“The Batman” begins on Halloween, where people in Gotham prepare for trick-or-treating. A man, alone in his house while his family celebrates outside, meets his death at the hands of a serial killer who has a penchant for leaving riddles and clues for the police to solve.
The victim, Gotham’s incumbent mayor running for reelection, appears to be just one of the string of murders the serial killer plans to carry out. Calling himself the Riddler, he sends videos to television networks and even posts on underground online platforms. There, he explains his actions involving Draconian levels of ridding the city of corruption and heralding real change.
Batman, working with Gotham Police’s Lt. Jim Gordon, races to stop the Riddler once and for all. First, however, they’d need to know who he is, why he does what he does, and who his next victims would be. And even as a femme fatale enters into the fray by the name of Selina Kyle, the Batman’s detective skills are put to test before the kill count becomes too great to overcome.
But then again, it’s Gotham; the Riddler himself calls the place a cesspool that masquerades as a city. In fact, Batman and Gordon’s dynamic working to solve crimes has been unconventional, to say the least. Gordon himself sees the irony and points out that in their two years of working together, “I still don’t even know your name.”
Nevertheless, behind that cynical worldview, Batman still believes that Gotham could change, a silver lining of optimism that hangs by a thread even as the city pushes his sanity to its very edge. It’s that same optimism that was almost shattered when Alfred confirms a shocking revelation about the Wayne family.
With his moral code, Batman could only do so much; but thankfully Reeves and the filmmakers don’t make it seem like that. Pattinson is scary as the Batman; his pitch-black assault in the club to rescue Selina from Carmine Falcone, in particular, is reminiscent of Rogue One. Remember that scene when audiences get a glimpse of Darth Vader up close, and see him handily disposing of the rebels? Here, Reeves and Pattinson work together to personify vengeance. Batman doesn’t hold his punches; he actually is a killing machine if he wants to.