What’s So Special About The Batman?

The Batman has made its debut at Number 1 on the UK’s Official Film Chart

Starring Robert Pattinson as the Caped Crusader alongside Zoe Kravitz as Selina Kyle/Catwoman, the gritty take on DC’s hero fights off last week’s record-breaking Number 1, earning its place based on digital downloads only.

This means that Top Gun, despite a similarly strong performance across both disc and digital this week, is pushed down to Number 2 following the release of the sequel Top Gun: Maverick in cinemas.

You’ve seen a loads of Batman movies, but you still need to steel yourself for the darkest Dark Knight yet. Starring Robert Pattinson as DC’s Caped Crusader, 2022’s new movie The Batman was a hit in theaters and arrived streaming service, HBO Max. From its horror movie opening to the teasing final credits, it’s an intense, apocalyptic cinematic experience.

Following the murder of his parents (you know that bit by now), a young and troubled Bruce Wayne is two years into a bat-themed crusade against Gotham City street crime. He’s formed an alliance with upstanding cop Jim Gordon, but nothing prepares them for a chillingly planned series of atrocities by a macabre masked murderer who leaves fiendish puzzles with each victim. As Batman unpicks the cryptic clues, the investigation peels away a greater conspiracy. But the real riddle is how the ranting killer’s twisted motive ties back to Batman himself.

As that synopsis suggests, The Batman is barely a superhero movie. Director Matt Reeves, who co-wrote the script with Peter Craig, shovels previous Bat-films into one roaring furnace: There are notes of Tim Burton’s gothy angst, Christopher Nolan’s criminal politics and Zack Snyder’s operatic brutality, combined with the standalone Joker movie’s psychological backstory, vaguely timeless design and layers of dark irony.

But it’s also more of a detective mystery than previous Bat-flicks, borrowing in particular from David Fincher’s serial killer chillers Seven and Zodiac. And it’s a gangster movie. Also a ’70s conspiracy thriller. And a relentlessly bleak film noir.

Most of all, though, The Batman is a horror movie.

In 1989, pearl-clutching parents were shocked and appalled by Tim Burton’s Batman. The tights-wearing funny book hero who biffed, powed and zapped cartoon villains was replaced by a traumatized weirdo in black rubber fetish gear, trading blows with a giggling, acid-scarred psychopath which you could not write for us. In Britain, they even had to invent a new rating category for the movie.

Let’s not get into the perennial argument among fans about whether superhero movies should be for kids or for grown-ups. Let’s just say you absolutely 100% can’t show The Batman to a child. This new flick is PG-13 in the US, but it’s on a whole other level to the relatively bloodless Dark Knight movies — and on a different planet from any Marvel film — immersing you in a nerve-shredding three hours of escalating dread and simmering pain garnished with some astonishingly nasty touches.

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Scott Baber
Scott Baber
Senior Managing editor

Manages incoming enquiries and advertising. Based in London and very sporty. Worked news and sports desks in local paper after graduating.

Email Scott@MarkMeets.com

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