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Hot Take: Robert Pattinson Is The Best Batman (And Here Is Why)

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

The new movie “The Batman” has caused a lot of discussions lately. It is dividing opinions on who is the best batman, some people are even saying that it’s Robert, but is he the one?

A lot has been said about the new Batman movie, “The Batman”, directed by Matt Reeves and starring Robert Pattinson. The film brings a different take on the famous character. This is not an origin story, but a year two one. He has just begun to be the Batman and has not improved his abilities to their best. This Bruce is not the playboy we got to know with the Nolan trilogy.

Fans from all over the world are excited about this new take on the caped crusade and the new face that Robert has brought to the character. But, based on all we have seen before, is he the best batman? Here is a not spoiler-free opinion.

The acting skills

At first, let’s consider just his acting and not a comparison with the other movies and the comic books. In the beginning, Pattinson´s performance as Batman already looks amazing, the way he walks towards the group of kids in that first scene, how he looks angry, the way he says “I’m Vengeance”. All of that was really well done and beyond expected. Also, the way Matt filmed it plus the lines and the photography is really a tribute to the comics, those choices combined made the movie look like you’re watching a comic book.  

On the other hand, when it comes to his Bruce Wayne acting, it disappoints a little at first. If you watch it without knowing what to expect, it can look like very bad acting. Even if you know exactly what the movie is intended for, when he talks, it seems too emotionless, whispery, and quite silent. Those first scenes in the Batcave left the feeling that he was simply doing nothing, not even trying to act. It can shock the viewers who know the actor, because we’ve seen him doing such powerful and explosive roles, such as Thomas Winslow in The Lighthouse (2019), that we know he is capable of delivering all types of emotion. But, as soon as the movie goes on you realize that he is not emotionless, he is depressed, numb, sad, and has nothing to smile about. Also, by the middle of the movie, there’s that really emotional scene with Alfred at the hospital, and Bruce at home trying to understand what connection his parents have with riddler. Those two scenes showed different emotions, a part of Bruce Wayne that the first 20 minutes of the movie don’t show us. Pattinson portrays that troubled man beautifully. 

The other Batmans

Now, compared with the other Batmans, especially Bale and Affleck are the newer ones, and the most similar to this one. Thinking about all the other movies, it’s visible why people thought he was “too emo” or needed to smile more. Keaton as Batman was too camp, Clooney’s take on the character was so different, but Bale as Batman, the one that is fresher in people’s memories, is in his playboy phase, so he is flirty and that happy sexy persona, a place where Robert’s Batman hasn’t arrived yet.

On the other hand, Affleck’s Batman isn’t so similar to the Nolan trilogy, but he is happier than this new character. What makes him lose the title of the best Batman is the actor’s performance was just not that good, he wasn’t sober enough to feel like the Batman we see in the comic books and the other movies. Besides that, the fact that he doesn’t have a solo movie made the character less developed compared with the others, and the movies that he was in as a whole were just badly written. 

So, our comparison stays between Bale and Pattinson, which is the biggest discussion in the fandom nowadays. It’s fair to say that Christian Bale is an amazing Batman and Bruce Wayne, but his Bruce should not be compared to Robert Pattinson’s. Simply because they are playing almost completely different characters. The Bruce that Nolan wrote is a philanthropist, a playboy that goes out with a lot of girls and attends public gatherings, while the part that Pattinson is playing is a sad man that does not go out, has no friends, and is certainly not a philanthropist, as said by Bella Réal, who tries unsuccessfully, to make him become one. 

Comparing the two Bruce’s may be unfair, but we sure can compare the Batmans, since they are in fact similar. Bale as Batman, in the first movie, is learning and training on how to be the help Gotham needs. He has the help of Alfred, Lucius, and Rachel, they all know what he does. He is skillful, confident, and engaged in the family company. On the contrary, this new take brings a not so skillful Batman, since he is still learning. He is also not interested in Wayne enterprises, a fact shown when Alfred has to almost make him talk to the investors. With that, he does not have the help of Lucius or anyone in the company. Pattinson’s Batman does everything himself, from the cars to the suit. Another thing is that Robert is a very angry dark Knight, with a lot of rages. As said by the actor himself before, he beats every bad guy as if he had been hurt by them personally. He is in fact vengeance, while Bale seems to have overcome the death of his parents and is dealing with other problems now. 

The comic books 

When talking about the comic books that inspired the movie (Ego, The Long Halloween, and Year One) the one that draws attention is “Year One’‘. Bruce, Batman, and Selina seem to have come out of this comic. The characterization is on point, Bruce really looks like a troubled man, just like in the book. 

Now, for those who don’t know the comics, this is a different and strange Bruce and a violent Batman. But Matt Reeves was just being faithful to the stories, and he was really successful. Robert Pattinson is the personification of Year one Batman and Bruce, and he did that role gracefully. In this comic, Bruce is having second thoughts about his role in society and is questioning if he is in fact making a difference, which is exactly what the movie shows by the narration. 

Also, The Long Halloween is really present in this movie, especially in the matter of him being a sort of detective. He goes after clues, helps Gordon. All those conversations between the two of them remind me so much of the comic. There’s a scene that is so similar to the comic, where he talks to Gordon at the police station. Also, the riddler reminds the Holiday killer (one of the villains of the comic) a lot, by the way, he makes his kills. 

Verdict

So, is Robert Pattinson the best Batman? Yes. He is the Batman from the comics, the sad, troubled man that is discovering his parents’ secrets, the man that isn’t sure if what he is doing is really helping. Pattinson’s performance is amazing, he portrays anger as it belongs to him, he really shows emotions with his eyes, not needing big gestures and expressive speaking. He does the hurtful, quiet scenes as well as he does the explosive ones. Besides his performance, Matt Reeves helped him become the best Batman by giving him such an incredible and well-written script, with so many references from the comics. And this movie cannot be judged as a superhero movie. Batman is not a superhero, this is not a movie about a guy who saves the town. It’s about revenge, hate, sadness, family problems, and deception. Matt Reeves wrote a layered character that is beautifully played by Robert Pattinson who’s capable of showing all of those emotions with just his eyes. This is the Batman fans were waiting for, this is a movie made for the fans that have been waiting for this type of noir, dark and beautiful Batman. 

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The article above was written by Manuela Massera and edited by Giullia Cartaxo. Liked this type of content? Check out Her Campus Casper Libero for more!

Manuela Massera

Casper Libero '24

A journalism student obsessed with books and films. Always on twitter and listening to 80´s music.