The Next Batman Franchise


Benedicto Campo, Contributing Writer

The Batman is the highly anticipated and hyped-up new Batman film of 2022. This is another Batman reboot of the Batman movies, and it stands on its own from other DC movies and universes. This is also the start of a new Batman universe and franchise because it has a new Batman set in a different groundbreaking world of Gotham City. The film is also different from other Batman movies because this doesn’t show Batman’s origin story and it features Batman using his detective skills from the comics for the first time on the big screen. These aspects make this movie both a refreshing take on the character and a detective/murder mystery story. The film also has a dark and realistic tone to make further use of these aspects. The cast includes Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Zoe Kravitz as Selina Kyle/Catwoman, Paul Dano as Edward Nashton/The Riddler, Jeffrey Wright as Lieutenant James Gordan, John Turturro as Carmine Falcone, Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth, and Colin Farrell as Oswald Cobblepot/The Penguin. This refreshing take on Batman, star-studded cast, detective/murder mystery genre, and dark and realistic tone make this one of the most ambitious and unique Batman films of the decade.


The plot of the movie focuses on Bruce Wayne/Batman in his second year of crime-fighting. This version of Batman is young and has a hard time controlling his rage and emotions when he is fighting crime. He also believes that “Batman” is his true persona while “Bruce Wayne” is his false one. This shows a Batman that has trouble with his feelings and persona. While fighting his internal conflicts, he must solve a series of killings committed by Edward Nashton/The Riddler. The Riddler’s vendetta involves using riddles to taunt both Batman and the people of Gotham City. He receives help from his allies Lieutenant James Gordan, one of the few honest cops in Gotham, and Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce’s butler, mentor, and father figure. He also encounters other Batman villains including Selina Kyle/Catwoman, a cat-themed burglar and vigilante, and Oswald Cobblepot/The Penguin, a gangster who is working for mob boss Carmine Falcone. Batman’s struggle with his internal feelings, along with solving mysteries and fighting villains, make his battle for Gotham City a long and exhausting conflict for him. 


As a hardcore Batman fan, this film checkmarks every box that is expected from both Batman fans and films. This new, refreshing take on Batman allows a new breathing room to explore aspects never seen before in other films while also using old Batman tropes and making them better. One of the new aspects that really carried the film was the detective/murder mystery aspect of the story. This is the first film where Batman uses his detective skills from the comics. In the comics, he is known as “The World’s Greatest Detective”, but the previous films and incarnations of Batman have never explored that title. The previous films only explored Batman as a crime fighter and never as a detective. This is the first film to explore his detective side, which allows for the story to have a detective/murder mystery story. Another big upside of the movie is Robert Pattinson’s portrayal of Bruce Wayne/Batman. I feel like his portrayal of the character was unique because his incarnation was someone who lost control of his feelings and his emotions. He also was someone who was in his second year of crime-fighting, which makes him neither a rookie nor a veteran superhero. These aspects make Pattinson’s portrayal unique because past Batman incarnations always portrayed him as a hero who was both in control of his inner emotions and experienced with crime-fighting. The past incarnations also depicted either Batman’s origin and early days or his last days and years of crime-fighting. These aspects of the past incarnations shown are subverted by Pattinson’s portrayal, which is why I feel like his incarnation was unique. The film’s supporting cast also does a great job as well. Zoe Kravitz’s portrayal of Catwoman was stunning and emotional to watch when it came to her interactions with Batman and fight scenes. Paul Dano’s portrayal of The Riddler was horrifying and scary every moment he appeared and spoke of all his motives and riddles. Colin Farrell’s portrayal of The Penguin was both funny and entertaining to watch because of his hilarious dialogue and interactions with the characters. Colin Farrell’s makeup for the character was also a takeaway because of how unrecognizable the actor looks with it. Another aspect that carried the film was the dark and realistic tone. Like The Dark Knight Trilogy and Michael Keaton’s first two Batman films, the film uses a dark and realistic tone that sets the story grounded in reality and a dark take on Batman. Another good aspect of the film was the action and fight scenes. This is because the fight scenes were both fast-paced and action-packed and it reminded me a lot of the Batman Arkham Games. The Batman Arkham Games had similar fight scenes and a combat system that is similar to the ones depicted in this movie. The movie also has a good soundtrack that is very engaging for the audience. 


I personally believe there is no major downside to this movie. However, I do have a thought that I wish the movie could’ve been rated R. This is because the movie has graphic and violent scenes that nearly qualify for an R rating. These scenes include Riddler’s killings and some fight scenes with Batman. The film’s dark and realistic tone is also very mature and is rarely seen in other PG-13 superhero films other than The Dark Knight Trilogy and Keaton’s first two Batman films. The tone of this film is similar to R-rated movies like David Fincher’s movies Seven and Zodiac. Despite this, I think the film still works great regardless of an R rating or not.


Overall, The Batman was a Batman movie that blew my mind. This is because it is a different story than the other Batman films have told, and it gives new aspects of Batman. Robert Pattinson’s Batman is now my favorite Batman because of how he portrays the inner conflicts and detective skills of the character. This makes his incarnation of Batman unique from the past actors who played him. The detective aspects of Batman also make this film an entertaining detective/murder mystery story, which was also a genre never explored in the previous Batman movies. It was a really nice change of pace and story for a Batman film like this. The dark and realistic tone also made this film really engaging and managed to help maintain the detective/murder mystery story. Although these aspects would’ve made the film rated R, the movie is still great because of its unique storytelling, tone, and portrayals of its characters. In the end, the unique direction different from other Batman movies makes The Batman my favorite Batman movie of all time.