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Movie review: The 'Dark Knight' can't get much darker

It's bold, it's big, it's brooding. It's 'The Batman.'
Credit: AP
This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Robert Pattinson in a scene from "The Batman." (Jonathan Olley/Warner Bros. Pictures via AP)

DALLAS — He first became a star as the brooding vampire in "Twilight." Now he's the brooding caped crusader in "The Batman." Robert Pattinson has brooding down pat, and he might just be the best Batman, yet!

Matt Reeves co-wrote and directed this latest film on a $200-million budget. That ought to do something! Prior to this, he was best known for directing two "Planet of the Apes" movies. But clearly he had a vision to push the D.C. Comic hero forward.

Bruce Wayne is a brooding (of course, he is) billionaire. The detective skills of his alter ego, The Batman, are so sharp, Lt. James Gordon (Jeffrey Wright) calls upon him to try to solve a growing series of sadistic killings that seem to be targeting Gotham City's corrupt leaders. Along the way we meet The Penguin at his Iceberg Lounge (not the classiest clientele). He's played by Colin Farrell behind so much prosthetic makeup, you'd never know it was him!

As Batman follows the trail of the killer, he receives a series of personalized riddles from none other than The Riddler, played disturbingly by Paul Dano. Then, of course, there's Gotham City's resident cat burglar, Selina/Catwoman, played by Zoe Kravitz. Her relationship with The Batman is a slow burn as he helps her realize she's in over her head. Smaller roles are played by Peter Sarsgaard and John Tuturro, and we can't leave out Andy Serkis (a nod to "The Apes") as Wayne's trusted butler Alfred.

"The Batman" is just shy of three hours long, but I was never bored. It all plays out at nighttime, ironically except for one "twilight" scene that I can recall. The Dark Knight can't get much darker in tone, either. It is a psychological thriller. Not one sign of caricature or camp. Yes, Wayne/Batman has his rich boy toys, but they serve a need, even if it is for speed. Pattinson had suggested playing him as grunge, but instead, they went for grim (except for some Nirvana music). This guy is damaged but bent on doing good. He is "vengeance," after all. 

It's bold, it's big, it's brooding. It's "The Batman." Go see it!

(Warner Bros. Rated PG-13. Running Time 2 hrs. 55 mins. In Theaters Only.)

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