Our anticipation for The Batman just shot up several notches with the release of this thrilling new clip. Evoking the Gothic spirit of Tim Burton's Batman movies, we see Paul Dano's Riddler send a dangerous, and potentially explosive, message to Robert Pattinson's Bruce Wayne as the latter attends a funeral.
The mixture of ecclesiastical atmosphere and impending portentous threat is exceptionally well done, all the more so given Robert Pattinson doesn't say a single word. Instead, it's all done through physical gesture and subtle expression, as his Bruce Wayne must balance the needs of his Batman identity without giving anything away to the congregation, including Jeffrey Wright's Jim Gordon. Unfortunately, it seems as if the shadowy Riddler (who doesn't even require a close-up to be terrifying) has already rumbled Wayne's identity.
There's also a piercing emotional undercurrent as Wayne recognises, and eventually saves, a young orphan attending the ceremony. It's a testament to Pattinson's acting skills, honed in the recent likes of The Lighthouse, that he can communicate these emotional complexities without saying anything. One can sense that this is a Bruce Wayne in the early throes of his crime-fighting career, actively working through the best possible response to dire circumstances.
Has director Matt Reeves, in collaboration with his actors, both nailed and reinvented the essence of the Dark Knight? On the basis of this, we'd have to say yes.
Co-starring Zoe Kravitz, Colin Farrell and Andy Serkis, The Batman is released in Cineworld cinemas on 4th March.