MANILA, Philippines — Robert Pattinson’s “The Batman” is an angry yet briliant, grungy sleuth with a taste for vengeance and little to live for, in the new superhero slash mystery film directed by Matt Reeves.

You know the bit — Batman is in a crusade against the crimes in Gotham City, following the murder of his human alter ego Bruce Wayne’s billionaire parents. In this new, literally darker incarnation of Batman, he tries to look for the evil killer behind the planned series of atrocities in the city by solving the puzzles and clues left by the antagonist after each of his outrageous murders. 

Batman has formed an alliance with honorable cop Jim Gordon (Jeffrey Wright). As the sadistic serial killer Riddler (Paul Dano) begins murdering key political figures in Gotham, Batman is forced to investigate the city’s hidden corruption, which leads him to question his family’s involvement. As the investigation unfolds and peels away a greater conspiracy, the real riddle is how the ranting killer’s twisted motive ties back to Batman himself. 

The overall dark vibe of the movie is very much like Tim Burton’s gothic eccentricity, but it somehow works. The darkness has heightened the very few yet breathtaking, remarkably sultry scenes between Batman (Pattinson) and Catwoman/Selina Kyle (Zoë Kravitz). 

Kravitz’s portrayal of the iconic femme fatale is impressive and probably the best part of the film, as she incorporates the right amount of bad-ass and sexy energy into her character. This matches well with Pattinson’s superhero portrayal that can only be described as a slow burn kind. The scenes between the two have solidified this adaptation’s genre as somewhat under the film noir category.

This one though puts more layers of emotions in Batman compared to the previous movie versions. As Bruce confronts the truth about his late parents and their legacy, Gotham itself takes on the quality of a scarred child — repeatedly betrayed and abandoned by the authorities that are supposed to give him protection. This brokenness, said a Warner Bros. Pictures statement, is partly based on Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain.

Director Reeves himself confirmed that his take has turned the superhero into a detective, noting that the filmmakers upped the overall stakes with the kind of mystery he placed before the Caped Crusader which has deepened the appeal.  

“He’s a detective solving clues left by a serial killer, and it’s very psychological, but also leads to something very emotional,” said the director in a press statement.

In the same press statement gathered by Warner Bros.,  the lead actor shared his thoughts on this new interpretation of Batman. Pattinson appreciated the heightened duality of the classically dual role.  

He said, “I had never been interested in doing a superhero movie, it hadn’t been in my periphery at all, but for some reason, Batman always stood out as a very special, separate entity. In the cultural lexicon, the character feels very individual and holds a lot of symbolic importance.”

“Then, when I heard Matt was doing it, I just got really excited. When I finally talked to him, he showed me some of his very early storyboards and that set the tone from something quite radically different; he just had an angle on it that was exciting. And the Bruce characterization felt different as well. He’s alone and isolated, as well as compelled to do this thing. There’s even a kind of hopeless desperation, and that was an interesting interpretation,” he added. 

RELATED: Filmmakers bring ‘80 years of Batman’ to new version of Caped Crusader

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