The Batman Trailer Breakdown: What’s Black And Blue And Dead All Over?

Today brought the new trailer for “The Batman” from DC FanDome, and there’s a ton of new footage to take a closer look at. Thankfully, there are still a lot of secrets being held close to the vest, so there’s plenty of speculation to be done about the film’s plot and exactly what characters like The Riddler, The Penguin, and Catwoman are all up to while Batman tries to keep Gotham City safe. So let’s get into “The Batman” trailer breakdown.

A Lonely Diner

The trailer begins in a city diner. What initially looks like a hapless soul having a late night coffee turns into a worrisome scene as a team of SWAT-style police officers approach from the outside. Immediately the vibe of the trailer is that of a thriller from director David Fincher, and that’s something we’re very excited to see unfold in Gotham City.

You’re Under Arrest

Even though we’re never shown his face, those who have been keeping up with the news and marketing for “The Batman” should know that’s Paul Dano. Keeping his face obscured is an interesting choice, and I wonder if that’s something that director Matt Reeves will keep up throughout the movie, especially since it keeps happening in the trailer. Of course, there’s a certain calling card that we’re about to see that will confirm exactly who this character will be.

Too Many Questions

As he’s apprehended by the Gotham City Police Department, accompanied by Jim Gordon (Jeffrey Wright), his face remains obscured as it’s slammed down on the diner counter. The camera lingers on a single coffee cup as Paul Dano is taken out of the diner. Inside the cup is a little design in the coffee, but this doesn’t appear to be a cute design done by some barista.

It’s a question mark signifying the presence of Batman’s enemy known as The Riddler. Paul Dano is playing the villain, and, as we’re about to see throughout this trailer, he’s left a variety of clues behind for Batman to solve in order to stop some kind of dastardly plan. 

Shine The Light

We get a look at the new Bat-signal and Jim Gordon standing by it as he waits for Gotham’s watchful protector to answer the call. “The Batman” is supposed to take place earlier in Bruce Wayne’s career as a vigilante, but it would appear that he’s already struck up a working relationship with the police. We’re not sure how the citizens of Gotham City or some members of the department thinks about that, but if the movie follows the trend of previous movies, it’ll be a complicated dynamic. 

“When That Light Hits The Sky, It’s Not Just A Call. It’s A Warning.”

This is probably the most haunting and intimidating version of the Batman symbol we’ve seen yet, at least when it comes to how hit appears in the sky. It just has that threatening look to it, which makes the voiceover accompanying these shots perfect. Robert Pattinson can be heard saying, “Fear is a tool. When that light hits the sky, it’s not just a call. It’s a warning.” Based on how angry Batman is throughout this trailer, that’s a good warning.

The Batman

There’s Batsy, seemingly waiting for the call from Commissioner Gordon. Perhaps he’s being called to that murder scene that we saw in the teaser trailer from DC FanDome last year, a crime scene where The Riddler left something behind specifically addressed to “The Batman.” Could it be the Dark Knight who helps the police track down The Riddler in the diner? Obviously he was intending to be caught, based on a scene later in the trailer, but we’ll get to that later.

Criminal Beatdown

This shot of Batman rising up to meet these painted thugs in a shady alley of Gotham City is just awesome. Even though this gang is trying to be tough, it’s clear they’re scared shitless of the Caped Crusader. This reveals more of the confrontation between Batman and these thugs, which we saw in the previous DC FanDome trailer. We don’t get the extended beatdown with the “I’m vengeance” tag, but that scene is repurposed later in this trailer anyway. 

Plus, we get to see a wide shot of Batman delivering justice in the shadows. The lighting in this scene is outstanding, giving us the perfect silhouettes of Batman fighting off all of these criminals. 

Don’t Mess With The Batman

This firing of a gunshot to Batman’s chest is a killer moment. Even with his face obscured, Robert Pattinson delivers a quick glance that says, “You shouldn’t have done that,” and the bad guy finds out why pretty quickly. Batman using a taser built into his gloves to incapacitate the criminal and send him to the ground. It’s one of the more badass moments of this trailer.

“What Have You Done?!”

Again, Batman seems to have a good relationship with the police, because he’s allowed to visit The Riddler in prison by way of one of those traditional phone hubs you see in movies over and over again. It’s worth pointing out that Paul Dano’s face again remains hidden with a convenient cut away. The Riddler quietly says, “I’ve been trying to reach you.” 

Batman is clearly frustrated with this wild goose chase as he punches the glass and shouts, “What have you done?” Admittedly, this line was a little hard to understand, not unlike some of Bane’s dialogue in “The Dark Knight Rises,” and hopefully that won’t be a consistent issue in the final cut of the movie. But the raw anger from Pattinson in this scene is palpable. 

“This Is A Powder Keg, And Riddler’s The Match.”

As an explosion goes off somewhere in Gotham, we hear Batman say, “This is a powder keg, and Riddler’s the match.” Whatever The Riddler is threatening, it sounds like something that will have huge ramifications, perhaps for Batman and Gotham City. Knowing how much corruption there can be in this town, perhaps The Riddler’s motivations are more noble, even if his tactics are extreme.

“I Can Take Care Of Myself.”

Here’s Zoe Kravitz as Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman. She tells Batman, “I can take care of myself,” with a rather flirtatious look in her eye. It’s worth noting that she has a pixie haircut here, but we see her donning several wigs throughout the rest of the trailer, showing off her skills as a cat burglar who can easily hide among a crowd.

The Magic Hour

There’s another gorgeous shot from “The Batman” that puts plenty of other comic book movies to shame. Though Matt Reeves is shooting for something that has a realistic vibe, not unlike “The Dark Knight Trilogy,” he’s also not afraid of being a little more visually stylistic. This shot feels like a two-page spread straight from the pages of DC Comics, and it’s beautiful. This also feels like a shot that could easily be from the end of the movie. Perhaps this movie will leave Catwoman’s place in this universe open-ended, perhaps keeping an ongoing rivalry and maybe even a relationship between the Bat and the Cat.

Meow

A quick little montage of shots reveal Selina Kyle fighting, looking sultry, and preparing for some kind of motorcycle chase, presumably with Batman. Honestly, every shot of Zoe Kravitz in this trailer is great. Could she give Michelle Pfeiffer’s take on Catwoman a run for her money? I don’t think the role will be quite so overt with the sexuality, and it will lack the camp of Tim Burton’s “Batman Returns,” but Kravitz will certainly give the character her own flair.

The Penguin

It’s still hard to believe, but that’s Colin Farrell as The Penguin. He’s standing in a warm magic hour shot, looking out over the city with a glimmer of crime in his eye and scars on his face. Since The Riddler is the big bad of this film, I’m wondering what Penguin’s place is in all this. Maybe it’s a side nuisance that Batman has to keep dealing with as he tries to figure out what The Riddler has done. 

Alfred Is Still Worried

Ladies and gentleman, it’s Andy Serkis, and he’s not wearing a motion capture suit. At least we think he’s not. We wouldn’t put it past him to do a motion capture performance of himself. Anyway, Serkis feels like the most intimidating version of Alfred we’ve seen on the big screen. We hear Bruce Wayne’s loyal butler say, “If this continues, it won’t be long before you have nothing left.” Clearly Alfred isn’t on board with Bruce Wayne’s nighttime crime fighting shenanigans. 

Bruce Wayne’s New Album

Does Bruce Wayne have an album coming out? It certainly looks like it with this shot of Robert Pattinson reading the newspaper and wearing sunglasses. More than likely he’s stealthily keeping an eye on someone, laying low in as he stays in pursuit.

The World’s Greatest Detective

This is undoubtedly the most intriguing shot of the whole movie. Bruce Wayne is doing some real detective work, trying to decipher the clues that The Riddler has left behind. With an emphasis put on “The sins of my father?” it would appear as if something Bruce Wayne’s father did in the past is the driving force of The Riddler’s motivation. 

There are also two names seen in this spread. There’s Colson, which refers to Peter Sarsgaard’s character Gil Colson, the district attorney and chief prosecutor of Gotham City. There’s also Mitchell, which likely refers to Gotham City Mayor Don Mitchell, who may be one of The Riddler’s victims. 

Also among all these clues are phrases about lies. We can see “No more lies” and “Renewal is a lie” on the ground. These are likely messages that were included at the crime scenes in question. What is this all leading to?

Batman Gets Emo

Seemingly in response to Alfred’s warning, Bruce Wayne says, “I don’t care what happens to me.” With all that black eye make-up smeared on his face and that sweaty haircut, this is easily the most emo Batman that we’ve had yet. Will there be a Dashboard Confessional song on the soundtrack?

A Motorcycle Chase

Two motorcycles speed through a cemetery. We’re assuming one of them is Batman and the other is Catwoman. As for the reasons for their chase, more than likely it has to do with burglary and Batman’s attempt to foil crime leading a game of cat and bat. But maybe there will be a little more to it than that when all is said and done. After all, Catwoman also warns Batman, “It’s only gonna get worse for you.” Maybe she knows something that he doesn’t yet.

A Reversed Shot?

Batman and Catwoman appear to be sharing a moment here. However, I can’t help but notice that it seems like the shot of Zoe Kravitz turning her head has been played backwards, making it appear as if she’s turning to look at Batman. But based on the shot of Batman, I’m thinking he’s actually looking at someone entering the scene, and Catwoman actually breaks her gaze from Batman after she sees him glance to whoever is off-camera. Perhaps this is just before the final showdown.

“Whoa, Take It Easy, Sweetheart.”

Batman throws around some fisticuffs in a club, and The Penguin is there. In a classic mafia-style voice, he says, “Whoa, take it easy, sweetheart.” Through the next montage of shots of Batman tearing through bad guys, Penguin says, “You’re everything they say, ain’t ya?” This is the kind of playful banter that I’ve been missing from Batman. There was plenty of it with Joker in “The Dark Knight,” and a little bit of it with “Bane,” but I like a little theatricality being put back into Batman’s rogues gallery.

“Maybe We’re Not So Different.”

Who is that gun for? I think it’s safe to say that Selina Kyle has an axe to grind of her own. We even hear Zoe Kravitz say, “Maybe we’re not so different.” I wonder if “The Batman” will lean into having Catwoman be more of an anti-hero than a villain, even moreso than the character’s turn in “The Dark Knight Rises.”

“Who Are You Under There?”

Catwoman shares another embrace with Batman. As she strokes his cowl, we hear Selina say, “Who are you under there?” It’s interesting to note that this unfolds in the same magic hour lighting from that previous shot of the two standing in a building that appears to be under construction. Even more interesting is the shot that follows. 

That’s Catwoman making a run for it, and I’m pretty sure that’s Penguin who has lunged at Batman. Why is she in such a hurry to get away? Maybe Penguin is after Selina Kyle for some kind of job gone wrong that she was hired to do. Perhaps it’s a job that was foiled by Batman, bringing all three of them together. 

Hot Flashes

All right, the sights and sound that unfold across these few seconds are incredible. The rhythmic sound of the gun shots, and the flashes of light from the gun muzzles as Batman has bullets bounce off of him make for a sequence that just looks and sounds cool. Though Christopher Nolan did an incredible job with “The Dark Knight Trilogy,” I have to say that I’m loving the more stylized cinematography that’s being employed here. It’s topped off by the return of the “I’m vengeance” line from the first teaser trailer. 

I Gotta Get Me One Of Those

Here’s our new Batmobile, speeding through the streets, barreling through anything that gets in its way. It’s the most practical Batmobile that we’ve seen in any franchise, looking like a real customized car rather than a military vehicle or a car that was clearly made to be a superhero’s ride. Will it have any handy gadgets within, or is this Batmobile more about speed and brawn?

An Aerial Escape

It looks like Batman is making a getaway from the cops, which is rather confusing since it seemed like he had a good relationship with the police. Maybe this is a sequence from earlier in his vigilante years, before he became an ally of the police. Then again, it’s hard to know for sure whether that’s actually Batman. It appears to be someone wearing a skydiving wingsuit, so it could easily be a criminal making a dramatic escape. But the criminals here seem to be more grounded than theatrical, so it’s likely Batman soaring through the city. Either way, that POV shot from the back of whoever is jumping is a nice touch.

A Bustling Gotham City Courthouse

A swarm of vehicles sits outside of what appears to be a Gotham City courthouse. There may be some kind of big case being decided upon, perhaps something to do with The Penguin. Then again, the previous trailer showed us some kind of event happening in front of the courthouse that may have involved a press conference from someone in the Gotham City government. This could easily be the scene where there’s an SUV sent crashing into the crowd with writing like “DOA” all over it. In that sequence from the teaser trailer, a man emerges from the vehicle with an envelope taped to his body that’s addressed to Batman. That scene gets deadlier later in the trailer.

The Muddy Knight

What has Batman gotten himself into? This might be the dirtiest Batsuit that we’ve ever seen. It looks like he went mudding on a four-wheeler and didn’t clean himself off. Clayface isn’t in this movie, right? 

The Riddler Livestreams

The Riddler is certainly a 21st century villain because a news broadcast shows video from a livestream featuring the masked character, who is still donning his signature glasses, but has obscured his face more than traditional depictions of The Riddler. This feels like it echoes the sequence in “The Dark Knight” when Joker addressed Gotham City and threatened to kill someone everyday until Batman revealed his true identity. What does The Riddler have to say to the citizens of Gotham City?

Fierce Fisticuffs

Catwoman looks on, seemingly a little scared, as Batman beats the hell out of someone. We can’t see who it is, but we certainly wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of that beatdown. Robert Pattinson looks like a madman as he hammers away on this bad guy. This version of Batman may be more unhinged than we’ve seen before, maybe because it’s still early in his crime fighting career and he hasn’t yet learned how to control his anger.

Red Underground?

This is an intriguing shot during a montage of a variety of scenes. Batman is using a flare to lead a group of people somewhere. We’re not sure where they are or what’s going on here, but the red lighting in this scene is exquisite.

“See You In Hell.”

Another menacing message that appears to be from The Riddler comes with a touch of finality. It says, “See you in hell.” That’s not exactly a riddle, but maybe the final message from the villain where he thinks that Batman will be defeated. Does The Riddler expect to come out of this alive? This message makes it seems like he might not be. But even more menacing is The Riddler’s voiceover taunting, “What’s black and blue and dead all over?” The chilling answer to Batman is, “You.”

A Homemade Batsuit

This close-up shot shows the handcrafted stitchwork that went into creating this suit. It’s rare to see detail like that on a Batsuit. Previously, the Batsuits have been molded rubber or fitted armor (though “Batman Begins” featured a basic tactical suit early on). “The Batman” certainly has a suit with elements of previous Batsuits, but this kind of detail on the cowl lends a nice touch of authenticity to the suit being created by Bruce Wayne himself.

Bat Bombed

That looks like Batman trying to save someone from an explosion, but he’s been brutally rebuffed by the fireball itself. You’ll notice it’s from that sequence where that SUV has crashed and brought a message for Batman. This could be the scene of another death caused by The Riddler. Is there a chance that the death gets blamed on Batman and potentially turns the cops against him?

“I GOT YOU!”

This entire sequence totally rips. From the road rage of Batman to the maniacal glee from The Penguin thinking he’s gotten the best of the Dark Knight, this is the kind of stuff that blockbusters are made of. Will The Penguin be apprehended and put in Arkham Asylum in this movie? Is this a prelude to him becoming an even more prominent villain in a presumed sequel? We know Colin Farrell didn’t have to shoot very long for “The Batman,” so it’s not out of the realm of possibility. 

Bat Out Of Hell

Man, that’s what I call a money shot. Seeing Batman walking at you as fire burns behind him is badass enough. But having that shot inverted, making Batman appear like he’s hanging upside down like an actual bat is so good. Plus, having the title slowly overtake that final flaming scene just makes it even better. But the real star of this shot is that gothic orchestral rise of what feels like it could be the new Batman theme by composer Michael Giacchino, which he teased not too long ago.

Whew! That was quite a trailer for “The Batman.” It showed a lot without showing too much. There’s still so much mystery about the plot beyond The Riddler’s game clearly trying to reveal something nefarious happening in Gotham City. It would be rather interesting to have The Riddler turn out to be not a straight-up bad guy, but someone who has merely been pushed too far by corruption in Gotham City. Matt Reeves, we can’t wait to see this movie.

“The Batman” is slated to arrive in theaters on March 4, 2022.

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