own way. Her reasons are far more personal, but she’s willing to work together to an extent.

Throughout The Batman (2022), more and more is revealed about just how corrupt the city is. Some twists caught me completely by surprise. More interesting though was how the movie explores the ideas of vengeance and justice through The Riddler, Batman, and Catwoman.

Beyond these, less sympathetic villains are involved with The Penguin (Colin Farrell) and members of the Mafia making an appearance.

The Riddler really stole the show here. The performance by Paul Dano was absolutely chilling at times; this is emphasized even more with the hints throughout the movie of how he mirrors Batman himself.

The Caped Crusader

Of course, this is a Batman movie, so the camera is most often on him. Surprisingly while Batman is often on screen, his alter-ego Bruce Wayne is rarely seen. Robert Pattinson’s performance of Batman brought some touching moments to life, despite not emoting much – admittedly this does make sense for the character’s dark portrayal. It shows him as a broken man on a self-destructive path: one obsessed with his mission.

Something brought up in the movie and in various other Batman media such as Batman Beyond was shown well here; that he considers himself as Batman rather than Bruce Wayne. The focus being on his costumed identity rather than seeing him acting as a socialite playboy both made for a more engaging movie and helped to keep the dark tone. I appreciated the commitment to this, such as almost always seeing his Batman makeup still on him when seeing him as Bruce. This was a theme throughout, with a lot of focus on details and references to the wider Batman franchise dropped in.

Riddle Me This

The plot was multi-stranded and gripping, eventually coming together in a big finale. Not to give too much away, but while The Riddler left his mysteries for the Batman to solve, there was much more going on. Some may feel it was too much at times.

Family often came up as a theme, as is often the case for the orphaned detective. Several characters had family issues to resolve or problems relating to their home life. Seeing the different ways these were handled helped to explore the characters.

While the focus was certainly on unveiling the secrets hidden away and detective work, some action certainly did make its way into the film. Between some physical fights, shootouts, and car chases, it did spice things up every so often, even if the focus was certainly not on this element.


The Batman (2022) is a very different film than some may expect. There isn’t much action and some may feel it is too complex at times. The Riddler’s acts can be particularly gruesome too, going beyond the reputation that Batman movies have for being dark. To those willing to give it a chance though, it’s gripping and works perfectly as a crime thriller.


If you enjoy comics then perhaps you’d like our features on MCM Comic Con Birmingham 2021.

Many thanks go to Warner Bros for a copy of this title.

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