Matt Reeves' 'The Batman' has to be one of the most hotly anticipated movies of this year, and it has every right to be especially with the totally fresh cast and style the movie has promised to bring to audiences. This Batman story could be classified as more of a detective noir, with its core premise focusing on Batman chasing down a serial killer targeting Gotham City's most elite and corrupt individuals to expose their true nature to the people of Gotham.
With regards to suitability for kids, the movie is rated PG-13, however I do think it really pushes the boundaries of that PG-13 rating. There's a fair bit of pretty brutal violence, drug usage and colorful language peppered throughout its runtime. Younger kids may also find the movie's villain, the Riddler to be especially intimidating and sinister- this may prove to be a little too scary for these younger audiences. Despite the PG-13 rating, 'The Batman' is probably more suitable for kids aged 14-15 and up.
It's undoubtedly tough to point out positive messages and role models in a movie that is quite dark and bleak, but nevertheless there are important things which kids can take away from 'The Batman'. One thing in particular is the character of Batman/Bruce Wayne. Bruce Wayne starts of the movie as a very violent and selfish character believing that his caped crusading adventures are the only way he can better Gotham, but by the end of the movie he outgrows this his need to inflict 'his kind of justice' and instead choose to try and help the people of Gotham City in a more meaningful way. Another important character is that of the police officer Jim Gordon, who despite being a member of an extremely corrupt police department, keeps trying to find the truth and stays committed to delivering justice the right way.
As yet another cinematic reboot to the Batman franchise, this movie had big boots to fill, the same going for its leading man, Robert Pattinson of Twilight fame. But it undoubtedly manages to fill those boots and more. Pattinson delivers an incredible performance, playing a younger and more reckless version of Batman who is still learning the crime-fighting ropes. The fact that this is a younger and more inexperienced version of the character really makes his version of Batman feel more human as we watch him make mistakes and get hurt throughout the movie. Personally, I think this makes for a much more engaging version of the character as he's not quite yet a 'superhero' but still just a vigilante. Pattinson's co-star Zöe Kravitz also has an amazing performance as Catwoman/ Selina Kyle, effortlessly filling the role of this noir's femme fatale but making sure that she doesn't follow the route of most strong female characters that end up being fridges and turned into a typical damsel in distress. Alongside Pattinson and Kravitz is Paul Dano who plays the Riddler, a character audiences haven't seen on the big screen since the late 1990s, and that time it was just Jim Carrey in a leotard. Dano makes it a point to separate his performance from that of the late Heath Ledger's Joker, in an effort to bring audiences something new as most recent Batman villains and their actors fall into this trap of trying to emulate Ledger's iconic, captivating performance. But no, Paul Dano gives audiences his own truly captivating and sinister performance, with this version of the Riddler being more like a serial killer with a serious vendetta and a penchant for riddles, rather than a game show host in a green suit.
Their performances were also undoubtedly augmented by the incredibly engaging storyline. 'The Batman' shifting gears from being an action-focused comic book flick to a detective noir was possibly one of the best choices that could have been made. The central mystery of the film drives the plot and keeps audiences hooked the whole time. This is no doubt also enhanced by the absolutely beautiful cinematography with visuals that look like they could have been ripped directly from a comic book page.
With all that in mind 'The Batman' is definitely a must-watch if you are a fan of the character, as it brings a refreshing and engaging take on the character and his world that has not really been explored on the silver screen.