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Robert Pattinson Can't Fill the Cowl in "The Batman"

When Robert Pattinson was cast as Edward for the film adaption of the “Twilight” series, fans rejoiced. He was instantly embraced, and his star skyrocketed. After those films ended, he took a variety of lackluster roles. However, when it was announced that he was going to be the new caped crusader, the news was met with more backlash than appreciation. Did he prove his critics wrong? Unfortunately, the answer is a resounding, “NO!”

Ben Affleck, who was the last actor to play Batman,originally was going to star in and direct his own solo film. However, those plans fell through. Instead of casting someone else to take his place in the Snyderverse, Warner Brothers decided to do a brand new take on the character and just put the word “The” in front of the title to help differentiate it from the other Batman movies.

Matt Reeves, who had recent success with the “Planet of the Apes” franchise, took over writing and directing duties to give us a much grittier tale than we have seen before. Batman narrates parts of the story, much as he does in the comic book. This is a new approach for the movies. In this version, Batman has been in Gotham for two years and has already become chummy with James Gordon. They have the bat single setup and criminals know of The Batman, but he is still somewhat of a mystery to them. It is not until the Riddler (Paul Dano) comes on the scene and starts murdering high profile people, always leaving notes for The Batman, that our hero is truly tested.

The Riddler is not the only Batman villain to be re-introduced into this new Universe. Catwoman (Zoë Kravitz), who may or may not be an ally and The Penguin (Colin Farrell) are also present to cause some trouble. Farrell brings a completely different take to the popular character than did Danny DeVito in “Batman Returns” and it works well for the new story Reeves is telling. In fact, apart from Pattinson, the rest of the cast does outstanding work.

I went in with such low expectations of Robert Pattinson in the role that I was prepared to hate it no matter what he did or how he did it. After seeing him, I was, indeed, disappointed. I also came in with a low opinion of how Dano might portray The Riddler; but he turned me around fast as he has shown a side of the character not ever seen before. When Tim Burton’s “Batman” was announced, fans were excited to see Jack Nicolson step into the role as The Joker, but no one was happy when they heard Michael Keaton was cast in the lead role. “Mr. Mom is going to be Batman?!” However, once we saw him in action, he put all doubts to rest.

There were moments in this movie where I felt I wasn’t seeing Batman. I felt I was seeing Robert Pattinson in a Batman costume with a look in his eyes that he was worried about pulling this off. Batman requires a certain presence on screen, which Pattinson never exhibits. He is not a good Bruce Wayne either. Instead of the suave persona that helps separate him from his vigilante one, he is more like some brooding, emo kid. He fails on all fronts to rise to the occasion. This movie has a good screenplay and, overall, it was a good Batman movie. If they cast someone else in the title role, it could have been one of the best.

2.5 Swords

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