Matt Reeves interpretation of the caped crusader, Cat-woman and Gotham City are excellently executed with heavy inspiration from the fan favorite comic “The Long Halloween” which focuses on the corruption within the city’s officials, organized crime and centers around Bruce Wayne uncovering the dirty lies and truths that his family has long kept from him. With that in mind, The Riddler is responsible for slowly and one by one targeting corrupt officials within Gotham whether that be police officers, Government officials, kingpins in organized crime. Batman takes on a detective role (make no mistake, he is still a brooding, ass-kickin’ crime fighter) as he absorbs clues to finally catch the murderous, almost jigsaw like killer, The Riddler. Much like the comic, the film is centered around corruption within the city and plays an important role not only in the motives of the Riddler and Batman but also for the supporting characters such as Cat-woman, the Penguin, and many others.
The narrative has a focus on mystery and dread which plays an integral part to the feel, mood and theme within the film and compliments the characteristics of Batman perfectly. Gritty, noir, dark and violent are all combined to create something truly special with this interpretation of Batman.
The visuals of the film are second to none and can hardly be matched by any other comic book films or other films in the genre, honestly. Long, wide angle shots of the crime scenes riddle the film and add a stellar touch to the overall mood of said scenes. POV tracking shots on the bat-cycle and the amazing bat-mobile really add tensity to the moments they appear in the film and really sell just how beefy and powerful these machines really are. Where the cinematography really shines however, is when the smooth tracking shots showcase the characters and the setting the scene takes place which as previously mentioned before, really add to the overall grittiness of the film.
Gotham City has never been more vile or filthy. Advertisements litter the crime filled streets, constant, dreary weather…every day/night. The film takes a more Modern-Gothic approach to the cities exterior design and the interiors of the buildings also sell how terrible of a place Gotham truly is to live in. Wayne Tower is perfect example of the interior set design. With Victorian era architecture being the main inspiration for the interiors of most of the buildings in the film, perfectly complimenting the feel and visuals of not only the film, but Batman in general.
The soundtrack is stellar. Michael Giacchino’s work for scoring this interpretation of the Dark Knight is fantastic. With many call backs to previous other Batman films and motifs that really sell the intensity, mystery or importance of the scenes within the film itself. I still find myself humming the themes (especially Batmans’ theme from time to time) even after my 2nd viewing of the film. Giacchino’s score gives Hans Zimmer’s work on Christopher Nolan’s film steady competition.
If you have chance to see the movie, do it ASAP. You will not regret it, especially if you’re a longtime fan of Batman. With similarities between fan-favorite comics, the Arkham videogame series, and callbacks to several previous films within the Batman franchise. There’s something truly special for every type of movie goer within the film.
The only setbacks to the film which when compared to other films within the genre are generally common issues. Forced romance, some jokes fall a little flat within the dialogue, and very, very minor plot holes within the second act of the film.
In conclusion, if you want a ride of mystery, grittiness, and ass-kickin’ fun, go get your tickets and enjoy the ride.
Matt Reeves take on the Dark Knight is a stellar, thought-provoking and visually stunning interpretation of the source material. Dare I say, masterpiece worthy.