Entertainment

Robert Pattinson and Zoe Kravitz seduce in this sinuous, un-Marvelous thriller

Not only a Batman, mind you, though the Batman. Like the Ripper and the Bogeyman, Gotham City’s premier superhero has now officially adopted the definite article, perhaps to give his personal brand a dark new, folksy-diabolical twist.

Smart move. Since 1989, five live-action batmen of varying looks and temperaments have snuck in and out of our theaters, and you’ll be wondering if there’s yet to be a sixth. But director Matt Reeves has come up with a very special angle with the two latest Planet of the Apes films: a sprawling and convoluted urban detective thriller with the intricately-gone red wool-on-cork-board plot of classic film noir .

There are no more edgy existential crises here, no more fantastic shenanigans and certainly no more Crimewatch throwbacks to poor old Thomas and Martha Wayne getting shot in an alley in front of the theater. When we join the young, reclusive Bruce (Robert Pattinson) instead, he’s been more than 12 months into what he calls his “Gotham Project” in his typewritten notes – less a lavishly funded vigilante campaign than a dropped gap year by hand.

At night, Bruce fights low-level street crime – an early sequence shows him solving a heist – while also serving as the informal private investigator partner of Detective James Gordon (Jeffrey Wright), a frowning Popeye Doyle guy on the Gotham police force. One night, the two investigate a murder – the mayor (Rupert Penry-Jones) has been found beaten to death in his mansion with a coded message from the killer at his side. It’s the work of the Riddler (Paul Dano), chillingly reimagined as a hybrid of Zodiac and a stuttering Incel, whose “costume” (actually a dark green army field jacket and balaclava) is a means of maintaining anonymity along the way live streamed tirades.

Dispel all thoughts of Jim Carrey’s extravagant Lycra cover-up in Batman Forever. Dano’s Riddler spooks for being so plausible: His cheery “Hi folks, thanks for the comments” at the start of his latest online video monologue could make your blood run cold. (Particularly in its final act, the film’s musings on withdrawn male rage and paranoia are genuinely thoughtful and nuanced, not to mention more coherent than Joker’s.)

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/films/0/batman-review-robert-pattinson-zoe-kravitz-seduce-sinuous-un/ Robert Pattinson and Zoe Kravitz seduce in this sinuous, un-Marvelous thriller

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