Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

The Batman review: How does Robert Pattinson’s caped crusader shape up?

Zoe Kravitz and Robert Pattinson in The Batman (Warner Bros).
Zoe Kravitz and Robert Pattinson in The Batman (Warner Bros).

Matt Reeves’ big screen blockbuster, The Batman, is one of this year’s most-anticipated releases. With an all-star cast, including Robert Pattinson as Batman, how does the new film shape up?

The Plot

Ten years after the conclusion of Christopher Nolan’s Oscar-winning Dark Knight trilogy, writer-director Matt Reeves and co-writer Peter Craig revive the tormented DC Comics character with aplomb.

They engineer a dark, brooding serial killer thriller that sows the seeds of a new trilogy, including a tantalising first glimpse of Dublin-born actor Barry Keoghan as one of the cowled crusader’s eye-catching adversaries.

The main character

Every generation has its big screen incarnation of Bruce Wayne.

In 1966, Adam West donned gloriously camp attire in a Kapow!-tastic extension of a popular TV series.

In the late 1980s, Tim Burton introduced Michael Keaton as Batman and the rictus grin of Jack Nicholson’s Joker in a marvellously menacing take on comic book mythology that earned the first newly-minted 12 certificate from British censors.

Director Joel Schumacher tarnished the legacy with the garish double whammy of Batman Returns and Batman & Robin – before Nolan resuscitated the franchise with the bombastic Batman Begins.

Reeves confidently takes up the mantle, delving into the tortured psyche of a self-destructive and almost uncontrollably violent Bruce Wayne, who exorcises personal demons with brute force on rain-lashed streets of Gotham.

The cast

Robert Pattinson strips away charm from his reclusive billionaire, exposing deep fissures in a nihilistic soul, suffocated by a squalid metropolis that is, by his grim assessment, “eating itself”.

The three-hour running time is excessive but permits other characters to breathe rancid air, including Zoe Kravitz’s spirited embodiment of Catwoman – “Got a thing about strays”, she purrs alluringly – and Paul Dano’s wickedly unhinged Riddler, who goads police with ciphers like the Zodiac Killer.

Wayne (Pattinson) is determined to honour the legacy of his murdered father, at the expense of his personal wellbeing and sanity.

Robert Pattinson as Batman in Matt Reeves’ upcoming film The Batman (Warner Bros)

He prowls city streets as masked vigilante Batman in open defiance of the rule of law upheld by police lieutenant James Gordon (Jeffrey Wright) and fellow officers, often returning to his hi-tech lair bloodied and bruised.

“If I can’t have an effect, I don’t care what happens to me,” Bruce growls at butler Alfred Pennyworth (Andy Serkis).

Colin Farrell is unrecognisable as The Penguin (Warner Bros)

The prodigal son hopes to undermine the criminal empire of unctuous kingpin Carmine Falcone (John Turturro) and his associates, including nightclub owner Oswald Cobblepot (Colin Farrell).

A serial killer dubbed Riddler (Dano) targets high-profile city residents, beginning with a forceful intervention in the fiercely contested mayoral race between incumbent Don Mitchell Jr (Rupert Penry-Jones) and idealistic ingenue Bella Real (Jayme Lawson).

Bruce is drawn into a deadly game of brinkmanship with Riddler, aided by enigmatic burglar Selena Kyle aka Catwoman, who slinks seductively in the grey area between law and disorder.

Action satisfaction?

The Batman opens with a soaring refrain of Ave Maria as a nocturnal predator stalks unsuspecting prey, establishing a tone of grim foreboding that pervades every frame, including murky cinematography that blurs edges of the screen, focusing our attention of the eye of a storm.

Action sequences are slickly choreographed to discordant ebbs and flows of composer Michael Giacchino’s score, including scenes shot in Glasgow.

The Batman screening – London
(Left to right) Andy Serkis, Robert Pattinson, Zoe Kravitz, Paul Dano and Jeffrey Wright attending the special screening of The Batman at BFI Imax Waterloo (Ian West/PA)

Pattinson and Kravitz spark palpable sexual chemistry despite the relentless downpours, while Farrell is virtually unrecognisable beneath cutting-edge prosthetics as a criminal underling with grand ambitions.

He’s perfectly poised for bigger and battier things in an intended second chapter that promises much and hopefully lops 30 minutes off the running time.

RATING: 8/10